• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'Algeria and Morocco must take back deportees': Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal during a news conference following talks in Berlin this week. Photo: DPA

'Algeria and Morocco must take back deportees': Berlin

AFP · 16 Jan 2016, 11:41

Published: 16 Jan 2016 11:41 GMT+01:00

Alarmed by the spike in North African arrivals, German authorities want their countries of origin to help in their swift repatriations, in order to free up resources to deal with asylum seekers fleeing war and violence.

But the German authorities have in recent weeks flagged problems in expelling Algerians and Moroccans, saying their countries of origin were often unwilling to take them back because of missing identity documents.

"We have a repatriation agreement. That means, everything is regulated on paper. But in practice, we know that it remains problematic in some cases," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

"That must be dealt with so that the agreement can be put into action."

All foreigners who did not have residency rights in Germany are required to leave, including citizens of North Africa, he said. "And there we have to talk about how the repatriations can be carried out."

READ ALSOHuge gulf in crime rates among migrant groups

Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue this week when Algeria's Abdelmalek Sellal visited, although the Algerian premier had sounded a note of caution, saying it was essential  to first "ensure that they really are Algerians".

Under pressure over the same issue, Tunisia has also raised concerns about the true identity of potential deportees.

"There are asylum seekers in Europe who destroy their identity documents and once they are arrested by police, they pretend to be Tunisians even though they are not," an official from the Tunisian foreign ministry said.

"The state has to ensure that the migrants are really Tunisians. Sometimes these checks take time," he added.

The numbers of Algerian asylum seekers arriving in Germany rose from 847 in June to 2,296 in December, while those from Morocco jumped from 368 to 2,896, the interior ministry said.

Story continues below…

The issue has taken on a new urgency following a shocking spate of sexual assaults against  women on New Year's Eve, which has been blamed on North African and other Arab migrants.

Cologne police said 652 complaints have been filed over the violence, including 331 relating to sexual violence.

Of 19 suspects identified by Cologne police so far, 14 are from Morocco or Algeria.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

How plainclothes cops caused panic at Munich shooting
Photo: DPA

Plainclothes officers can help in fight against gun attacks. But Munich showed that they can lead to confusion in efforts to track down the real attackers.

Immigration and integration Germany's 'biggest challenge'
Migrants queuing at a reception centre in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Eighty-three percent of Germans see immigration as Germany's "biggest challenge" - that's twice as many as a year ago, and more than in any of the other countries surveyed.

Ansbach suicide attack
Sleepy Bavarian town left shocked by suicide attack
Ansbach. Photo: DPA

Residents of Ansbach were left reeling Monday after a Syrian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a music festival, shattering the sleepy calm of this picture-postcard southern German city.

Rapturous reception at Wagner fest's opening night
Bayreuther festival 2016, Parsifal. Photo: DPA

Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, got off to a rapturous start on Monday with a brand new production of the composer's last opera, "Parsifal", enthusiastically received by the first-night audience.

Erdogan accuses EU of not paying up under migrant deal
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the EU of not paying its way under a deal to send Syrian refugees back across the Aegean.

Ansbach suicide attack
Isis says Syrian bomber in Bavaria one of its 'soldiers'
Photo: DPA

The Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany was a "soldier" of the Isis, the jihadist-linked Amaq news agency said on Monday.

Merkel's refugee policy was 'reckless': Left Party leader
Photo: DPA

The attacks carried out by refugees over the past week show accepting large numbers of refugees brings "significant problems", the party's chairwoman said on Monday.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd