"For humanitarian reasons, [Bouteflika] has given strict orders against expelling Malian refugees who are illegally present in Algeria," Saeeda bin Hbelis, head of the Algerian Red Crescent, told The Anadolu Agency.
She said the number of Malian refugees in Algeria could not be accurately estimated, as many of them had entered the country illegally and were scattered throughout several Algerian cities.
This summer, Algiers began hosting negotiations between the central government in neighboring Mali and six rebel groups from northern Mali's disputed Azawad region.
Moreover, Algeria has amassed tens of thousands of troops in recent months on its borders with Libya, Mali, Niger and Tunisia to prevent infiltration by militants and smuggling activities.
Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked groups to take over the northern half the country.
In early 2013, former colonial power France sent troops to Mali and – with the help of Chadian and other African forces – flushed Islamist militants from the country's main northern cities.