by Ismail Akwei, at 12:30 pm, December 06, 2017, World

Why German pilots are refusing to fly deportees back to Africa, Middle East

German pilots have interrupted the deportation of over 200 rejected asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East following their refusal to fly planes carrying deportees.

The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) reported that the pilots refused to be part of the controversial deportations while raising safety concerns in the country of origin.

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa refused to carry out 85 deportations between January and September 2017 at the Dusseldorf and Frankfurt airports where protests were regularly held to stop the return of refugees.

“The decision not to carry a passenger is ultimately made by the pilot on a case by case basis. If he or she had the impression that flight safety could be affected, he must refuse to transport the passenger,” Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty told local media Westdeutsche Allegeimeine Zeitung.

Germany has been overwhelmed by asylum seekers from Nigeria and Afghanistan who are deported if they fail to win their case.

388,201 asylum cases were decided in the first six months of 2017, European statistics agency Eurostat disclosed.

In February, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development disclosed that more than 12,000 Nigerian asylum seekers may face deportation since the country is not at war and does not persecute citizens over their political views.

Days after the disclosure, the German authorities announced a programme aimed at financially rewarding asylum seekers who are willing to return to their countries of origin. By February 2018, rejected asylum seekers will be given 3,000 euros ($3,545) incentive to return home.

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