Authorities have been exploring ways to divert some refugee flows to the continent, the outlet reports
Germany is working on a plan to send some asylum seekers to Africa while their cases are pending, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Berlin is considering asking Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and other African countries to house some asylum seekers while their applications are processed, as the procedure can take "years," the newspaper said, citing unnamed German officials.
The proposals are still being negotiated but could include the permanent resettlement in these countries of people who do not win refugee status, according to the WSJ's sources. The scheme could also be used to encourage those who are eligible for protection in Germany to settle in third countries.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz, his top aides and key ministers "have been exploring deals to reroute some refugee flows through Africa for months and are now drafting offers to various governments," unnamed officials told the WSJ.
News of the potential change in Germany's migration policy comes after Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced plans to set up reception centers for asylum seekers in Albania. She insisted that the agreement "could become a model of cooperation between EU and non-EU countries in managing migration flows."
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has criticized the deal, accusing Italy and Albania of focusing on "preventing people from arriving in the EU rather than creating safe and legal avenues for those seeking refuge." It added that the idea of "processing migrants" was "deeply dehumanizing."
At the same time, the UK government is fighting a court battle to be allowed to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Attempts to arrange a flight carrying migrants to the East African country was blocked last year after legal challenges, although the UK High Court is expected to make a final decision next week.
According to The Times, Germany's immigration system is facing major challenges due to a rise in the number of asylum seekers, as well as the arrival of more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country since the start of Russia's military operation in February 2022.
Many local German authorities reportedly say they have reached full capacity and can no longer accept irregular migrants, while the number of people seeking asylum in the country over the course of 2023 is expected to exceed 300,000, The Times said.