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Giving Compass' Take:
· News Deeply talks with Mahamane Ousmane, a people smuggler located in Niger, and reports recent statistics from the E.U. that show roughly 75 percent of all African migrants arriving by boat in Italy are from Niger. Although Federica Mogherini has considered Niger a 'model' for migration, there has been a crackdown in the northern area.
· Many people in Niger make a living off of mgration. How will these individuals support their families now?
· Read about the UN's evacuation of refugees from Libya to Niger.
Mahamane Ousmane is an unrepentant people smuggler. He makes no effort to deny transporting migrants “countless times” across the Sahara into Libya. When he is released from prison in Niger’s desert city of Agadez, he intends to return to the same work.
The 32-year-old is even more adamant he has done nothing wrong. “I don’t like criminals. I am no thief. I have killed no one,” he says.
As Ousmane speaks, a small circle of fellow inmates in filthy football shirts and flip-flops murmur in agreement. The prison at Agadez, where the French once stabled their horses in colonial times, now houses an increasing number of people smugglers. These “passeurs,” as they are known in French, have found themselves on the wrong side of a recent law criminalizing the movement of migrants north of Agadez.
Aji Dan Chef Halidou, the prison director who has gathered the group in his office, does his best to explain. “Driving migrants out into the Sahara is very dangerous, that’s why it is now illegal,” he interjects.
Ousmane, a member of the Tubu tribe, an ethnic group that straddles the border between Niger and Libya, is having none of it. “Nobody ever got hurt driving with me,” he insists. “You just have to drive at night because in the day the sun can kill people.”
Read the full article about Niger's migration laboratory by Daniel Howden and Giacomo Zandonini at News Deeply.