Switzerland and Nigeria to cooperate on migration

Switzerland and Nigeria have signed a wide-ranging deal on migration, the first of its kind between the Swiss government and an African state.

This content was published on February 14, 2011 - 17:24 and agencies

Following a meeting on Monday with Nigerian Foreign Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga told a news conference that the forced deportations of Nigerians residing illegally in Switzerland would be continued.

The repatriations resumed in mid-January, having been put on hold following the death of a rejected Nigerian asylum seeker as he was about to be put on a plane at Zurich Airport last March.

The “migration partnership” signed on Monday between Sommaruga and Ajumogobia governs a range of areas of cooperation including legal migration and joint programmes on training and further education, return assistance, readmission and reintegration assistance, and the prevention of illegal migration.

In a statement, the justice ministry said the “agreement reflects a comprehensive and global approach to dealing with matters of migration, acknowledging all of its attendant problems and opportunities”.

Switzerland has signed three similar accords to date; all with Balkan countries.
In 2010, a total of 1,969 Nigerian citizens asked for asylum in Switzerland. In the same period, Bern declined to consider the requests of 1,670 asylum seekers from Nigeria under the terms of the Dublin Agreement, which establishes which country is responsible for an asylum application.

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