from Bamako fo Dakar: caravan-tour for freedom of movement and fair development

25.Dec.10 - From February 6th to 11th, 2011 the 11th World Social Forum will take place in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. This is why from mid-January bus and car caravans will start their journey to Dakar from several places in Africa.

One of those caravans is the WSF Citizens Caravan for Freedom of Movement and Equitable Development, which will begin in Bamako. It expects 200 to 400 participants mainly from African (especially West African) countries. There will be several actions, for example against the EUs border protection agency Frontex and illegal deportations from Mauretania to Mali, which are sponsored by the EU. There will also be political assemblies with the local population at the caravans stopping points. They will refer to the reasons for flight and migration as well as the situation of refugees and migrants, be it in transit countries or in the EU.

The detailed plans for those meetings will be drawn up by activists from Mali in cooperation with local preparation committees and will take into consideration the specific interests in the area (for example, there will be a meeting about African feminism and migration in Kaolack, Senegal). The caravan is mainly organised by west African grassroots initiatives; the overall coordination is carried out by the AME (Association Malienne des Expulses, Association of Deported People of Mali), which is based in Bamako. One of the main European-based activist groups in the organisation of the Caravan is Afrique-Europe-Interact. About 50 people from our network, who are based in Europe, will participate, amongst them refugees and migrants, who have been through the European border-, camp-, and deportation regime the hard way, in person and body, and who succeeded in fighting this regime. We also plan to organise intense public information campaigns in Europe prior to, during and after the caravan.

The starting date for the Bamako-Dakar caravan is January 26th, 2011. On that date, further caravans will arrive in Bamako, among them one that started in Yaounde, Cameroon on January 15th. On January 27th we will start our 1,200 kilometre journey to Dakar. It is divided into nine sections and will stop in Mali as well as Senegal. On February 5th the caravan will participate in the Global Charter of Migrants, a strategy congress initiated by self-organised migrant groups in Morocco, which will take place on the island of Gorée off the shore of Dakar. From February 6th to 11th the World Social Forum will take place – including events Afrique-Europe-Interact will organise with other cooperating partners. And on February 12th, the return trip to Bamako will begin (even if ome of the Europe-based activists of our network will return directly from Dakar).

More informations about the tour and about the background in english, french and german at: