“Algeria is worried about rise in illegal migrants after the European Union tightened controls, making it more difficult to reach Europe by boat, pointed out Hassen Kacimi Director of studies at the Ministry of the Interior on Thursday.
Algeria expects to get more illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa following the new measures introduced by Europe to combat this phenomenon.
“We are now at tens of thousands (of illegal migrants), but in the near future we can talk about hundreds of thousands after Europe closed its doors,” highlighted Hassen Kacimi.
“The solution is not to close the borders from one side and let people die on the other side,” he said. “Algeria is very concerned by the growing numbers of illegal migrants.”
He said his country, which has a 2,500-kilometre border with Mali and Niger, had spent $20 million in the past three years to handle an influx of illegal migrants from the Sahel region fleeing war, insecurity or poverty.
“Nobody has helped us, we are handling the situation with our own means,” Kacimi said.
He also rejected accusations from rights group, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, that migrants were deported in a degrading way.
“We are not Nazis, and migrants never die in Algeria,” Kacimi said.