This online 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.
Authors Jérôme Tubiana, Clotilde Warin and Gaffar Mohammud Saeneen find 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.