The First Group of Refugees from Africa Find a Haven in France

African Refugees

On Monday this week, the French government accepted the first 29 refugees from Africa that were identified under a policy of overhaul asylum. The policy is set to send away thousands of economic immigrants from France. The strategy by the French government does not have to deal with an outcry from its citizens. However, there is stiff competition from charities that take care of immigrants. 22 of these charitable groups have since called Jacques Toubon, the French ombudsman, to intervene in the situation through an open letter.

A Protestant group and the Caritas Catholic charity in Paris wrote a letter jointly to the French President Emmanuel Macron. In the letter, the religious charity groups criticised the move as an unthought-of renunciation of the traditions and humanist values that have been characteristic of Paris since time immemorial. One of the refugees from the Central African Republic, Djamel, landed at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris accompanied by his family of four children and his wife. Djamel had spent four years at a Chadian refugee camp. Djamel told the AFP that France was his family since he did have any other.

The refugees were brought to France from the Chadian camp in the capital city of N’Djamena where 1,000 refugees lived together with Djamel. The refugees are from war-tone countries in the African continent such as South Sudan. The program which has received a significant backing from the French president, Emmanuel Macron was set to prevent escaping refugees from the African continent from having their lives at risk when trying to cross the Mediterranean. The program seeks to identify 3,000 refugees and migrate them to Europe before the end of 2019. Since the start of the European immigration crisis in 2015, over 3,000 African refugees have lost their lives while trying to use rickety boats to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

President Macron issued a statement last month that had a deep commitment to the French tradition of welcoming refugees from war-tone nations. However, Macron said that the French government would not hesitate to deport anyone who was in the country illegally or did not meet the threshold requirements that qualify a person for asylum. Macron also admitted that the program was subject to changes that would be as a result of shifts in the geopolitical arena in the Middle East and the migrations to Europe as a result of the effects of global warming. Macron identified Niger and Chad as the host spots that need urgent refugee asylum.

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