Mali returns migrants deported by France

Mali returns two deported migrants back to France, as it could not be proved that they were actually Malian

Mali has returned two people who were deported from France, casting doubt on whether they were even Malian citizens.

In a statement, the Malian government said that the two migrants were flown to the capital of Bamako using European travel permits or “laissez-pssez”, not passports or other Malian documents, and that it could not accept people “simply assumed to be Malian”.

It condemned the use of the European “laissez-passez” in cases of expulsion, describing it as going “against international conventions” and warned airlines not to let people using the document fly to Mali.

Recent reports that Mali has signed a deal with the EU to repatriate failed asylum seekers in return for aid have sparked protests in the West African country. Mali has vehemently denied that it agreed to enable the return of failed Malian asylum seekers.

In Malta, nine Malian migrants – identified as such by a Malian identification team – are currently being detained at the Safi detention centre ahead of their planned deportation. A further 15 were recently released after the delegation failed to identify them as Malian.

During the 2015 Valletta Summit between European and African leaders, the EU agreed to set up a €1.8 billion Emergency Trust Fund for development aid to African countries in return for their cooperation in repatriating failed asylum seekers.