17 May 2009

Road through Agadez

Refugiados en Malta / Refugees in Malta
Refugees in Malta. Photo by Olmovich

I just report a very interesting reportage which I found on the magazine Espresso Online about the new routes of illegal immigrants, coming from Niger and nearby states, traveling in rows of 30 to 50 caravans and trucks, until the coasts of Libya, trying to reach Europe. Unfortunately the reportage is in italian only but here there are some interactive maps that one can see. Even a nice video.

Travel conditions of the immigrants are worsening, since their road passes through the now militarized city of Agadez and continues in territories mainly controlled by the tuareg rebels, financed by the French Government in order to push on the so-called uranium war. The Italian Government, while hammering the public opinion with security-concerns, has signed bilateral treaties with Libyan leader Muammar Gheddafi and with Nicolas Sarkozy, officially in order to regulate the matter, but actually to give the nulla osta to France's strategy to destabilize the region and to make some propaganda with Gheddafi.

Now the immigrants travel together with the Libyan army to reach the seashores, before paying easily even 5.000 euros to start a trip to Italy, Greece or Spain that has the 10% chance to be mortal. Actually the amount of immigrants who reach Europe is not so huge: in Italy they are around 6.000 a year, barely enough to replace Italy's shrinking population; anyhow the result of strengthening control, security etc. has only produced a shift of the route, every time more dangerous (increasing the number of deaths) but maybe more lucrative. Obviously the mudin don't want to lose their profits, neither immigrants to remain home, so the main "european gate" from Tripoli-Lybia to Lampedusa-Italy just shifted to Annaba-Algeria to Cagliari-Italy.

No need to say that since one lets these people leave their places and travel 300 km in the desert paying an enormous amount of money, carries them with the army along the way and leaves them on the seashores waiting for a ship, it is absurd to stop them in the open sea and to bring them back: where to? Especially if everybody from the Libyan Government to the Italian one (and the whole EU) knows the way things work.


NIGER1.COM said...

yes I am from Niger and i know a lot of these stories
I amange the website www.niger1.com
email me at niger1.com@gmail.com

Marco Capitanio said...

Interesting website: I think you effort to enhance Niger's visibility is quite remarkable. To me it is so impressive how the border between Europe and Africa is on one hand so banal (the sea) and on the other so complex, invisible, carrying many questions on the way the International Community deals with this problems... (and how many interest of the same old people lay behind).

NIGER1.COM said...

Hello the USA has the same issue with Mexicans and Cubans
poverty and search for freedom is what make them put their lives on the line for that