Tag Archives: Nigeria

Migration: Saharan Smuggling Route

As noted in our event on the migration crisis in Europe, political leaders are preparing to meet in Malta in order to discuss measures to curtail the influx of migrants and refugees from Africa to Europe. In this fantastic article, entitled On the road in Agadez: desperation and death along a Saharan smuggling route Patrick Kingsley meets the smugglers and the smuggled on a route through the desert from Niger. As written by Patrick Kingsley: The going rate between Agadez and Libya is thought to be about 150,000 West African francs (CFA), or £166. But one traveller said he paid as much as €500 (£363), while Mahamadou claims he charges each of his 30 passengers as little as 50,000 CFA (£55). Even this amount is more than many in west Africa earn in one month, and perhaps counter-intuitively, that is why people are paying it. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), most of those who pass through Agadez are not fleeing wars or political repression (unlike the vast majority of those reaching Europe from other routes, who are mostly refugees). Instead, they are largely trying to find a way out of grinding poverty. The international community does not deem this a legitimate reason to seek a new life in Europe. But the people passing through Agadez do, otherwise they wouldn’t risk death in trying it. Continue reading