Those who use the highway every morning to get to the west of Algiers have noticed this camp on the edge of a city in Dar El-Beida. He was evacuated earlier this week. Scraps of colorful fabric are laid on metal rails that line the road. A kind of emblem to signal the existence of the camp down the road.
No doubt everyone will have noticed in recent months: the unusual presence of sub-Saharan migrants in all urban centers. Makeshift camps are located around major cities. The capital is no exception. It even hosts the largest flows. The most visible side is the one installed by Nigerians to the same side of the highway in the town of Dar El-Beida. It has just been dismantled by the authorities. But the presence of these sub-Saharans, driven from their country by the pangs of hunger, does not seem to interfere with Algiers. On the contrary, there is even much sympathy expressed toward our southern neighbors. People, it seems, are sufficiently informed that Nigerians, Malians and other sub-Saharan Africans have not traveled thousands of miles for the sake of "visit" Algiers. If they are here is because they decided to flee hunger and misery that gnaw in their respective countries. "We are not here for fun. At home, we do not even find enough to fill our bellies, "jabbered in a broken French, Abdul Aziz Idi Matou, aged 30. This morning, Saturday, October 11, where we made a trip to the camp of Niger refugees, based in Dar El-Beida, Abdul Aziz compensates his elder in his task of "leader" of camp brother. This is a population of about 200 people. In addition to children, women and men are all young. The elderly can not, of course, not bear the painful journey through the desert separating the Niger in the north of Algeria. How these "forced into exile" they are able to reach necessarily by land, the capital, thousands of miles from home? To decrypt the testimony of Abdul Aziz and his compatriots, is a network that has been created over time.
And historical ties and humanitarian law oblige, even some facilities are permitted by the Algerian authorities. If already in the absolute boundaries drawn by man are not waterproof, they are rather easy to cross in such circumstances. In extreme emergency! Nigerians, says Abdul Aziz, arrived first to Tamanrasset. They are transported in the same truck bodies ensuring the "shuttle trade" between the two countries. Most refugees, says our interlocutor, make a stop a few days in the capital of Ahaggar to "pick up" some money, at least enough to pay for the trip by bus to Algiers.
Homeless, poor and illiterate!
Camp Dar El-Beida, refugees, mostly accompanied by their families, organize themselves as they can. Garbage is carefully collected and stored in large garbage bags, placed at the end of camp. In the midst of the camp, consisting of low multicolored tents, stands a large table, fabricated, which acts as a kiosk makers. Few cans of fruit juice and lemonade bottles, acquired through the generosity of local residents, are for children.
"We always think to provide something for young and vulnerable people," said the "deputy chief" of the camp, not without passing salute the generosity of Algerians. Further, boys are impatient hairdresser camp. The latter has its scissors, a stool and a scrap of mirror held by a third party. To wash their hair after a cut, the "clients" must show great ingenuity. Lack of sanitation is even more disturbing that there is no health in the area. How do the occupants of the camp, especially women, for their toilet needs?
Brief. In these more regrettable circumstances, children's schooling is far from being the concern of parents, themselves, mostly illiterate. It is even the least of their worries ... The multiple tents in the camp, said Abdul Aziz, were all purchased by the occupants themselves. How do they bring money? "We have never resorted to illegal practices to meet our needs; none of us would think to fly in (your) our host country, much less attack our Algerian brothers. We are, however, any takers job opportunity that we offer from time to time, individuals or foremen. Do not believe those who say that we are here to make the sleeve. Although women and children are beggars in the streets of Algiers, because they can not do anything else, but all men are here looking for a job, "says bitterly, Walid Yacouba, who took up residence for a little over a month at Camp Dar El-Beida.
Winter or "bad weather" apprehended
Unlike the majority of refugees settling for a national identity card to set foot on Algerian soil, the young Walid holds a residence permit on a yearly basis.
Handyman plumbing and maneuver "qualified", it is one of the most sought youth camp. His wish? Getting a "permanent job". Arrived two months earlier than his compatriot Abdul Aziz Mohamadou
26, is, he graduated in masonry.
However, he said he was willing to do any odd job to win the day. "Often, my friends and I are approached by traders of the city, including wholesalers, to load and / or unload cargo. They pay us according to his work. During the day, we happen to win, each between 1000 and 2000 AD, "he says, pleased to have worked a few days on the eve of the last Eid el-Adha. The money earned by Mohamadou and the rest of his friends fed, in part, the "common fund" of the camp. A Eid, moreover, that all occupants of the camp Dar El-Beida not forget. They will never forget, they say, that moment of communion characterized by sacrifice, even to the camp, seven sheep offered by the Algerian Red Crescent.
But the approach of winter gives them a lot of trouble. Occupants makeshift camps will be forced to look for other places to shelter from the cold. Humanitarian duty to accommodate large flows of sub-Saharan refugees could turn into a more serious by the authorities to manage the burden. Governments have they provided something in this direction? At present, there is no evidence that shows this is the case.