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Repatriation flights to Nigeria to resume

Switzerland and Nigeria have agreed to resume repatriation flights of rejected asylum seekers in January as part of a planned agreement on migration.

Such operations were suspended last March following the death of Nigerian man during deportation.

At a news conference on Friday senior officials of the Swiss and the Nigerian foreign ministries announced the conclusion of negotiations on a wide-ranging partnership on migration between the two countries.

The memorandum of understanding covers issues including human rights, vocational training as well as repatriation and reintegration. It is to be signed next year.

Peter Maurer, state secretary in the Swiss foreign ministry, underlined the pioneering role of such a partnership – the first with an African country.

Martin Uhomoibhi, permanent secretary of the Nigerian foreign ministry, described the memorandum as a “good working document”.

Both sides stressed that migration must not be considered as illegal and that basic rights must be observed. They also highlighted the mutual interests in cooperation on migration matters.

Nigerians, who currently make up about 11 per cent of asylum requests, suffer from a bad reputation amid allegations of involvement in drug dealing.


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