World Bulletin / News Desk
Berlin wants Algeria and Morocco to take back their nationals with no residence permits in Germany after a sharp rise in asylum seekers from the two North African countries, officials said Friday.
German authorities have in recent weeks underlined problems arising in the expulsions of Algerians and Moroccans, noting that their countries of origin are 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 Steffen Seibert, government spokesman.
"That must be dealt with so that the agreement can be put into action," he said, adding that it is a "topic of discussion that we have with these countries," he said.
"All foreigners who, after a legal process, have been found to not have residence rights here would have to leave this country. And that applies, too, to citizens of North African countries and there we have to talk about how the repatriations can be carried out," he added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had already raised the issue when Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal visited this week, noted Seibert.
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.
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 a record migrant influx.
The issue has also gained new urgency following a shocking spate of sex assaults against women on New Year's Even blamed on Arab and North African 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.Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2016, 15:50