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#UpRooted Stories

Spotlight: Niger

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Agadaz, Niger has become infamous as the last stop for migrants and refugees being smuggled into Europe, Algeria or Libya. Once only known for its uranium and salt mines, as well as its scolding temperatures of above 45 degrees Celsius, it is now a transit centre for migrants.

Recently, Algerian and Libyan authorities have been rounding up migrants and forcibly sending them home, as many, once in these countries, work as beggars. This happened to Maman, 17, and other boys from Zinder who had been working as beggars in Algeria and were forcibly sent home back to Niger. Since the E.U largely stopped mass migration in Europe, people like Maman will wait for months in some cases for a chance to move on from this in-between place, or be moved back home.
 

Pictured here, we see Daoussiya Gimai, 7, being reunited with her mother (in yellow) after being forced to go to Algeria with her father to beg. He believed it to be “best for the family” and although her mother did not approve, she had no choice but to go with him. She was quickly sent home by Algerian authorities, where her father had avoided the round resulting in Daoussiya making the long and perilous journey home without him.  

Children and women are pictured here at a transit center waiting to be sent home from Algeria.  Many travel from west african states to act as beggars, ironically ,when they arrive they are often met by local beggars who ask them money. ​
 

The Nigerien military can be seen driving through the Sahara desert with their .50 caliber machine gun mounted on top of their Toyota truck.  They are responsible for trying to stop caravans of migrants from crossing out of the Nigerian Border and fighting Terrorist groups at the same time. Al Qaida is active in this area, and with foreign support, the Military of Niger is fighting against not only this Terrorist group, but other militant groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram.
 

Codie Drake is originally from Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Kentucky Westleyan College . She will be concluding her Masters degree from Trinity College Dublin in International Peace Studies in November 2019. 

Selin Ozturk is originally from Toronto, Canada. She has her bachelors degree from George Washington University in Political Science. She will be concluding her Masters degree from Trinity College Dublin in International Peace Studies in November 2019. Selin has focused her studies and work around refugees, women and children’s issues.

This page was designed & written by Selin Ozturk & Codie Drake