This report studies the effects of EU migration policies and the externalisation of EU border control on Saharan migration routes and on practices in the border regions connecting Niger, Chad, Sudan and Libya. The report finds that, in response to the obstacles and opportunities that border externalisation policies present for migrants, migration routes diversify and move to other countries. Beyond the fact that migration is a transnational phenomenon not linked to one particular route or itinerary, this continuous moving of routes is made possible by cross-border Saharan trade and trafficking networks that have put in place the necessary logistics to facilitate migration and which often fall outside government control. Pushed by EU efforts to curtail migration, states such as Niger, Chad and Sudan have shored up border patrols and anti-smuggling operations in the border regions under study here. The report shows that this has been done in a manner that is often not conducive to stability in the region and which contributes to the ‘militia-isation’ – the growing power of militias whose presence undermines the state – of the countries at issue.
About the authors
Jérôme Tubiana is an independent researcher specialised in Sudan, Niger and Chad. He has conducted numerous field research missions in conflict areas for various organizations, most notably the Small Arms Survey and the International Crisis Group and various humanitarian NGOs’. His publications include the books Chroniques du Darfour (Glénat, 2010) and Guantánamo Kid (Dargaud, 2018), and various articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the London Review of Books, Le Monde diplomatique and XXI.
Clotilde Warin is in charge of the migration issue for the think tank Confrontations Europe (Paris) and editor-in-chief of Confrontations Europe the Review, a quarterly publication. As a journalist and researcher, she has worked in Ethiopia and Chad and has published numerous articles in the French media.
Gaffar Mohammud Saeneen works for Emmaus Solidarity Movement in Paris. He has also been working as a translator (Arabic, Zaghawa, English). He is the vice-president and co-founder of the refugee solidarity association « Espoir d’Ici et d’Ailleurs ». Originally from Darfur (Sudan), he is a refugee in France since eight years.
© Jérôme Tubiana