FECL 44 (June 1996):

SCHENGEN CHARTER FLIGHTS TO ZAIRE

Among the less known consequences of the entry into force of the Schengen Convention is the concerted organisation by France, Germany and the Netherlands of the return of unwanted Zairians to their country.

Since the entry into force of the Schengen Convention in March 1995, at least 11 joint charter flights to Zaire have taken place.

The flights, to Kinshasa-Ndjili airport, started alternately in The Netherlands and France. According to a survey made by AK Asyl BawŁ, an asylum organisation in Baden-Wurttemberg, at least 290 Zairians were deported in such concerted operations by the three Schengen-member states.

In one case in 1995, AK Asyl BawŁ was able to prove that a Zairian asylum seeker from Baden-Wurttemberg was arrested and tortured by the Zairian special forces, DSP (Division Speciale Presidentielle), upon arrival at Kinshasa-Ndjili airport. The DSP is in charge of security at the airport. This makes it difficult for Zairian human rights organisations to investigate what happens with deportees from Europe, when they arrive in Zaire.

 

Source: Note of AK Asyl BawŁ, 26.3.96; see also FECL No.42: "JOINT DEPORTATION OF ZAIRIANS BY FRANCE, GERMANY AND HOLLAND".