African migrant workers march on eve of summit

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Hundreds of migrant workers marched in the French Riviera city of Nice on Sunday, on the eve of a France-Africa summit that is expected to touch on immigration.

President Nicolas Sarkozy will join 38 African leaders on Monday for the Africa-France summit, touted as the launch of renewed ties between Paris and the continent.

"Our goal is to ask France, as the organiser of this summit with African states, to provide working papers for all those who are undocumented," said Sissoko Anzoumane, spokesman for the group.

About 500 demonstrators marched in downtown Nice, most of whom are of African origin, and they asked to meet with African leaders to discuss their plight.

Some of the protestors were taking part in a national march that began in Paris on May 1 and stopped in several cities to draw attention to the fate of undocumented workers.

Between 200,000 and 400,000 people are employed in France's construction and restaurant sectors without the proper work visas.

Under Sarkozy's administration, France has negotiated several accords with African countries to try to rein in illegal immigration.

© 2010 AFP

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