Why do so many migrants claim to come from Ivory Coast?

Why do so many migrants claim to come from Ivory Coast?

Aaron Akinocho © DR

Published on November 21, 2023

Reading: 4 minutes.

“Where do all these migrants come from? » In a Europe faced with successive waves of migration, the question takes on legitimate importance. Knowing an immigrant's country of origin facilitates repatriation procedures and avoids risky solutions such asthat the United Kingdom is trying to set up with Rwanda, London wishes to automatically return all illegal migrants to Kigali, even if it means that they are then expelled to their country of origin even if their security is not guaranteed there.

But if the question is obvious, it must However, avoid falling into the easy trap. But this is the mistake that the European border and coast guard agency (Frontex) is making. The organization recently claimed that Côte d'Ivoire was one of the main suppliers of migrants to Europe: in the month of September alone, it recorded more than 14 presumed Ivorian migrants disembarking on the island of Lampedusa. , in Italy.

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Of course, in Abidjan, the news provoked the ire of the authorities. The Ivorian Minister of the Interior, Vagondo Diomandé, did not fail to express exasperation de his government. “No verification has been carried out with the assistance of the competent services of Côte d'Ivoire to ensure the reality of the Ivorian nationality of these migrants, as provided for in the multilateral agreement concluded by our country with the European Union,” he recalled in a statement dated October 2.

Clue bundle

It must be said that a body of evidence speaks in favor of the good faith of the authorities of the Eburnean nation. First, peace and stability. Indeed, if the 2010 crisis could have been un driving force for the immigration of certain Ivorians, this is no longer the case today. “Until the January 2022 coup in Burkina Faso, networks used stolen Ivorian identity cards. The migrants who showed them said that they were victims of the Ivorian crisis which took place between 2002 and 2011. Many non-Ivorians presented themselves as such, it could have happened in the first half of the 2010s... But that is less than meaning today", explains to the daily Le Monde the ethnologist Léo Montaz. Especially since the authorities have put in place measures to curb the routes to Europe present on Ivorian soil, notably with the dismantling of the famous “Daloa route”.

When we analyze the data, we must also take into account the progress recorded by Côte d'Ivoire because the country today displays indicators that make it attractive: economic growth which oscillates between 7 and 10% since 2012, major works policies, better distribution of revenue from raw materials et asserted ambitions in oil production. All these assets amplify its regional influence and attract citizens of neighboring nations who see it as a land of opportunities.

Land of immigration

But then where do the Frontex figures come from? Statements from the migrants themselves. From the exhibition of documents such as water bills or rent receipts. Ivory Coast, where the tradition of hospitality is not an empty word, is historically a land of immigration: 25% of its population is made up of foreigners. Only people having a migratory project could have stayed there is a fact. Especially since the country has the advantage of allowing its citizens to travel to Morocco and Tunisia without a visa. However, it is indeed from the Maghreb that the last stage of the journey towards Europe leaves.

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The other major argument in favor of the Ivorian authorities is that, between 2009 and 2018, in England, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, less than 15% of migrants declared as Ivorians could be formally identified as such. From 2019 to mid-September 2023, affirms Vagondo Diomandé, “out of 45 presumed Ivorian migrants, the internal security attachés (ASI) deployed within the embassies of Côte d'Ivoire in Europe received and processed 218 identification requests which resulted in the confirmation of 2 Ivorians.” This statistic should prompt Frontex to exercise greater caution.

Lack of solidarity

If there is one thing that the migration crisis demonstrates, it is the lack of solidarity between countries of the Old Continent. Alors that the EU struggles to enforce solidarity clauses between its member countries, we can understand the temptation to want to send migrants back at all costs to a non-European destination. If Brussels does not take the step of cynicism and inconsistency like London by putting in place an agreement of the type that the United Kingdom is negotiating with Rwanda, the intention remains the same. Any destination outside the Schengen area looks good. And if the migrants say Abidjan, then it will be Abidjan.

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Du côté migrants, if this arrangement is not necessarily their initial wish, it is nevertheless preferable to a return to countries where, between instability and terrorist danger, the future seems blocked. The big loser in the affair, particularly in terms of international influence, Ivory Coast, which has not asked anything from anyone, is playing the game of international cooperation in good faith. As such, the authorities have announced their intention to reintroduce visas to Tunisia and Morocco in order to fight against flux migratory.

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This article appeared first on https://www.jeuneafrique.com/1505269/politique/pourquoi-tant-de-migrants-pretendent-ils-venir-de-cote-divoire/