Niger expulsions will 'fuel hatred'

Leaders of Niger's Arab community said that the government's decision to expel 150,000 Arabs who fled neighbouring Chad could stoke racial hatred in the West African country.

    Niger wants to repatriate the refugees from Chad

    Niger said on Tuesday that it would deport the Mahamid Arabs, who settled in the southeastern region of Diffa in the 1980s as civil conflict raged in Chad, as their presence was raising tensions with indigenous tribes.

    Hamad Ahmed, an Arab leader in Niger, said in a statement read to the media: "This decision by the government is extremely dangerous; it will fuel the hatred between ethnic communities in Diffa and will lead to widespread conflict whose wounds will take time to heal."

    Niger's government accused the Arab population of possessing illegal firearms and said that they were a serious threat to the security of local communities.

    The government said that the repatriation would be carried out with respect for human rights.

    Ahmed said the expulsion would violate international treaties, including the charter of the 53-nation African Union. He appealed to Mamadou Tandja, Niger's president, to reverse the decision.

    Ahmed said: "To return these Arabs and their livestock is physically impossible. They will only move under force, and all violence will produce more violence."

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.