The Malian Association of the Deported (Association Malienne des
Expulsés, AME) organizes two days of public meetings focused on the
testimonies of deported migrant workers and of those who have been
sent back at the borders, on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March in
Bamako, Mali. The AME proposes an open space of debate to which the
local population, and particularly would-be migrants waiting to
leave, are invited.
The AME, created in 1996, is an association of people from Mali who
have been deported. The association welcomes deported migrants at the
airport and supports them by providing provisional housing, putting
them in touch with a health center and a legal aid facility, and by
putting them in touch with their families or their lawyers or
supporters in the expelling countries, etc. In addition to dealing
with these immediate urgent issues, it is the aim of the AME to
defend the rights of the deported, to lobby government agencies and
to educate the public.
Some months ago, the AME was contacted by various organizations and
individuals, particularly in the regions of Gao and Kidal, to support
numerous deported migrants, Malians and non-Malians, who found
themselves in Tinzawaten, sent back by Algeria after a dramatic
voyage in the desert.
Whether deported or sent back at the borders or in transit, all felt
a great need to tell their story, express their fears and their
disappointment, but also their hopes.
With these two days of public meetings, the AME wishes to open the
debate on the issue of migration, and to provide a space where those
of its members with painful histories can express themselves and
transmit their experience. This space will give them the right to
speak, a right they are often denied.
The aim of these meetings is also to make space for the would-be
migrants waiting to depart, full of dreams and desires for the
“elsewhere”. This debate will provide an opportunity to these young
would-be migrants to learn more about the realities of emigration
today, giving them information on which to base a more realistic
assessment of their situation.
Order of the days
The meetings will work in the following manner: several deported or
sent back people will speak about ten minutes each, others will write
texts about their experience on large sheets which will be pinned to
the walls where they can be read by everyone during the two days.
These testimonies will open a general debate, specifically with the
people waiting to depart.
Following and in reaction to this part of accounts and reactions of
the public, there will be four discussions on issues relevant to the
members of the AME and Malian society in general. These debates will
be facilitated by qualified people.
This public meeting is also supposed to be attractive and inviting.
There will be two sketches, played by deported migrants, directed by
a professionnal. The people are invited to play their own stories.
The sketches will be inspired by the Malian tradition of the
“nyogolon”, a kind of street theatre that speaks directly to the
One sketch will deal with the issue of expulsions, the other that of
the holding back of would-be emigrants in the North of Mali.
Preparing these sketches will involve the deported migrants in an
attractive, educational, and paid activity.
The common meal at noon will be an opportunity for relaxation and
On Saturday evening there will be a concert, in another place more
suited to this. This will make it possible to reach a larger public.
We will choose artists who sing about emigration. Members of the AME
will be there to give some information about our association. There
will be a fee for the concert, but it will be moderate. The AME will
explain that this participation of the specators is a support for the
deported and the sent back.
A dozen local radio stations are involved and will give space to
members of the AME in the context of programs dealing with the issue
of migration and giving information about the content of the public
meeting on 15th and 16th March. These programs will start four weeks
in advance of the meetings.
Association malienne des expulsés,
1074 ; Rue Pavé Korofina-Nord,
B.P : 9155 Bamako
Secrétariat: 224 30 16, Président : 678 21 11,
S.Général : 912 10 39,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org,