• The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).
      Lobby

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-costruzione-di-muri-un-business.html

    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

      In recent years, rising calls for deterrence have intensified the physical violence migrants face at the EU border. The externalization of the border through deals with sending and transit countries signals the expansion of this securitization process. Financial gains by international arms firms in this militarization trend form an obstacle for policy change.

      In March, April, and May of this year, multiple European countries deployed military forces to their national borders. This was done to assist with controls and patrols in the wake of border closures and other movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 crisis. Poland deployed 1,460 soldiers to the border to support the Border Guard and police as part of a larger military operation in reaction to Covid-19. And the Portuguese police used military drones as a complement to their land border checks. According to overviews from NATO, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands (military police), Slovakia, and Slovenia all stationed armed forces at their national borders.

      While some of these deployments have been or will be rolled back as the Corona crisis dies down, they are not exceptional developments. Rather, using armed forces for border security and control has been a common occurrence at EU external borders since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. They are part of the continuing militarisation of European border and migration policies, which is known to put refugees at risk but is increasingly being expanded to third party countries. Successful lobbying from the military and security industry has been an important driver for these policies, from which large European arms companies have benefited.

      The militarization of borders happens when EU member states send armies to border regions, as they did in Operation Sophia off the Libyan coast. This was the first outright EU military mission to stop migration. But border militarization also includes the use of military equipment for migration control, such as helicopters and patrol vessels, as well as the the EU-wide surveillance system Eurosur, which connects surveillance data from all individual member states. Furthermore, EU countries now have over 1,000 kilometers of walls and fences on their borders. These are rigged with surveillance, monitoring, and detection technologies, and accompanied by an increasing use of drones and other autonomous systems. The EU also funds a constant stream of Research & Technology (R&T) projects to develop new technologies and services to monitor and manage migration.

      This process has been going on for decades. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, and the subsequent creation of the Schengen Area, which coupled the opening of the internal EU borders with robust control at the external borders, can be seen as a starting point for these developments. After 2011, when the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ led to fears of mass migration to Europe, and especially since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the EU accelerated the boosting and militarising of border security, enormously. Since then, stopping migration has been at the top of the EU agenda.

      An increasingly important part of the process of border militarization isn’t happening at the European borders, but far beyond them. The EU and its member states are incentivizing third party countries to help stop migrants long before they reach Europe. This externalising of borders has taken many forms, from expanding the goals of EUCAP missions in Mali and Niger to include the prevention of irregular migration, to funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard to return refugees back to torture and starvation in the infamous detention centers in Libya. It also includes the donation of border security equipment, for example from Germany to Tunisia, and funding for purchases, such as Turkey’s acquisition of coast guard vessels to strengthen its operational capacities.

      Next to the direct consequences of European border externalisation efforts, these policies cause and worsen problems in the third party countries concerned: diverting development funds and priorities, ruining migration-based economies, and strengthening authoritarian regimes such as those in Chad, Belarus, Eritrea, and Sudan by providing funding, training and equipment to their military and security forces. Precisely these state organs are most responsible for repression and abuses of human rights. All this feeds drivers of migration, including violence, repression, and unemployment. As such, it is almost a guarantee for more refugees in the future.

      EU border security agency Frontex has also extended its operations into non-EU-countries. Ongoing negotiations and conclusions of agreements with Balkan countries resulted in the first operation in Albania having started in May 2019. And this is only a small part of Frontex’ expanding role in recent years. In response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the European Commission launched a series of proposals that saw large increases in the powers of the agency, including giving member states binding advice to boost their border security, and giving Frontex the right to intervene in member states’ affairs (even without their consent) by decision of the Commission or Council.

      These proposals also included the creation of a 10,000 person strong standing corps of border guards and a budget to buy or lease its own equipment. Concretely, Frontex started with a budget of €6 million in 2005, which grew to €143 million in 2015. This was then quickly increased again from €239 million in 2016 to €460 million in 2020. The enormous expansion of EU border security and control has been accompanied by rapidly increasing budgets in general. In recent years, billions of euros have been spent on fortifying borders, setting up biometric databases, increasing surveillance capacities, and paying non-EU-countries to play their parts in this expansion process.

      Negotiations about the next seven-year-budget for the EU, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, are still ongoing. In the European Commission’s latest proposal, which is clearly positioned as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund for strengthening member states’ border security, the Integrated Border Management Fund, has been allotted €12.5 billion. Its predecessors, the External Borders Fund (2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders (2014-2020), had much smaller budgets: €1.76 billion and €2.70 billion, respectively. For Frontex, €7.5 billion is reserved, with €2.2 billion earmarked for purchasing or leasing equipment such as helicopters, drones, and patrol vessels. These huge budget increases are exemplary of the priority the EU attaches to stopping migration.

      The narrative underlying these policies and budget growths is the perception of migration as a threat; a security problem. As researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz (Centre Delàs) writes, “the securitisation process also includes militarisation,” because “the prevailing paradigm for providing security is based on military principles: the use of force and coercion, more weapons equating to more security, and the achievement of security by eliminating threats.”

      This narrative hasn’t come out of the blue. It is pushed by right wing politicians and often followed by centrist and leftist parties afraid of losing voters. Importantly, it is also promoted by an extensive and successful industrial lobby. According to Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Assistant Professor in Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University), arms companies “establish themselves as experts on border security, and use this position to frame immigration to Europe as leading to evermore security threats in need of evermore advanced [security] products.” The narrative of migration as a security problem thus sets the stage for militaries, and the security companies behind the commercial arms lobby, to offer their goods and services as the solution. The range of militarization policies mentioned so far reflects the broad adoption of this narrative.

      The lobby organizations of large European military and security companies regularly interact with the European Commission and EU border agencies. They have meetings, organise roundtables, and see each other at military and security fairs and conferences. Industry representatives also take part in official advisory groups, are invited to present new arms and technologies, and write policy proposals. These proposals can sometimes be so influential that they are adopted as policy, almost unamended.

      This happened, for instance, when the the Commission decided to open up the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, a fund meant for peace-building and conflict prevention. The fund’s terms were expanded to cover provision of third party countries with non-lethal security equipment, for example, for border security purposes. The new policy document for this turned out to be a step-by-step reproduction of an earlier proposal from lobby organisation, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Yet, perhaps the most far-reaching success of this kind is the expansion of Frontex, itself, into a European Border Guard. Years before it actually happened, the industry had already been pushing for this outcome.

      The same companies that are at the forefront of the border security and control lobby are, not surprisingly, also the big winners of EU and member states’ contracts in these areas. These include three of the largest European (and global) arms companies, namely, Airbus (Paneuropean), Leonardo (Italy) and Thales (France). These companies are active in many aspects of the border security and control market. Airbus’ and Leonardo’s main product in this field are helicopters, with EU funds paying for many purchases by EU and third countries. Thales provides radar, for example, for border patrol vessels, and is heavily involved in biometric and digital identification, especially after having acquired market leader, Gemalto, last year.

      These three companies are the main beneficiaries of the European anti-migration obsession. At the same time, these very three companies also contribute to new migration streams to Europe’s shores through their trade in arms. They are responsible for significant parts of Europe’s arms exports to countries at war, and they provide the arms used by parties in internal armed conflicts, by human rights violators, and by repressive regimes. These are the forces fueling the reasons for which people are forced to flee in the first place.

      Many other military and security companies also earn up to hundreds of millions of euros from large border security and control projects oriented around logistics and transport. Dutch shipbuilder Damen provided not only many southern European countries with border patrol vessels, but also controversially sold those to Libya and Turkey, among others. Its ships have also been used in Frontex operations, in Operation Sophia, and on the Channel between Calais and Dover.

      The Spanish company, European Security Fencing, provided razor wire for the fences around the Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco, as well as the fence at Calais and the fences on the borders of Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and Greece leased border surveillance drones from Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These are Israeli military companies that routinely promote their products as ‘combat-proven’ or ‘battlefield tested’ against Palestinians.

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe. These are just a few examples of the companies that benefit from the billions of euros that the EU and its member states spend on a broad range of purchases and projects in their bid to stop migration.

      The numbers of forcibly displaced people in the world grew to a staggering 79.5 million by the end of last year. Instead of helping to eliminate the root causes of migration, EU border and migration policies, as well as its arms exports to the rest of the world, are bound to lead to more refugees in the future. The consequences of these policies have already been devastating. As experts in the field of migration have repeatedly warned, the militarisation of borders primarily pushes migrants to take alternative migration routes that are often more dangerous and involve the risks of relying on criminal smuggling networks. The Mediterranean Sea has become a sad witness of this, turning into a graveyard for a growing percentage of refugees trying to cross it.

      The EU approach to border security doesn’t stand on its own. Many other countries, in particular Western ones and those with authoritarian leaders, follow the same narrative and policies. Governments all over the world, but particularly those in the US, Australia, and Europe, continue to spend billions of euros on border security and control equipment and services. And they plan to increase budgets even more in the coming years. For military and security companies, this is good news; the global border security market is expected to grow by over 7% annually for the next five years to a total of $65 billion in 2025. It looks like they will belong to the very few winners of increasingly restrictive policies targeting vulnerable people on the run.

      https://crisismag.net/2020/06/27/how-the-arms-industry-drives-fortress-europes-expansion
      #industrie_militaire #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières_extérieures #Operation_Sophia #Eurosur #surveillance #drones #technologie #EUCAP #externalisation #Albanie #budget #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund #menace #lobby_industriel #Instrument_contributing_to_Security_and_Peace #conflits #paix #prévention_de_conflits #Aerospace_and_Defence_Industries_Association_of_Europe (#ASD) #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #hélicoptères #radar #biométrie #identification_digitale #Gemalto #commerce_d'armes #armement #Damen #European_Security_Fencing #barbelé #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) #Elbit #Israel_Aerospace_Industries (#IAI) #Civipol #Safran #base_de_données

      –—

      Pour @etraces :

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe

    • GUARDING THE FORTRESS. The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union

      The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.

      This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.

      The report focuses on analysing the tools deployed by Fortress Europe, in this case through Frontex, to prevent the freedom of movement and the right to asylum, from its creation in 2004 to the present day.

      The sources used to write this report were from the EU and Frontex, based on its budgets and annual reports. The analysis focused on the Frontex regulations, the language used and its meaning, as well as the budgetary trends, identifying the most significant items – namely, the joint operations and migrant-return operations.

      A table was compiled of all the joint operations mentioned in the annual reports since the Agency was established in 2005 up to 2018 (see annexes). The joint operations were found on government websites but were not mentioned in the Frontex annual reports. Of these operations, we analysed those of the longest duration, or that have showed recent signs of becoming long-term operations. The joint operations are analysed in terms of their objectives, area of action, the mandates of the personnel deployed, and their most noteworthy characteristics.

      Basically, the research sought to answer the following questions: What policies are being implemented in border areas and in what context? How does Frontex act in response to migration movements? A second objective was to analyse how Frontex securitises the movement of refugees and other migrants, with the aim of contributing to the analysis of the process of border militarisation and the security policies applied to non-EU migrants by the EU and its Member States.

      https://www.tni.org/en/guarding-the-fortress

      Pour télécharger le rapport_
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/informe40_eng_ok.pdf

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

      For three years, Frontex has been chartering small aircraft for the surveillance of the EU’s external borders. First Italy was thus supported, then Croatia followed. Frontex keeps the planes details secret, and the companies also switch off the transponders for position display during operations.

      The European Commission does not want to make public which private surveillance planes Frontex uses in the Mediterranean. In the non-public answer to a parliamentary question, the EU border agency writes that the information on the aircraft is „commercially confidential“ as it contains „personal data and sensitive operational information“.

      Frontex offers EU member states the option of monitoring their external borders using aircraft. For this „Frontex Aerial Surveillance Service“ (FASS), Frontex charters twin-engined airplanes from European companies. Italy first made use of the service in 2017, followed a year later by Croatia. In 2018, Frontex carried out at least 1,800 flight hours under the FASS, no figures are yet available for 2019.

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

      The FASS flights are carried out under the umbrella of „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, which includes satellite surveillance as well as drones. Before the end of this year, the border agency plans to station large drones in the Mediterranean for up to four years. The situation pictures of the European Union’s „pre-frontier area“ are fed into the surveillance system EUROSUR, whose headquarter is located at Frontex in Warsaw. The national EUROSUR contact points, for example in Spain, Portugal and Italy, also receive this information.

      In addition to private charter planes, Frontex also uses aircraft and helicopters provided by EU Member States, in the central Mediterranean via the „Themis“ mission. The EU Commission also keeps the call signs of the state aircraft operating there secret. They would be considered „sensitive operational information“ and could not be disclosed to MEPs.

      Previously, the FOIA platform „Frag den Staat“ („Ask the State“) had also tried to find out details about the sea and air capacities of the member states in „Themis“. Frontex refused to provide any information on this matter. „Frag den Staat“ lost a case against Frontex before the European Court of Justice and is now to pay 23,700 Euros to the agency for legal fees.

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

      The confidentiality of Frontex comes as a surprise, because companies that monitor the Mediterranean for the agency are known through a tender. Frontex has signed framework contracts with the Spanish arms group Indra as well as the charter companies CAE Aviation (Canada), Diamond-Executive Aviation (Great Britain) and EASP Air (Netherlands). Frontex is spending up to 14.5 million euros each on the contracts.

      Finally, online service providers such as FlightAware can also be used to draw conclusions about which private and state airplanes are flying for Frontex in the Mediterranean. For real-time positioning, the providers use data from ADS-B transponders, which all larger aircraft must have installed. A worldwide community of non-commercial trackers receives this geodata and feeds it into the Internet. In this way, for example, Italian journalist Sergio Scandura documents practically all movements of Frontex aerial assets in the central Mediterranean.

      Among the aircraft tracked this way are the twin-engined „DA-42“, „DA-62“ and „Beech 350“ of Diamond-Executive Aviation, which patrol the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of Frontex as „Osprey1“, „Osprey3“ and „Tasty“, in former times also „Osprey2“ and „Eagle1“. They are all operated by Diamond-Executive Aviation and take off and land at airports in Malta and Sicily.

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

      In accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees, the EU Border Agency may not return people to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Libya is not a safe haven; this assessment has been reiterated on several occasions by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

      Because these „push-backs“ are prohibited, Frontex has since 2017 been helping with so-called „pull-backs“ by bringing refugees back to Libya by the Libyan coast guard rather than by EU units. With the „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, Frontex is de facto conducting air reconnaissance for Libya. By November 2019, the EU border agency had notified Libyan authorities about refugee boats on the high seas in at least 42 cases.

      Many international law experts consider this practice illegal. Since Libya would not be able to track down the refugees without the help of Frontex, the agency must take responsibility for the refoulements. The lawyers Omer Shatz and Juan Branco therefore want to sue responsibles of the European Union before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Frontex watches refugees drown

      This is probably the reason why Frontex disguises the exact location of its air surveillance. Private maritime rescue organisations have repeatedly pointed out that Frontex aircrafts occasionally switch off their transponders so that they cannot be tracked via ADS-B. In the answer now available, this is confirmed by the EU Commission. According to this, the visibility of the aircraft would disclose „sensitive operational information“ and, in combination with other kinds of information, „undermine“ the operational objectives.

      The German Ministry of the Interior had already made similar comments on the Federal Police’s assets in Frontex missions, according to which „general tracking“ of their routes in real time would „endanger the success of the mission“.

      However, Frontex claims it did not issue instructions to online service providers to block the real-time position display of its planes, as journalist Scandura described. Nonetheless, the existing concealment of the operations only allows the conclusion that Frontex does not want to be controlled when the deployed aircraft watch refugees drown and Italy and Malta, as neighbouring EU member states, do not provide any assistance.

      https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/11/frontex-aircraft-blind-flight-against-international-law
      #avions #Italie #Croatie #confidentialité #transparence #Frontex_Aerial_Surveillance_Service (#FASS) #Multipurpose_Aerial_Surveillance #satellites #Méditerranée #Thermis #information_sensible #Indra #CAE_Aviation #Diamond-Executive_Aviation #EASP_Air #FlightAware #ADS-B #DA-42 #DA-62 #Beech_350 #Osprey1 #Osprey3 #Tasty #Osprey2 #Eagle1 #Malte #Sicile #pull-back #push-back #refoulement #Sergio_Scandura

    • Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation - webinar recording
      This webinar explored the trajectory and globalization of border militarization and anti-migrant racism across the world, the history, ideologies and actors that have shaped it, the pillars and policies that underpin the border industrial complex, the resistance of migrants, refugees and activists, and the shifting dynamics within this pandemic.

      - #Harsha_Walia, author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
      - #Jille_Belisario, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E)
      - #Todd_Miller, author of Empire of Borders (2020), Storming the Wall (2019) and TNI’s report More than A Wall (2019)
      - #Kavita_Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).
      https://www.tni.org/en/article/walls-must-fall
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8B-cJ2bTi8&feature=emb_logo

      #conférence #webinar

  • Le Niger, #nouvelle frontière de l’Europe et #laboratoire de l’asile

    Les politiques migratoires européennes, toujours plus restrictives, se tournent vers le Sahel, et notamment vers le Niger – espace de transit entre le nord et le sud du Sahara. Devenu « frontière » de l’Europe, environné par des pays en conflit, le Niger accueille un nombre important de réfugiés sur son sol et renvoie ceux qui n’ont pas le droit à cette protection. Il ne le fait pas seul. La présence de l’Union européenne et des organisations internationales est visible dans le pays ; des opérations militaires y sont menées par des armées étrangères, notamment pour lutter contre la pression terroriste à ses frontières... au risque de brouiller les cartes entre enjeux sécuritaires et enjeux humanitaires.

    On confond souvent son nom avec celui de son voisin anglophone, le Nigéria, et peu de gens savent le placer sur une carte. Pourtant, le Niger est un des grands pays du Sahel, cette bande désertique qui court de l’Atlantique à la mer Rouge, et l’un des rares pays stables d’Afrique de l’Ouest qui offrent encore une possibilité de transit vers la Libye et la Méditerranée. Environné par des pays en conflit ou touchés par le terrorisme de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes, le Niger accueille les populations qui fuient le Mali et la région du lac Tchad et celles évacuées de Libye.

    « Dans ce contexte d’instabilité régionale et de contrôle accru des déplacements, la distinction entre l’approche sécuritaire et l’approche humanitaire s’est brouillée », explique la chercheuse Florence Boyer, fellow de l’Institut Convergences Migrations, actuellement accueillie au Niger à l’Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. Géographe et anthropologue (affiliée à l’Urmis au sein de l’IRD, l’Institut de recherche pour le Développement), elle connaît bien le Niger, où elle se rend régulièrement depuis vingt ans pour étudier les migrations internes et externes des Nigériens vers l’Algérie ou la Libye voisines, au nord, et les pays du Golfe de Guinée, au sud et à l’ouest. Sa recherche porte actuellement sur le rôle que le Niger a accepté d’endosser dans la gestion des migrations depuis 2014, à la demande de plusieurs membres de l’Union européenne (UE) pris dans la crise de l’accueil des migrants.
    De la libre circulation au contrôle des frontières

    « Jusqu’à 2015, le Niger est resté cet espace traversé par des milliers d’Africains de l’Ouest et de Nigériens remontant vers la Libye sans qu’il y ait aucune entrave à la circulation ou presque », raconte la chercheuse. La plupart venaient y travailler. Peu tentaient la traversée vers l’Europe, mais dès le début des années 2000, l’UE, Italie en tête, cherche à freiner ce mouvement en négociant avec Kadhafi, déplaçant ainsi la frontière de l’Europe de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée. La chute du dictateur libyen, dans le contexte des révolutions arabes de 2011, bouleverse la donne. Déchirée par une guerre civile, la Libye peine à retenir les migrants qui cherchent une issue vers l’Europe. Par sa position géographique et sa relative stabilité, le Niger s’impose progressivement comme un partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’UE.

    « Le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. »

    Marco Prencipe, ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey

    Le rôle croissant du Niger dans la gestion des flux migratoires de l’Afrique vers l’Europe a modifié les parcours des migrants, notamment pour ceux qui passent par Agadez, dernière ville du nord avant la traversée du Sahara. Membre du Groupe d’études et de recherches Migrations internationales, Espaces, Sociétés (Germes) à Niamey, Florence Boyer observe ces mouvements et constate la présence grandissante dans la capitale nigérienne du Haut-Commissariat des Nations-Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) et de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) chargée, entre autres missions, d’assister les retours de migrants dans leur pays.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlIwqYKrw7c

    « L’île de Lampedusa se trouve aussi loin du Nord de l’Italie que de la frontière nigérienne, note Marco Prencipe, l’ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey, le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. » Une affirmation reprise par plusieurs fonctionnaires de la délégation de l’UE au Niger rencontrés par Florence Boyer et Pascaline Chappart. La chercheuse, sur le terrain à Niamey, effectue une étude comparée sur des mécanismes d’externalisation de la frontière au Niger et au Mexique. « Depuis plusieurs années, la politique extérieure des migrations de l’UE vise à délocaliser les contrôles et à les placer de plus en plus au sud du territoire européen, explique la postdoctorante à l’IRD, le mécanisme est complexe : les enjeux pour l’Europe sont à la fois communautaires et nationaux, chaque État membre ayant sa propre politique ».

    En novembre 2015, lors du sommet euro-africain de La Valette sur la migration, les autorités européennes lancent le Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique « en faveur de la stabilité et de la lutte contre les causes profondes de la migration irrégulière et du phénomène des personnes déplacées en Afrique ». Doté à ce jour de 4,2 milliards d’euros, le FFUA finance plusieurs types de projets, associant le développement à la sécurité, la gestion des migrations à la protection humanitaire.

    Le président nigérien considère que son pays, un des plus pauvres de la planète, occupe une position privilégiée pour contrôler les migrations dans la région. Le Niger est désormais le premier bénéficiaire du Fonds fiduciaire, devant des pays de départ comme la Somalie, le Nigéria et surtout l’Érythrée d’où vient le plus grand nombre de demandeurs d’asile en Europe.

    « Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre lutte contre le terrorisme et lutte contre l’immigration “irrégulière”. »

    Florence Boyer, géographe et anthropologue

    Pour l’anthropologue Julien Brachet, « le Niger est peu à peu devenu un pays cobaye des politiques anti-migrations de l’Union européenne, (...) les moyens financiers et matériels pour lutter contre l’immigration irrégulière étant décuplés ». Ainsi, la mission européenne EUCAP Sahel Niger a ouvert une antenne permanente à Agadez en 2016 dans le but d’« assister les autorités nigériennes locales et nationales, ainsi que les forces de sécurité, dans le développement de politiques, de techniques et de procédures permettant d’améliorer le contrôle et la lutte contre les migrations irrégulières ».

    « Tout cela ne serait pas possible sans l’aval du Niger, qui est aussi à la table des négociations, rappelle Florence Boyer. Il ne faut pas oublier qu’il doit faire face à la pression de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes terroristes à ses frontières. Il a donc intérêt à se doter d’instruments et de personnels mieux formés. Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre la lutte contre le terrorisme et la lutte contre l’immigration "irrégulière". »

    Peu avant le sommet de La Valette en 2015, le Niger promulgue la loi n°2015-36 sur « le trafic illicite de migrants ». Elle pénalise l’hébergement et le transport des migrants ayant l’intention de franchir illégalement la frontière. Ceux que l’on qualifiait jusque-là de « chauffeurs » ou de « transporteurs » au volant de « voitures taliban » (des 4x4 pick-up transportant entre 20 et 30 personnes) deviennent des « passeurs ». Une centaine d’arrestations et de saisies de véhicules mettent fin à ce qui était de longue date une source légale de revenus au nord du Niger. « Le but reste de bloquer la route qui mène vers la Libye, explique Pascaline Chappart. L’appui qu’apportent l’UE et certains pays européens en coopérant avec la police, les douanes et la justice nigérienne, particulièrement en les formant et les équipant, a pour but de rendre l’État présent sur l’ensemble de son territoire. »

    Des voix s’élèvent contre ces contrôles installés aux frontières du Niger sous la pression de l’Europe. Pour Hamidou Nabara de l’ONG nigérienne JMED (Jeunesse-Enfance-Migration-Développement), qui lutte contre la pauvreté pour retenir les jeunes désireux de quitter le pays, ces dispositifs violent le principe de la liberté de circulation adopté par les pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest dans le cadre de la Cedeao. « La situation des migrants s’est détériorée, dénonce-t-il, car si la migration s’est tarie, elle continue sous des voies différentes et plus dangereuses ». La traversée du Sahara est plus périlleuse que jamais, confirme Florence Boyer : « Le nombre de routes s’est multiplié loin des contrôles, mais aussi des points d’eau et des secours. À ce jour, nous ne disposons pas d’estimations solides sur le nombre de morts dans le désert, contrairement à ce qui se passe en Méditerranée ».

    Partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’Union européenne, le Niger a également développé une politique de l’asile. Il accepte de recevoir des populations en fuite, expulsées ou évacuées des pays voisins : les expulsés d’Algérie recueillis à la frontière, les rapatriés nigériens dont l’État prend en charge le retour de Libye, les réfugiés en lien avec les conflits de la zone, notamment au Mali et dans la région du lac Tchad, et enfin les personnes évacuées de Libye par le HCR. Le Niger octroie le statut de réfugié à ceux installés sur son sol qui y ont droit. Certains, particulièrement vulnérables selon le HCR, pourront être réinstallés en Europe ou en Amérique du Nord dans des pays volontaires.
    Une plateforme pour la « réinstallation »
    en Europe et en Amérique

    Cette procédure de réinstallation à partir du Niger n’a rien d’exceptionnel. Les Syriens réfugiés au Liban, par exemple, bénéficient aussi de l’action du HCR qui les sélectionne pour déposer une demande d’asile dans un pays dit « sûr ». La particularité du Niger est de servir de plateforme pour la réinstallation de personnes évacuées de Libye. « Le Niger est devenu une sorte de laboratoire de l’asile, raconte Florence Boyer, notamment par la mise en place de l’Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM). »

    L’ETM, proposé par le HCR, est lancé en août 2017 à Paris par l’Allemagne, l’Espagne, la France et l’Italie — côté UE — et le Niger, le Tchad et la Libye — côté africain. Ils publient une déclaration conjointe sur les « missions de protection en vue de la réinstallation de réfugiés en Europe ». Ce dispositif se présente comme le pendant humanitaire de la politique de lutte contre « les réseaux d’immigration économique irrégulière » et les « retours volontaires » des migrants irréguliers dans leur pays effectués par l’OIM. Le processus s’accélère en novembre de la même année, suite à un reportage de CNN sur des cas d’esclavagisme de migrants en Libye. Fin 2017, 3 800 places sont promises par les pays occidentaux qui participent, à des degrés divers, à ce programme d’urgence. Le HCR annonce 6 606 places aujourd’hui, proposées par 14 pays européens et américains1.

    Trois catégories de personnes peuvent bénéficier de la réinstallation grâce à ce programme : évacués d’urgence depuis la Libye, demandeurs d’asile au sein d’un flux dit « mixte » mêlant migrants et réfugiés et personnes fuyant les conflits du Mali ou du Nigéria. Seule une minorité aura la possibilité d’être réinstallée depuis le Niger vers un pays occidental. Le profiling (selon le vocabulaire du HCR) de ceux qui pourront bénéficier de cette protection s’effectue dès les camps de détention libyens. Il consiste à repérer les plus vulnérables qui pourront prétendre au statut de réfugié et à la réinstallation.

    Une fois évacuées de Libye, ces personnes bénéficient d’une procédure accélérée pour l’obtention du statut de réfugié au Niger. Elles ne posent pas de problème au HCR, qui juge leur récit limpide. La Commission nationale d’éligibilité au statut des réfugiés (CNE), qui est l’administration de l’asile au Niger, accepte de valider la sélection de l’organisation onusienne. Les réfugiés sont pris en charge dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, construit récemment à une vingtaine de kilomètres de la capitale nigérienne, le temps que le HCR prépare la demande de réinstallation dans un pays occidental, multipliant les entretiens avec les réfugiés concernés. Certains pays, comme le Canada ou la Suède, ne mandatent pas leurs services sur place, déléguant au HCR la sélection. D’autres, comme la France, envoient leurs agents pour un nouvel entretien (voir ce reportage sur la visite de l’Ofpra à Niamey fin 2018).

    Parmi les évacués de Libye, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays dit « sûr ».

    Depuis deux ans, près de 4 000 personnes ont été évacuées de Libye dans le but d’être réinstallées, selon le HCR (5 300 autres ont été prises en charge par l’OIM et « retournées » dans leur pays). Un millier ont été évacuées directement vers l’Europe et le Canada et près de 3 000 vers le Niger. C’est peu par rapport aux 50 800 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile enregistrés auprès de l’organisation onusienne en Libye au 12 août 2019. Et très peu sur l’ensemble des 663 400 migrants qui s’y trouvent selon l’OIM. La guerre civile qui déchire le pays rend la situation encore plus urgente.

    Parmi les personnes évacuées de Libye vers le Niger, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays volontaire, selon le HCR. À ce jour, moins de la moitié ont été effectivement réinstallés, notamment en France (voir notre article sur l’accueil de réfugiés dans les communes rurales françaises).

    Malgré la publicité faite autour du programme de réinstallation, le HCR déplore la lenteur du processus pour répondre à cette situation d’urgence. « Le problème est que les pays de réinstallation n’offrent pas de places assez vite, regrette Fatou Ndiaye, en charge du programme ETM au Niger, alors que notre pays hôte a négocié un maximum de 1 500 évacués sur son sol au même moment. » Le programme coordonné du Niger ne fait pas exception : le HCR rappelait en février 2019 que, sur les 19,9 millions de réfugiés relevant de sa compétence à travers le monde, moins d’1 % sont réinstallés dans un pays sûr.

    Le dispositif ETM, que le HCR du Niger qualifie de « couloir de l’espoir », concerne seulement ceux qui se trouvent dans un camp accessible par l’organisation en Libye (l’un d’eux a été bombardé en juillet dernier) et uniquement sept nationalités considérées par les autorités libyennes (qui n’ont pas signé la convention de Genève) comme pouvant relever du droit d’asile (Éthiopiens Oromo, Érythréens, Iraquiens, Somaliens, Syriens, Palestiniens et Soudanais du Darfour).

    « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses. »

    Pascaline Chappart, socio-anthropologue

    En décembre 2018, des Soudanais manifestaient devant les bureaux d’ETM à Niamey pour dénoncer « un traitement discriminatoire (...) par rapport aux Éthiopiens et Somaliens » favorisés, selon eux, par le programme. La représentante du HCR au Niger a répondu à une radio locale que « la plupart de ces Soudanais [venaient] du Tchad où ils ont déjà été reconnus comme réfugiés et que, techniquement, c’est le Tchad qui les protège et fait la réinstallation ». C’est effectivement la règle en matière de droit humanitaire mais, remarque Florence Boyer, « comment demander à des réfugiés qui ont quitté les camps tchadiens, pour beaucoup en raison de l’insécurité, d’y retourner sans avoir aucune garantie ? ».

    La position de la France

    La question du respect des règles en matière de droit d’asile se pose pour les personnes qui bénéficient du programme d’urgence. En France, par exemple, pas de recours possible auprès de l’Ofpra en cas de refus du statut de réfugié. Pour Pascaline Chappart, qui achève deux ans d’enquêtes au Niger et au Mexique, il y a là une part d’hypocrisie : « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses par la mer ou le désert ». « Il est quasiment impossible dans le pays de départ de se présenter aux consulats des pays “sûrs” pour une demande d’asile », renchérit Florence Boyer. Elle donne l’exemple de Centre-Africains qui ont échappé aux combats dans leur pays, puis à la traite et aux violences au Nigéria, en Algérie puis en Libye, avant de redescendre au Niger : « Ils auraient dû avoir la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile dès Bangui ! Le cadre législatif les y autorise. »

    En ce matin brûlant d’avril, dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, Mebratu2, un jeune Érythréen de 26 ans, affiche un large sourire. À l’ombre de la tente qu’il partage et a décorée avec d’autres jeunes de son pays, il annonce qu’il s’envolera le 9 mai pour Paris. Comme tant d’autres, il a fui le service militaire à vie imposé par la dictature du président Issayas Afeworki. Mebratu était convaincu que l’Europe lui offrirait la liberté, mais il a dû croupir deux ans dans les prisons libyennes. S’il ne connaît pas sa destination finale en France, il sait d’où il vient : « Je ne pensais pas que je serais vivant aujourd’hui. En Libye, on pouvait mourir pour une plaisanterie. Merci la France. »

    Mebratu a pris un vol pour Paris en mai dernier, financé par l’Union européenne et opéré par l’#OIM. En France, la Délégation interministérielle à l’hébergement et à l’accès au logement (Dihal) confie la prise en charge de ces réinstallés à 24 opérateurs, associations nationales ou locales, pendant un an. Plusieurs départements et localités françaises ont accepté d’accueillir ces réfugiés particulièrement vulnérables après des années d’errance et de violences.

    Pour le deuxième article de notre numéro spécial de rentrée, nous nous rendons en Dordogne dans des communes rurales qui accueillent ces « réinstallés » arrivés via le Niger.

    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/08/30/defacto-10
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Europe #UE #EU #sécuritaire #humanitaire #approche_sécuritaire #approche_humanitaire #libre_circulation #fermeture_des_frontières #printemps_arabe #Kadhafi #Libye #Agadez #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #HCR #OIM #IOM #retour_au_pays #renvois #expulsions #Fonds_fiduciaire #Fonds_fiduciaire_d'urgence_pour_l'Afrique #FFUA #développement #sécurité #EUCAP_Sahel_Niger #La_Valette #passeurs #politique_d'asile #réinstallation #hub #Emergency_Transit_Mechanism (#ETM) #retours_volontaires #profiling #tri #sélection #vulnérabilité #évacuation #procédure_accélérée #Hamdallaye #camps_de_réfugiés #ofpra #couloir_de_l’espoir

    co-écrit par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765325

  • Au #Niger, l’UE mise sur la #police_locale pour traquer les migrants

    Au Niger, l’Union européenne finance le contrôle biométrique des frontières. Avec pour objectif la lutte contre l’immigration, et dans une opacité parfois très grande sur les méthodes utilisées.

    Niger, envoyé spécial.– Deux semaines après une attaque meurtrière attribuée aux groupes armés djihadistes, un silence épais règne autour du poste de la gendarmerie de Makalondi, à la frontière entre le Niger et le Burkina Faso. Ce jour de novembre 2018, un militaire nettoie son fusil avec un torchon, des cartouches scintillantes éparpillées à ses pieds. Des traces de balles sur le mur blanc du petit bâtiment signalent la direction de l’attaque. Sur le pas de la porte, un jeune gendarme montre son bras bandé, pendant que ses collègues creusent une tranchée et empilent des sacs de sable.
    L’assaut, à 100 kilomètres au sud de la capitale Niamey, a convaincu le gouvernement du Niger d’étendre les mesures d’état d’urgence, déjà adoptées dans sept départements frontaliers avec le Mali, à toute la frontière avec le Burkina Faso. La sécurité a également été renforcée sur le poste de police, à moins d’un kilomètre de distance de celui de la gendarmerie, où les agents s’affairent à une autre mission : gérer les flux migratoires.
    « On est les pionniers, au Niger », explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana, montrant les équipements installés dans un bâtiment en préfabriqué. Des capteurs d’empreintes sont alignés sur un comptoir, accompagnés d’un scanneur de documents, d’une microcaméra et d’un ordinateur. « Ici, on enregistre les données biométriques de tous les passagers qui entrent et sortent du pays, on ajoute des informations personnelles et puis on envoie tout à Niamey, où les données sont centralisées. »
    Makalondi est le premier poste au Niger à avoir installé le Midas, système d’information et d’analyse de données sur la migration, en septembre 2018. C’est la première étape d’un projet de biométrisation des frontières terrestres du pays, financé par l’UE et le #Japon, et réalisé conjointement par l’#OIM, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations – créatrice et propriétaire du système #Midas –, et #Eucap_Sahel_Niger, la mission de sécurité civile de Bruxelles.


    Au cœur de ce projet, il y a la Direction pour la surveillance du territoire (DST), la police aux frontières nigérienne, dont le rôle s’est accru au même rythme que l’intérêt européen à réduire la migration via le Niger. Dans un quartier central de Niamey, le bureau du directeur Abdourahamane Alpha est un oasis de tranquillité au milieu de la tempête. Tout autour, les agents tourbillonnent, en se mêlant aux travailleurs chinois qui renouvellent leur visa et aux migrants ouest-africains sans papiers, en attente d’expulsion.
    Dessinant une carte sur un morceau de papier, le commissaire Alpha trace la stratégie du Niger « pour contrôler 5 000 kilomètres de frontière avec sept pays ». Il évoque ainsi les opérations antiterrorisme de la force G5 Sahel et le soutien de l’UE à une nouvelle compagnie mobile de gardes-frontières, à lancer au printemps 2019.
    Concernant le Midas, adopté depuis 2009 par 23 pays du monde, « le premier défi est d’équiper tous les postes de frontière terrestre », souligne Alpha. Selon l’OIM, six nouveaux postes devraient être équipés d’ici à mi-2020.

    Un rapport interne réalisé à l’été 2018 et financé par l’UE, obtenu par Mediapart, estime que seulement un poste sur les douze visités, celui de Sabon Birni sur la frontière avec le Nigeria, est apte à une installation rapide du système Midas. Des raisons de sécurité, un flux trop bas et composé surtout de travailleurs frontaliers, ou encore la nécessité de rénover les structures (pour la plupart bâties par la GIZ, la coopération allemande, entre 2015 et 2016), expliquent l’évaluation prudente sur l’adoption du Midas.
    Bien que l’installation de ce système soit balbutiante, Abdourahamane Alpha entrevoit déjà le jour où leurs « bases de données seront connectées avec celles de l’UE ». Pour l’instant, du siège de Niamey, les agents de police peuvent consulter en temps quasi réel les empreintes d’un Ghanéen entrant par le Burkina Faso, sur un bus de ligne.
    À partir de mars 2019, ils pourront aussi les confronter avec les fichiers du Pisces, le système biométrique du département d’État des États-Unis, installé à l’aéroport international de Niamey. Puis aux bases de données d’Interpol et du Wapis, le système d’information pour la police de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, un fichier biométrique financé par le Fonds européen de développement dans seize pays de la région.
    Mais si le raccordement avec des bases de données de Bruxelles, envisagé par le commissaire Alpha, semble une hypothèse encore lointaine, l’UE exerce déjà un droit de regard indirect sur les écrans de la police nigérienne, à travers Frontex, l’agence pour le contrôle des frontières externes.

    Frontex a en effet choisi le Niger comme partenaire privilégié pour le contrôle migratoire sur la route dite de la Méditerranée centrale. En août 2017, l’agence y a déployé son unique officier de liaison en Afrique et a lancé, en novembre 2018, la première cellule d’analyse de risques dans le continent. Un projet financé par la coopération au développement de l’UE : 4 millions d’euros destinés à ouvrir des cellules similaires dans huit pays subsahariens.
    L’agence n’a dévoilé à Mediapart que six documents sur onze relatifs à ses liens avec le Niger, en rappelant la nécessité de « protéger l’intérêt public concernant les relations internationales ». Un des documents envoyés concerne les cellules d’analyse de risques, présentées comme des bureaux équipés et financés par Frontex à l’intérieur des autorités de contrôle des frontières du pays, où des analystes formés par l’agence – mais dépendants de l’administration nationale – auront accès aux bases de données.
    Dans la version intégrale du document, que Mediapart a finalement pu se procurer, et qui avait été expurgée par Frontex, on apprend que « les bases de données du MIDAS, PISCES et Securiport [compagnie privée de Washington qui opère dans le Mali voisin, mais pas au Niger – ndlr] seront prises en considération comme sources dans le plan de collecte de données ».
    En dépit de l’indépendance officielle des cellules par rapport à Frontex, revendiquée par l’agence, on peut y lire aussi que chaque cellule aura une adresse mail sur le serveur de Frontex et que les informations seront échangées sur une plateforme digitale de l’UE. Un graphique, également invisible dans la version expurgée, montre que les données collectées sont destinées à Frontex et aux autres cellules, plutôt qu’aux autorités nationales.
    Selon un fonctionnaire local, la France aurait par ailleurs fait pression pour obtenir les fichiers biométriques des demandeurs d’asile en attente d’être réinstallés à Paris, dans le cadre d’un programme de réinstallation géré par le UNHCR.
    La nouvelle Haute Autorité pour la protection des données personnelles, opérationnelle depuis octobre 2018, ne devrait pas manquer de travail. Outre le Midas, le Pisces et le Wapis, le Haut Commissariat pour les réfugiés a enregistré dans son système Bims les données de presque 250 000 réfugiés et déplacés internes, tandis que la plus grande base biométrique du pays – le fichier électoral – sera bientôt réalisée.
    Pendant ce temps, au poste de frontière de Makalondi, un dimanche de décembre 2018, les préoccupations communes de Niamey et Bruxelles se matérialisent quand les minibus Toyota laissent la place aux bus longue distance, reliant les capitales d’Afrique occidentale à Agadez, au centre du pays, avec escale à Niamey. Des agents fouillent les bagages, tandis que les passagers attendent de se faire enregistrer.
    « Depuis l’intensification des contrôles, en 2016, le passage a chuté brusquement, explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana. En parallèle, les voies de contournement se sont multipliées : si on ferme ici, les passeurs changent de route, et cela peut continuer à l’infini. »
    Les contrôles terminés, les policiers se préparent à monter la garde. « Car les terroristes, eux, frappent à la nuit, et nous ne sommes pas encore bien équipés », conclut le commissaire, inquiet.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280219/au-niger-l-ue-mise-sur-la-police-locale-pour-traquer-les-migrants
    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #traque #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #EU #UE #Eucap #biométrie #organisation_internationale_contre_les_migrations #IOM

    J’ajoute à la métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    • Biometrics: The new frontier of EU migration policy in Niger

      The EU’s strategy for controlling irregular West African migration is not just about asking partner countries to help stop the flow of people crossing the Mediterranean – it also includes sharing data on who is trying to make the trip and identifying to which countries they can be returned.

      Take Niger, a key transit country for migrants arriving in Europe via Libya.

      European money and technical assistance have flowed into Niger for several years, funding beefed-up border security and supporting controversial legislation that criminalises “migrant trafficking” and has led to a sharp fall in the registered number of people travelling through the country to reach Libya – down from 298,000 in 2016 to 50,000 in 2018.

      Such cooperation is justified by the “moral duty to tackle the loss of lives in the desert and in the Mediterranean”, according to the EU’s head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini. It was also a response to the surge in arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants to European shores in 2015-16, encouraging the outsourcing of control to African governments in return for development aid.

      In April, as a further deterrent to fresh arrivals, the European Parliament passed a tougher “Regulation” for #Frontex – the EU border guard agency – authorising stepped-up returns of migrants without proper documentation to their countries of origin.

      The regulation is expected to come into force by early December after its formal adoption by the European Council.

      The proposed tougher mandate will rely in part on biometric information stored on linked databases in Africa and Europe. It is a step rights campaigners say not only jeopardises the civil liberties of asylum seekers and others in need of protection, but one that may also fall foul of EU data privacy legislation.

      In reply to a request for comment, Frontex told The New Humanitarian it was “not in the position to discuss details of the draft regulation as it is an ongoing process.”

      Niger on the frontline

      Niger is a key country for Europe’s twin strategic goals of migration control and counter-terrorism – with better data increasingly playing a part in both objectives.

      The #Makalondi police station-cum-immigration post on Niger’s southern border with Burkina Faso is on the front line of this approach – one link in the ever-expanding chain that is the EU’s information-driven response to border management and security.

      When TNH visited in December 2018, the hot Sunday afternoon torpor evaporated when three international buses pulled up and disgorged dozens of travellers into the parking area.

      “In Niger, we are the pioneers.”

      They were mostly Burkinabès and Nigeriens who travelled abroad for work and, as thousands of their fellow citizens do every week, took the 12-hour drive from the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou, to the Niger capital, Niamey.

      As policemen searched their bags, the passengers waited to be registered with the new biometric #Migration_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System, or #MIDAS, which captures fingerprints and facial images for transmission to a central #database in Niamey.

      MIDAS has been developed by the International Organisation for Migration (#IOM) as a rugged, low-cost solution to monitor migration flows.

      “In Niger, we are the pioneers,” said Ismael Soumana, the police commissioner of Makalondi. A thin, smiling man, Soumana proudly showed off the eight new machines installed since September at the entry and exit desks of a one-storey prefabricated building. Each workstation was equipped with fingerprint and documents scanners, a small camera, and a PC.
      Data sharing

      The data from Makalondi is stored on the servers of the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DTS), Niger’s border police. After Makalondi and #Gaya, on the Benin-Niger border, IOM has ambitious plans to instal MIDAS in at least eight more border posts by mid-2020 – although deteriorating security conditions due to jihadist-linked attacks could interrupt the rollout.

      IOM provides MIDAS free of charge to at least 20 countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Its introduction in Niger was funded by Japan, while the EU paid for an initial assessment study and the electrical units that support the system. In addition to the border posts, two mobile MIDAS-equipped trucks, financed by #Canada, will be deployed along the desert trails to Libya or Algeria in the remote north.

      MIDAS is owned by the Nigerien government, which will be “the only one able to access the data,” IOM told TNH. But it is up to Niamey with whom they share that information.

      MIDAS is already linked to #PISCES (#Personal_Identification_Secure_Comparison_and_Evaluation_System), a biometric registration arm of the US Department of State installed at Niamey international airport and connected to #INTERPOL’s alert lists.

      Niger hosts the first of eight planned “#Risk_Analysis_Cells” in Africa set up by Frontex and based inside its border police directorate. The unit collects data on cross-border crime and security threats and, as such, will rely on systems such as #PISCES and MIDAS – although Frontex insists no “personal data” is collected and used in generating its crime statistics.

      A new office is being built for the Niger border police directorate by the United States to house both systems.

      The #West_African_Police_Information_System, a huge criminal database covering 16 West African countries, funded by the EU and implemented by INTERPOL, could be another digital library of fingerprints linking to MIDAS.

      Frontex programmes intersect with other data initiatives, such as the #Free_Movement_of_Persons_and_Migration_in_West_Africa, an EU-funded project run by the IOM in all 15-member Economic Community of West African States. One of the aims of the scheme is to introduce biometric identity cards for West African citizens.

      Frontex’s potential interest is clear. “If a European country has a migrant suspected to be Ivorian, they can ask the local government to match in their system the biometric data they have. In this way, they should be able to identify people,” IOM programme coordinator Frantz Celestine told TNH.

      The push for returns

      Only 37 percent of non-EU citizens ordered to leave the bloc in 2017 actually did so. In his 2018 State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged a “stronger and more effective European return policy” – although some migration analysts argue what is needed are more channels for legal migration.

      Part of the problem has been that implementing a returns policy is notoriously hard – due in part to the costs of deportation and the lack of cooperation by countries of origin to identify their citizens. Europe has had difficulty in finalising formal accords with so-called third countries unwilling to lose remittances from those abroad.

      The Commission is shifting to “informal arrangements [that] keep readmission deals largely out of sight” – serving to ease the domestic pressure on governments who cooperate on returns, according to European law researcher, Jonathan Slagter.

      The new Frontex regulation provides a much broader mandate for border surveillance, returns, and cooperation with third countries.

      It contains provisions to “significantly step up the effective and sustainable return of irregular migrants”. Among the mechanisms is the “operation and maintenance of a platform for the exchange of data”, as a tool to reinforce the return system “in cooperation with the authorities of the relevant third countries”. That includes access to MIDAS and PISCES.

      Under the new Frontex policy, in order to better identify those to be deported, the agency will be able “to restrict certain rights of data subjects”, specifically related to the protection and access to personal data granted by EU legislation.

      That, for example, will allow the “transfer of personal data of returnees to third countries” - even in cases where readmission agreements for deportees do not exist.

      Not enough data protection

      The concern is that the expanded mandate on returns is not accompanied by appropriate safeguards on data protection. The #European_Data_Protection_Supervisor – the EU’s independent data protection authority – has faulted the new regulation for not conducting an initial impact study, and has called for its provisions to be reassessed “to ensure consistency with the currently applicable EU legislation”.

      “Given the extent of data sharing, the regulation does not put in place the necessary human rights safeguards."

      Mariana Gkliati, a researcher at the University of Leiden working on Frontex human rights accountability, argues that data on the proposed centralised return management platform – shared with third countries – could prove detrimental for the safety of people seeking protection.

      “Given the extent of data sharing, the regulation does not put in place the necessary human rights safeguards and could be perceived as giving a green light for a blanket sharing with the third country of all information that may be considered relevant for returns,” she told TNH.

      “Frontex is turning into an #information_hub,” Gkliati added. “Its new powers on data processing and sharing can have a major impact on the rights of persons, beyond the protection of personal data.”

      For prospective migrants at the Makalondi border post, their data is likely to travel a lot more freely than they can.

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/06/06/biometrics-new-frontier-eu-migration-policy-niger
      #empreintes_digitales #OIM #identification #renvois #expulsions #échange_de_données

      ping @albertocampiphoto @karine4 @daphne @marty @isskein

  • La #Mission_Eucap octroie à la police nationale du #Niger 6,5 Milliards FCFA pour le contrôle des frontières

    La #police nigérienne va bénéficier d’une enveloppe de 10 millions d’euros, soit 6,5 milliards FCFA, de la mission #Eucap_Sahel au Niger pour financer le projet de création de #Compagnies_mobiles_de_contrôle_des_frontières (#CMCF) dans toutes les régions du Niger. Ce, dans le but de lutter contre le crime organisé et la migration clandestine.

    Cette enveloppe est offerte précisément par les Pays-Bas à hauteur de 4 millions d’euros (2,6 milliards FCFA), et l’Allemagne 6 millions d’euros (3,9 milliards FCFA).

    « L’#Allemagne contribuera pour 6 millions et les #Pays-Bas pour 4 millions pour aider le gouvernement nigérien dans la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière, le trafic de drogue et des armes. », a précisé le ministre des Affaires étrangères des Pays-Bas Stef Blok.

    La convention matérialisant cet appui a été signée le 31 octobre, en présence du Chef de la délégation de l’Union européenne Denisa-Elena Ionete, du Chef de la mission Eucap Sahel au Niger Frank Van Der Mueren, et du ministre des Affaires étrangères des Pays-Bas.

    Pour mémoire, la mission Eucap Sahel avait déjà offert du #matériel d’une valeur de 15 millions FCFA à l’Agence nationale de lutte contre la traite des personnes et le trafic illicite de migrants (#ANLTP / #TIM), toujours dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme, le crime organisé, la traite des personnes et la migration clandestine.

    Eucap Sahel Niger est un instrument de développement et de stabilité de l’Union européenne, mise sur pied dans le cadre de la politique de sécurité et de défense commune. Lancée en 2012 au Niger, elle contribue au renforcement des capacités des forces de défense et de sécurité nigériennes dans le cadre de la lutte contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée.

    En 2018, sa mission a été prolongée au Niger pour une période de deux ans.

    https://www.niameyetles2jours.com/la-gestion-publique/securite/0111-3043-la-mission-eucap-octroie-a-la-police-nationale-du-niger

    • L’Allemagne et les Pays-Bas vont financer une police de contrôle au Niger

      L’Allemagne et les Pays-Bas vont débloquer 10 millions d’euros au Niger pour mettre sur pied des forces spéciales chargées de contrôler les frontières du pays africain notamment contre l’immigration illégale, a annoncé jeudi la mission civile européenne Eucap Sahel.

      Le Niger, les Pays-Bas et Eucap Sahel - qui aide depuis 2012 le Niger à lutter contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée - ont signé mercredi à Niamey la convention pour le financement de cette force dénommée Compagnies mobiles de contrôle des frontières (CMCF), selon Eucap Sahel.

      « Les Pays-Bas contribueront pour 4 millions d’euros et l’Allemagne pour 6 millions d’euros. Nous travaillerons avec le gouvernement nigérien dans la lutte contre la migration irrégulière, le trafic de drogue et des armes », a précisé à la télévision Stef Blok, le ministre des Affaires étrangères des Pays-Bas en visite au Niger.

      Les fonds seront confiés à Eucap Sahel et serviront à la formation, l’entrainement et l’équipement de centaines de policiers nigériens qui composeront les compagnie, a-t-il dit.

      Dans une première phase, deux compagnies fortes de 250 policiers nigériens seront positionnés à Maradi et Birn’in Konni, deux régions proches de la frontière avec le Nigeria, un des gros pourvoyeurs de clandestins transitant par le Niger pour l’Europe, a expliqué une source sécuritaire à l’AFP.

      « Grosso modo c’est pour combattre tout ce que nous avons comme défis : la migration illégale, le trafic des être humains, la drogue, le terrorisme », a expliqué Souley Boubacar, le patron de la police nigérienne.

      Selon les statistiques européennes, environ 90% des migrants d’Afrique de l’Ouest traversent le Niger pour gagner la Libye et l’Europe.

      Mi-juillet, lors d’une visite au Niger, le président du Parlement européen Antonio Tajani s’était réjoui de la chute « de plus de 95% » du flux de migrants transitant par le Niger vers la Libye et l’Europe, entre 2016 et 2017.

      https://www.voaafrique.com/a/l-allemagne-et-les-pays-bas-vont-financer-une-police-de-contr%C3%B4le-au-niger/4638602.html

    • Germany, Netherlands back Niger border force to counter migration

      Germany and the Netherlands have pledged to fund special forces in Niger to control its border and prevent illegal migration, the EU’s security mission in the country said Thursday.

      Niger is a transit country for thousands of migrants heading to Libya and Algeria, key hubs for migrants trying to reach Europe.

      Under the new plan, the two European nations will disburse €10 million to finance the new force, according to EUCAP Sahel, which provides support for Niger security forces.

      The funds would be used for training and equipping hundreds of Niger police officers.

      “Roughly speaking, it is to combat all our challenges: illegal migration, human trafficking, drugs, terrorism,” said Souley Boubacar, head of the Niger police.

      In the first phase, two companies of 250 Niger police will be positioned at Maradi and Birnin Konni — two regions on the troubled frontier with Nigeria that have become a key crossing point for migrants heading for Europe — a security source told AFP.

      It came after Germany held talks with Niger earlier this year, which took in discussions on migration issues. Angela Merkel welcomed the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, to Meseberg Castle in Brandenburg during the talks.

      The EU has been grappling with massive migration from Africa and the Middle East since 2015.

      Niger has become one of the main crossing routes for poor migrants, with 90 percent of West African migrants passing through the country, according to the EU.

      The Saharan route is notorious for its dangers, which include breakdowns, lack of water and callous traffickers who abandon migrants in the desert.

      Niger introduced a law making people-smuggling punishable by a jail term of up to 30 years in 2015.

      In July, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said the flow of migrants through Niger fell by 95 percent between 2016 and 2017.


      https://www.thelocal.de/20181101/germany-netherlands-back-niger-border-force-to-counter-migration
      #Allemagne #Pays-Bas

    • Appui de plus de 6,5 Milliards de FCFA de La Mission Eucap à la police nationale pour le contrôle des frontières

      Le Ministre des Affaires étrangères des Pays-Bas Monsieur STEF BLOK a procédé ce mercredi 31 octobre 2018 à la signature d’une convention avec le Chef de la mission Eucap Sahel au Niger Monsieur FRANK Van Der Mueren pour le compte de la police nationale du Niger représentée par son directeur général le Commissaire général de police Souley Boubacar et en présence du Chef de la délégation de l’Union Européenne Mme Denisa-Elena IONETE.
      D’un coût global de 10 millions d’euros dont 4 millions des Pays-Bas et 6 millions de l’Allemagne, ce mémorandum d’entente permettra de financer le projet de création de Compagnies Mobiles de Contrôle des Frontières (CMCF) dans toutes les régions du Niger.
      La création de ces nouvelles compagnies s’inscrit dans le cadre de la lutte contre la criminalité organisée et la migration irrégulière.
      Le Chef de la mission EUCAP SAHEL au Niger, Monsieur FRANK VAN DER MUEREN a tenu à souhaiter la bienvenue au Ministre STEF BLOK, à la délégation de la police nationale et aux participants à cette cérémonie.
      Il a, à cette occasion, souligné que ce projet s’inscrit dans le cadre ‘’des actions de l’Union Européenne au Niger’’ et ‘’c’est un geste politique très fort envers le Niger’’.
      Rappelons qu’EUCAP SAHEL est à son quatrième mandat au Niger dont le dernier court de 2018 à 2020. Sa mission principale est la lutte contre l’insécurité et la migration clandestine. EUCAP SAHEL au Niger emploie 115 agents internationaux et 15 nationaux.
      ‘’L’Allemagne contribuera pour 6 millions et les Pays-Bas pour 4 millions pour aider le gouvernement nigérien dans la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière, le trafic de drogue et des armes’’ a indiqué le ministre STEF BLOK au cours d’un point presse animée juste après la signature de cette convention.
      Le Commissaire général de police Directeur général de la police du Niger Souley Boubacar a exprimé toute sa satisfaction après cette signature avant d’ajouter que ‘’c’est pour combattre tout ce qu’il y a aujourd’hui comme défis de l’heure tels le trafic de drogue, d’armes, l’immigration irrégulière, le banditisme transfrontalier’’.
      Lancée en 2012, EUCAP Sahel Niger est une mission civile de l’Union européenne promouvant une politique de sécurité et de défense commune, rappelons-t-on. Elle apporte ses appuis dans le cadre de renforcement des forces de sécurité nigériennes.

      http://www.anp.ne/?q=article/appui-de-plus-de-6-5-milliards-de-fcfa-de-la-mission-eucap-la-police-nationale-p
      #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage « (Dé)passer la frontière » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

  • Beaucoup a déjà été publié sur seenthis sur l’#externalisation des frontières et sur la question du #tri et de la #catégorisation

    Sur ce fil, je réunis surtout les documents de la politique de #Macron à ce sujet. Il s’agit de messages que j’ai ajoutés à des messages d’autres personnes (pour éviter que si jamais l’auteur du message original quitte seenthis et efface son compte, moi je ne perds pas mes informations —> je vais faire cela assez systématiquement, quand j’ai le temps, dans les prochains mois = paranoïa de perte de données).

    Ces 2 fils restent tels quels car ils ont été initiés par moi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/618133
    https://seenthis.net/messages/531563
    Par contre, pour celui-ci, je vais copier les messages ci-dessous :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/625374
    #France
    #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    cc @isskein

    • Macron veut « identifier » les demandeurs d’asile au #Tchad et au Niger

      Lors d’un mini-sommet organisé à l’Élysée lundi 28 août, Paris, Berlin, Madrid et Rome ont proposé l’envoi de « missions de protection » au Niger et au Tchad dans le but d’identifier en amont les migrants éligibles à l’asile. Une initiative qui pose plus de questions qu’elle n’en résout.

      À l’issue d’un mini-sommet organisé à Paris le 28 août, les chefs d’État ou de gouvernement de sept pays européens et africains – la France, l’Allemagne, l’Espagne et l’Italie, d’un côté de la Méditerranée, le Tchad, le Niger et la Libye, de l’autre – se sont mis d’accord autour d’une « feuille de route » visant à « contrôler les flux migratoires » entre les deux continents.
      Réunis avec les présidents du Tchad, Idriss Déby, et du Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, ainsi qu’avec le premier ministre libyen du gouvernement d’union nationale, Fayez al-Sarraj, le président français, Emmanuel Macron, la chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, le premier ministre espagnol, Mariano Rajoy, et le président du Conseil italien, Paolo Gentiloni, ont ainsi proposé l’envoi de « missions de protection » au Niger et au Tchad, dans le but d’identifier en amont les migrants éligibles à l’asile (retrouver ici et là les déclarations conjointes).

      « Nous avons acté, je m’y étais engagé à Orléans au début de l’été, d’avoir un traitement humanitaire à la hauteur de nos exigences et de pouvoir, dans des zones identifiées, pleinement sûres, au Niger et au Tchad, sous la supervision du HCR [Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés – ndlr], identifier les ressortissants qui ont le droit à l’asile, pouvoir les mettre en sécurité le plus rapidement », a expliqué le président français lors de la conférence de presse.

      Le 27 juillet, ce dernier avait créé la polémique en affirmant, en marge d’une visite dans un centre d’hébergement de réfugiés à Orléans, vouloir créer des « hot spots », ces centres chargés de trier les candidats à l’asile en France, « dès cet été », pour maîtriser l’arrivée des migrants venus de Libye et, avait-il ajouté, pour « éviter aux gens de prendre des risques fous alors qu’ils ne sont pas tous éligibles à l’asile ». Quelques heures plus tard, son entourage avait fait machine arrière en expliquant que, pour l’heure, seuls le Tchad et le Niger devraient être concernés. Après la visite, dans un discours à la préfecture du Loiret, le président avait d’ailleurs rectifié le tir en se contentant d’évoquer l’envoi de missions de l’Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides (Ofpra) « sur le sol africain ».

      La feuille de route du 28 août, qui substitue l’idée de « missions de protection » à celle de « hot spots », prévoit que l’identification des demandeurs d’asile se fera par le HCR, avec l’aval des autorités du pays de premier accueil et le soutien d’équipes européennes spécialistes de l’asile. Les personnes sélectionnées entreraient dans le programme dit de réinstallation du HCR « sur des listes fermées », c’est-à-dire listant les migrants d’ores et déjà identifiés par le HCR, et « selon des critères fixés en commun », non communiqués pour l’instant.

      Les migrants ne répondant pas à ces conditions devraient être reconduits « dans leur pays d’origine, dans la sécurité, l’ordre et la dignité, de préférence sur une base volontaire, en tenant compte de la législation nationale et dans le respect du droit international ».

      Sur le papier, l’idée pourrait paraître séduisante, puisqu’elle se donne comme objectif d’« ouvrir une voie légale pour les personnes ayant besoin d’une protection conformément au droit international et européen, en particulier pour les personnes les plus vulnérables selon les procédures du HCR relatives à la détermination de la qualité de réfugié, et qui sont susceptibles de migrer vers l’Europe ». Le but serait ainsi de leur éviter l’enfer libyen, où il est de notoriété publique que les migrants subissent les pires sévices, mais aussi les dangers de la traversée de la Méditerranée sur des canots pneumatiques. Depuis le début de l’année, près de 98 000 personnes sont arrivées par cette route maritime centrale, et près de 2 250 ont péri en mer, selon les chiffres de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations.

      Mais derrière cette intention louable, se cache surtout le projet de réduire au maximum l’arrivée sur le Vieux Continent de personnes perçues par les dirigeants européens comme des « migrants économiques », pour lesquels aucun accueil n’est envisagé. L’objectif est ainsi de décourager les départs le plus en amont possible. Cette politique n’est pas nouvelle : voilà une vingtaine d’années que Bruxelles multiplie les accords avec les pays d’origine et de transit, par des campagnes d’affichage et des bureaux d’information, à coups de dizaines de millions d’euros, afin de convaincre les migrants de rester chez eux.

      Avec ces nouveaux guichets de pré-examen de la demande d’asile, il s’agit d’aller plus loin, car il est fort à parier que le nombre de personnes retenues par le HCR et in fine réinstallées en Europe sera extrêmement réduit. Dans les pays de l’UE, les demandeurs d’asile originaires d’Afrique subsaharienne obtiennent rarement le statut de réfugié. Les ONG sont donc particulièrement sceptiques à l’égard de ce genre d’initiatives, qu’elles considèrent comme une manière déguisée de sous-traiter la demande d’asile à des pays tiers, aussi éloignés que possible du continent européen. « On repousse la frontière européenne dans des pays de plus en plus lointains », a ainsi affirmé à l’AFP Eva Ottavy, de la Cimade, pour qui, « sous couvert de sauver des vies, on bloque l’accès au territoire ».

      Par ailleurs, le dispositif de réinstallation mis en place dans le monde par le HCR est décrié par ces mêmes associations de défense des droits des étrangers qui estiment que les critères mis en œuvre sont trop restrictifs et les procédures trop peu transparentes.

      Quand on sait que le système de relocalisation organisé par l’Union européenne pour répartir les réfugiés arrivés en Grèce ne fonctionne pas, alors même que ces exilés sont des ressortissants de pays susceptibles d’obtenir l’asile (Syrie, Afghanistan, Irak et Iran principalement), on peut s’interroger sur le nombre d’Africains subsahariens qui pourront effectivement bénéficier de cette « voie légale » pour arriver en Europe.

      Enfin, la décision de Paris, Berlin, Madrid et Rome d’« améliorer la coopération économique avec les communautés locales se trouvant sur les routes migratoires en Libye, afin de créer des sources de revenu alternatives, d’accroître leur résilience et de les rendre indépendantes de la traite des êtres humains » a de quoi laisser dubitatif. En effet, Reuters a récemment révélé l’existence sur les côtes libyennes, à Sabratah, principale ville de départ des migrants, d’une milice armée qui empêcherait violemment les embarcations de partir et détiendrait les candidats au passage dans des conditions dégradantes (lire notre article). Or, d’après de nombreux témoignages, il semble que ce groupe mafieux soit, en partie au moins, financé par le gouvernement d’union nationale de Tripoli, lui-même soutenu par les fonds européens.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/290817/macron-veut-identifier-les-demandeurs-d-asile-au-tchad-et-au-niger

      #hotspots #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Macron #Tchad #Niger

      v. aussi : http://seen.li/d8yd

      Et ce magnifique titre de l’opération :
      #missions_de_protection

    • Juste pour rappeler que Macron n’a rien inventé, mais qu’il surfe sur la vague...

      Voici l’extrait d’un article qui date de 2009...

      Les tendances et mesures amorcées dans les récentes prises de position politiques ne servent qu’à confirmer la direction prise depuis la fin des années quatre-vingt-dix et indiquent clairement une réalité politique qui accentue certains aspects : la présence policière, la surveillance des frontières et l’endiguement, au détriment des autres. D’abord, les orientations prises conjointement pour limiter l’accès aux demandeurs d’asile, aux réfugiés et aux familles des travailleurs, à travers une série de directives et de règlements (c’est-à-dire des populations ayant droit à l’accès) et le développement croissant d’une politique d’immigration sélective des travailleurs, ont contribué à créer une étape de plus dans l’externalisation. Cette étape a été franchie en 2003 et 2004 avec deux propositions, l’une émanant des Britanniques sur les “#Transit_Processing_Centres” (#TPCs) et l’autre des Italiens et des Allemands, pour mettre en place des bureaux d’immigration en Afrique du Nord.

      Tiré de :
      Dimension extérieure de la politique d’immigration de l’Union européenne
      https://hommesmigrations.revues.org/342

      #Italie #Allemagne #UK #Angleterre

    • Au Niger, la frontière invisible de l’Europe

      L’enquête des « Jours » sur la trace des migrants morts en mer passe par le Niger, nouveau pays de transit pour les candidats à l’exil.

      Depuis l’été 2016 et la mise en œuvre de la loi via le « #plan_Bazoum », du nom du ministre de l’Intérieur Mohamed Bazoum, toute personne transportant des étrangers dans le désert, au nord de l’axe Arlit-Dirkou (consulter notre carte des Disparus), est considéré comme étant en infraction avec la loi. D’ailleurs, à proximité de la gare de Rimbo, une pancarte affichant les logos de l’Union européenne et de l’Agence nationale de lutte contre la traite des personnes (ANLTP) du Niger le rappelle : « Transporter illégalement des migrants vous expose à une peine d’amende de 1 000 000 à 3 000 000 CFA [1 525 à 4 575 euros, ndlr]. »

      v. aussi : http://seen.li/cz4o

      « Dans cette histoire de migration, rien n’est ni noir, ni blanc. C’est un sujet tellement complexe qu’on ne peut pas le résumer en quelques vérités », dit Kirsi Henriksson, au volant de son 4x4, dans les rues de Niamey. Kirsi Henriksson dirige Eucap Sahel au Niger, une opération civile de l’Union européenne créée en 2012, après la chute de Kadhafi, pour lutter contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée dans la région. Quand Henriksson a pris son poste en août 2016, le mandat de l’opération venait d’être élargi à la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière. Le moment était parfait pour l’Union européenne : le plan Bazoum venait d’être mis en application. Désormais, des policiers et des gendarmes européens conseillent et forment leurs homologues nigériens à des techniques de contrôle et renseignement visant à intercepter les trafics de drogues et d’armes, mais aussi ceux d’êtres humains. « Nous n’avons pas de mandat exécutif, nous n’arrêtons personne. Mais nous formons les autorités nigériennes à arrêter les gens. Pour beaucoup, nous sommes les méchants de cette histoire. »

      Avant le Niger, Kirsi Henriksson a travaillé pour des missions similaires de l’Union européenne au Mali, en Libye et en Irak. Universitaire de formation, elle s’est spécialisée dans les études sur la paix et les conflits avant de partir « construire la paix dans la vraie vie ». « Je dois avouer que les résultats n’ont pas toujours été à la hauteur de l’ambition », elle sourit. En 2014, elle a été évacuée de la Libye avec le reste de la mission européenne. Les organisations internationales sont parties elles aussi. Aujourd’hui, elles sont toutes au Niger, de même que les armées étrangères. « Une industrie de la paix », comme le qualifie la cheffe de mission.
      « Le Niger est the new place to be. Tout le monde est ici : l’armée française avec l’#opération_Barkhane, l’armée allemande qui ravitaille ses troupes au Mali depuis le Niger, l’armée américaine qui construit une base de #drones à Agadez. » À la fin de l’année 2017, l’#Italie a annoncé à son tour l’envoi de troupes – une information que les autorités nigériennes ont démentie par la suite. « Tout le monde vient parce que dans la région du Sahel, le Niger assure une certaine stabilité. Et préserver cette stabilité est dans l’intérêt de toute l’Europe. »

      Mais la migration est-elle une menace pour la stabilité du Sahel ? Paradoxalement, avec l’augmentation des contrôles et la criminalisation du trafic, elle est peut-être en train de le devenir. Le #trafic_d’êtres_humains est passé des mains des transporteurs ordinaires à celles de #réseaux_criminels transfrontaliers qui gèrent aussi d’autres trafics : la #drogue – surtout du #Tramadol, un antalgique dérivé de l’#opium –, qui arrive depuis le Nigeria vers la Libye, et les #armes, qui descendent de la Libye vers le sud.

      #commerce_d'armes

      Seulement, pour le moment, l’aide européenne promise arrive lentement et souvent sans consultation des populations concernées. Le #Fonds_fiduciaire officiellement destiné à l’aide au #développement vise en réalité à produire du contrôle, reconnaît Kirsi Henriksson. C’est également le but de l’#opération_Eucap_Sahel. La cheffe de mission trace avec son index les nouvelles routes que le contrôle renforcé a dessinées dans le désert : directement depuis #Diffa, situé à la frontière nigériane, vers #Séguédine dans le nord, en traversant le #Ténéré, de #Gao au Mali vers #Assamaka à la frontière algérienne, qu’on longera ensuite pour arriver en Libye. Ces nouvelles routes sont plus dangereuses.

      #Eucap #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoires

      « Davantage de personnes meurent dans le désert. Et c’est vraiment malheureux. » C’est la première fois que j’entends cette affirmation pendant mon voyage. Je ne cesserai de l’entendre par la suite. À chacun, je demanderai combien. Combien mouraient avant, combien meurent maintenant ? Personne ne sait. Personne ne semble savoir qui pourrait savoir.

      #mourir_dans_le_désert #décès

      https://lesjours.fr/obsessions/migrants/ep6-niger
      #Agadez #gardes-frontière #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers

    • At French Outpost in African Migrant Hub, Asylum for a Select Few

      In a bare suite of prefab offices, inside a compound off a dirt road, French bureaucrats are pushing France’s borders thousands of miles into Africa, hoping to head off would-be migrants.

      All day long, in a grassy courtyard, they interview asylum seekers, as the African reality they want to escape swirls outside — donkey carts and dust, joblessness and poverty, and, in special cases, political persecution.

      If the French answer is yes to asylum, they are given plane tickets to France and spared the risky journey through the desert and on the deadly boats across the Mediterranean that have brought millions of desperate migrants to Europe in recent years, transforming its politics and societies.

      “We’re here to stop people from dying in the Mediterranean,” said Sylvie Bergier-Diallo, the deputy chief of the French mission in Niger.

      But very few are actually approved, and so the French delegation is also there to send a message to other would-be migrants: Stay home, and do not risk a perilous journey for an asylum claim that would ultimately be denied in France.

      The French outpost is part of a new forward defense in Europe’s struggle to hold off migration from Africa; it is a small, relatively benign piece of a larger strategy that otherwise threatens to subvert Europe’s humanitarian ideals.

      After years of being buffeted by uncontrolled migration, Europe is striking out. Italy is suspected of quietly cutting deals with Libyan warlords who control the migration route. The European Union has sent delegations to African capitals, waving aid and incentives for leaders to keep their people at home. Now come the French.
      “There’s a much more active approach to see that the immigrant stays as far away as possible from Europe, and this is completely to the detriment of those concerned,” said Philippe Dam of Human Rights Watch.

      The French mission was “positive,” he said, “but it’s too late and too small.”

      It is also the flip side of a fast-toughening stance by France against migrants, as President Emmanuel Macron began his push this month for what critics say is a draconian new law aimed at sending many of those who have already arrived back home.

      Even if some of Europe’s new methods are questionable, the results have been evident: Last year, for the first time since the crisis began several years ago, the migration flow was reversed, according to Giuseppe Loprete, head of the United Nations migration agency office in Niger.

      About 100,000 would-be migrants returned through Niger from Libya, compared with 60,000 who traversed the vast and impoverished desert country heading toward Europe.

      As the hub for West African migration, Niger had long been under pressure from Europe to crack down on the migrant flow. And something has shifted.

      The bus stations in Niamey, once packed with West Africans trying to get to Agadez, the last city before Libya, are now empty. The police sternly check identity documents.

      When I visited Agadez three years ago, migrants packed what locals called “ghettos” at the edge of town, hanging out for weeks in the courtyards of unfinished villas waiting for a chance to cross the desert.
      Migration officials say there are many fewer now. The Nigerien government has impounded dozens of the pickups formerly used by smugglers at Agadez, they say.

      “Lot less, lot less than before,” said a bus agent, who declined to give his name, at the open-air Sonef station in Niamey, drowsing and empty in the late-afternoon heat. “It’s not like it was. Before it was full.”

      The tile floor was once crowded with migrants. No more. A sign outside bears the European Union flag and warns passengers not to travel without papers.

      In itself, the so-called French filtration effort here is so small that it is not responsible for the drop, nor is it expected to have much effect on the overall migration flow.

      It began well after the drop was underway. Only a handful of such missions to interview asylum seekers have embarked since Mr. Macron announced the policy last summer, staying for about a week at a time.

      Meager as it is, however, the French effort has already helped shift the process of sifting some asylum claims to Africa and out of Europe, where many of those who are denied asylum tend to stay illegally.

      For Mr. Macron, a chief aim is to defuse the political pressures at home from the far right that have escalated with the migrant crisis.
      The French hope that the greater visibility of a formal, front-end system will discourage those without credible claims of asylum from risking their lives with smugglers.

      The process is also intended to send a potentially important message: that those with legitimate claims of persecution do have a chance for safe passage.

      “Politically it’s huge,” said Mr. Loprete. “But in terms of numbers it is very low.”

      In a recent week, 85 people were interviewed by the four officials from the French refugee agency, known as Ofpra.

      The selective scale is in line with Mr. Macron’s determination to keep out economic migrants. “We can’t welcome everybody,” he said in his New Year’s speech.

      On the other hand, “we must welcome the men and women fleeing their country because they are under threat,” Mr. Macron said. They have a “right to asylum,” he said.

      Critics of the plan say that it amounts to only a token effort, and that the real goal is to keep potential migrants at arms’ length.

      “Macron’s policy is to divide migrants and refugees, but how can we do so? What is the ethical principle behind this choice?” said Mauro Armanino, an Italian priest at the cathedral in Niamey who has long worked with migrants in African nations. “It is a policy without heart.”

      Still, the French have been the first to undertake this kind of outreach, working closely with the United Nations, out of its refugee agency’s compound in Niamey.

      The United Nations International Office for Migration does a first vetting for the French in Libya, Niger’s northern neighbor, where human smuggling networks have thrived in the chaotic collapse of the country.

      In Libya, the smugglers herd the Africans together, beat them, sometimes rape them and extort money. Some are even sold into slavery before being loaded onto rickety boats for the Mediterranean crossing.

      Some of the Libyan camps are run by smugglers and their associated militias, and others by the government, such as it is. But regardless of who runs them, they are essentially concentration camps, officials say, and there is no distinction made between political refugees and migrants.

      United Nations officials are allowed to enter the government-run camps to look for potential asylum cases — principally Eritreans and Somalis, whose flight from political persecution and chaos might qualify them. From lists supplied by the United Nations, the French choose whom they will interview.

      “The idea is to protect people who might have a right to asylum,” said Pascal Brice, the head of Ofpra, the French refugee agency. “And to bypass the horrors of Libya and the Mediterranean.”

      “It is limited,” Mr. Brice acknowledged. “But the president has said he wants to cut back on the sea crossings,” he added, referring to Mr. Macron.
      Bénédicte Jeannerod, who heads the French office of Human Rights Watch, was less a critic of the program itself than of its scale. “I’ve told Pascal Brice that as long as it works, make it bigger,” he said.

      But the potential difficulties of making the program larger were evident in a day of interviews at the sweltering United Nations center in Niamey.

      One recent Saturday night, 136 Eritreans and Somalis were flown to Niamey by the United Nations, all potential candidates for asylum interviews with the French.

      The dozens of asylum seekers already there waited pensively, looking resigned as they sat on benches, betraying no sign of the import of what the French deputy chief of the mission had to offer.

      “If you are chosen, you will soon be in France,” Ms. Bergier-Diallo told them, pronouncing the words slowly and deliberately. “And we are delighted.”

      Indeed, if the refugees pass muster, the rewards are enormous: a free plane ticket to France, free housing, hassle-free residence papers and free French lessons.

      The French agents, stiff and formal in their questioning that could last well over an hour, inquired relentlessly about the refugees’ family ties, uninterested in establishing the narrative of their escape and suffering.
      The idea was to “establish the family context,” in an effort to confirm the authenticity of the refugees’ origins, said one French official, Lucie.

      (Sensitive to security, the French authorities asked that the last names of their agents and those of the refugees not be published.)

      Shewit, a diminutive, bespectacled 26-year-old Eritrean woman, was asked whether she ever phoned her family, and if so what they talked about.

      “Only about my health,” Shewit said. “I never tell them where I am.”

      Mariam, 27, told the French agent she had been raped and ostracized in her village and feared going back because “the people who raped me are still there.”

      “They could rape me again,” said Mariam, an illiterate animal herder from Somaliland.

      Even if she finds safety in France, integrating her into society will be a challenge. Mariam had never attended any school and looked bewildered when the French agent told her to remove her head scarf.

      Wearing the scarf “is not possible in the French administration, or in schools,” Emoline, the agent, said gently to Mariam in English, through an interpreter.

      Then there was Welella, an 18-year-old Eritrean girl who, before being rescued from neighboring Libya, had spent time in a refugee camp in Sudan, where she endured what she simply called “punishments.”
      Her father is a soldier, her siblings had all been drafted into Eritrea’s compulsory military service, and she risked the same.

      “Why is military service compulsory in Eritrea?” Lucie asked the girl, seated opposite her. “I don’t know,” Welella answered mechanically.

      She had long planned on fleeing. “One day I succeeded,” she said simply.

      “What could happen to you in Eritrea if you returned?” Lucie asked.

      “I suffered a lot leaving Eritrea,” Welella said slowly. “If I return, they will put me underground.”

      She was questioned over and over about the names of her siblings in Eritrea, and why one had traveled to a particular town.

      After nearly two hours of questioning, a hint of the French agent’s verdict finally came — in English. It was rote, but the message clear: France was one step away from welcoming Welella.

      “You will have the right to enter France legally,” Lucie told her. “You will be granted a residence permit, you will be given your own accommodations, you will have the right to work …”

      Welella smiled, barely.


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/world/africa/france-africa-migrants-asylum-niger.html?smid=tw-share
      #Niamey

    • A French Processing Centre in Niger: The first step towards extraterritorial processing of asylum claims or (just) good old resettlement?

      When The New York Times made headlines in the migration world with its recent article “At French Outpost in African Migrant Hub, Asylum for a Select Few” about the French refugee agency’s role in the UNHCR humanitarian evacuation scheme, it was not long before the magical concept of “extraterritorial processing” resurfaced. Mostly defined as the processing of asylum requests outside the country of destination, this proposal, repeatedly raised by European Union member states and academics alike since the beginning of the 2000s, has regularly been turned down by EU officials as being mere politically-driven hot air. Often confused with resettlement or other legal access channels, it has been praised as the panacea of the migration and asylum challenges by some, while being criticized as outsourcing and shady responsibility shifting by others.


      http://www.aspeninstitute.it/aspenia-online/article/french-processing-centre-niger-first-step-towards-extraterritorial-pr

    • Les migrants paient le prix fort de la coopération entre l’UE et les #gardes-côtes_libyens

      Nombre de dirigeants européens appellent à une « coopération » renforcée avec les #garde-côtes_libyens. Mais une fois interceptés en mer, ces migrants sont renvoyés dans des centres de détention indignes et risquent de retomber aux mains de trafiquants.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280618/les-migrants-paient-le-prix-fort-de-la-cooperation-entre-lue-et-les-garde-

  • ATTENTION :
    Les liens sur ce fil de discussion ne sont pas tous en ordre chronologique.
    Portez donc une attention particulière au date de publication de l’article original (et non pas de quand je l’ai posté sur seenthis, car j’ai fait dernièrement des copier-coller de post sur d’autres fils de discussion) !

    –---------------------------

    Niger : Europe’s Migration Laboratory

    “We share an interest in managing migration in the best possible way, for both Europe and Africa,” Mogherini said at the time.

    Since then, she has referred to Niger as the “model” for how other transit countries should manage migration and the best performer of the five African nations who signed up to the E.U. #Partnership_Framework_on_Migration – the plan that made development aid conditional on cooperation in migration control. Niger is “an initial success story that we now want to replicate at regional level,” she said in a recent speech.

    Angela Merkel became the first German chancellor to visit the country in October 2016. Her trip followed a wave of arrests under Law 36 in the Agadez region. Merkel promised money and “opportunities” for those who had previously made their living out of migration.

    One of the main recipients of E.U. funding is the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which now occupies most of one street in Plateau. In a little over two years the IOM headcount has gone from 22 to more than 300 staff.

    Giuseppe Loprete, the head of mission, says the crackdown in northern Niger is about more than Europe closing the door on African migrants. The new law was needed as networks connecting drug smuggling and militant groups were threatening the country, and the conditions in which migrants were forced to travel were criminal.

    “Libya is hell and people who go there healthy lose their minds,” Loprete says.

    A side effect of the crackdown has been a sharp increase in business for IOM, whose main activity is a voluntary returns program. Some 7,000 African migrants were sent home from Niger last year, up from 1,400 in 2014. More than 2,000 returns in the first three months of 2018 suggest another record year.

    The European Development Fund awarded $731 million to Niger for the period 2014–20. A subsequent review boosted this by a further $108 million. Among the experiments this money bankrolls are the connection of remote border posts – where there was previously no electricity – to the internet under the German aid corporation, GIZ; a massive expansion of judges to hear smuggling and trafficking cases; and hundreds of flatbed trucks, off-road vehicles, motorcycles and satellite phones for Nigerien security forces.

    At least three E.U. states – #France, Italy and Germany – have troops on the ground in Niger. Their roles range from military advisers to medics and trainers. French forces and drone bases are present as part of the overlapping Barkhane and G5 Sahel counterinsurgency operations which includes forces from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania. The U.S., meanwhile, has both troops and drone bases for its own regional fight against Islamic militants, the latest of which is being built outside Agadez at a cost of more than $100 million.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/05/22/niger-europes-migration-laboratory
    #Niger #asile #migrations #réfugiés #laboratoire #agadez #frontières #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #modèle_nigérien #cartographie #visualisation
    #OIM #IOM #retours_volontaires #renvois #expulsions #Libye #développement #aide_au_développement #externalisation #externalisation_des_contrôles_frontaliers #G5_sahel #Italie #Allemagne #IMF #FMI

    Intéressant de lire :

    ❝As one European ambassador said, “Niger is now the southern border of Europe.”
    #frontière_européenne #frontière_mobile

    Il y a quelques mois, la nouvelles frontière européenne était désignée comme étant la frontière de la #Libye, là, elle se déplace encore un peu plus au sud...
    –-> v. mon post sur seenthis :


    https://seenthis.net/messages/604039

    Voilà donc la nouvelle carte :

    • Europe Benefits by Bankrolling an Anti-Migrant Effort. Niger Pays a Price.

      Niger has been well paid for drastically reducing the number of African migrants using the country as a conduit to Europe. But the effort has hurt parts of the economy and raised security concerns.

      The heavily armed troops are positioned around oases in Niger’s vast northern desert, where temperatures routinely climb beyond 100 degrees.

      While both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have branches operating in the area, the mission of the government forces here is not to combat jihadism.

      Instead, these Nigerien soldiers are battling human smugglers, who transport migrants across the harsh landscape, where hundreds of miles of dunes separate solitary trees.

      The migrants are hoping to reach neighboring Libya, and from there, try a treacherous, often deadly crossing of the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

      The toll of the military engagement is high. Some smugglers are armed, militants are rife and the terrain is unforgiving: Each mission, lasting two weeks, requires 50 new truck tires to replace the ones shredded in the blistering, rocky sand.

      But the operation has had an impact: Niger has drastically reduced the number of people moving north to Libya through its territory over the past two years.

      The country is being paid handsomely for its efforts, by a Europe eager to reduce the migrant flow. The European Union announced at the end of last year it would provide Niger with one billion euros, or about $1.16 billion, in development aid through 2020, with hundreds of millions of that earmarked for anti-migration projects. Germany, France and Italy also provide aid on their own.

      It is part of a much broader European Union strategy to keep migrants from its shores, including paying billions of euros to Turkey and more than $100 million to aid agencies in Sudan.

      Italy has been accused of paying off militias in Libya to keep migrants at bay. And here in Niger, some military officials angrily contend that France financed a former rebel leader who remains a threat, prioritizing its desire to stop migration over Niger’s national security interests.

      Since passing a law against human trafficking in 2015, Niger has directed its military to arrest and jail migrant smugglers, confiscate their vehicles and bring the migrants they traffic to the police or the International Organization for Migration, or I.O.M. The migrants are then given a choice whether to continue on their journey — and risk being detained again, or worse — or given a free ride back to their home country.

      The law’s effect has been significant. At the peak in 2015, there were 5,000 to 7,000 migrants a week traveling through Niger to Libya. The criminalization of smuggling has reduced those numbers to about 1,000 people a week now, according to I.O.M. figures.

      At the same time, more migrants are leaving Libya, fleeing the rampant insecurity and racist violence targeting sub-Saharan Africans there.

      As a result, the overall flow of people has now gone into a notable reverse: For the last two years, more African migrants have been leaving Libya to return to their homelands than entering the country from Niger, according to the I.O.M.

      One of Niger’s biggest bus companies, Rimbo, used to send four migrant-filled buses each day from the country’s capital in the south, Niamey, to the northern city of Agadez, a jumping off point for the trip to the Libyan border.

      Now, the company has signed a two-year contract with the I.O.M. to carry migrants the other way, so they can be repatriated.

      On a recent breezy evening in Niamey, a convoy of four Rimbo buses rolled through the dusty streets after an arduous 20-hour drive from Agadez, carrying 400 migrants. They were headed back home to countries across West Africa, including Guinea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

      For leaders in Europe, this change in migrant flows is welcome news, and a testament to Niger’s dedication to shared goals.

      “Niger really became one of our best allies in the region,” said Raul Mateus Paula, the bloc’s ambassador to Niger.

      But the country’s achievement has also come with considerable costs, including on those migrants still determined to make it to Libya, who take more risks than ever before. Drivers now take routes hundreds of miles away from water points and go through mined areas to avoid military patrols. When smugglers learn the military is in the area, they often abandon migrants in the desert to escape arrest.

      This has led to dozens of deaths by dehydration over the past two years, prompting Niger’s civil protection agency and the I.O.M. to launch weekly rescue patrols.

      The agency’s head, Adam Kamassi, said his team usually rescues between 20 to 50 people every time it goes out. On those trips, it nearly always finds three or four bodies.

      The crackdown on human smuggling has also been accompanied by economic decline and security concerns for Niger.

      The government’s closure of migrant routes has caused an increase in unemployment and an uptick in other criminal activity like drug smuggling and robbery, according to a Niger military intelligence document.

      “I know of about 20 people who have become bandits for lack of work,” said Mahamadou Issouf, who has been driving migrants from Agadez to southern Libya since 2005, but who no longer has work.

      Earlier this year, the army caught him driving 31 migrants near a spot in the desert called the Puit d’Espoir, or Well of Hope. While the army released him in this case, drivers who worked for him have been imprisoned and two of his trucks impounded.

      The military intelligence document also noted that since the crackdown, towns along the migrant route are having a hard time paying for essential services like schools and health clinics, which had relied on money from migration and the industries feeding it.

      For example, the health clinic in Dirkou, once a major migrant way station in northern Niger, now has fewer paying clients because the number of migrants seeking has dwindled. Store owners who relied on the steady flow of people traveling through have gone bankrupt.

      Hassan Mohammed is another former migrant smuggler who lost his livelihood in the crackdown.

      A native of Dirkou, Mr. Mohammed, 31, began driving migrants across the desert in 2002, earning enough in the process to buy two Toyota pickup trucks. The smuggling operation grew enough that he began employing his younger brothers to drive.

      Today, Mr. Mohammed’s brothers are in prison, serving the six-month sentences convicted smuggler drivers face. His two pickup trucks are gathering dust, along with a few dozen other confiscated vehicles, on a Niger army base. With no income, Mr. Mohammed now relies on the generosity of friends to survive.

      With Europe as a primary beneficiary of the smuggling crackdown, the European Union is eager to keep the effort in place, and some of the bloc’s aid finances a project to convert former smugglers into entrepreneurs. But the project is still in its pilot stage more than two years after the migrant crackdown began.

      Ibrahim Yacouba, the former foreign minister of Niger, who resigned earlier this year, said, “There are lots of announcements of millions of euros in funding, but in the lived reality of those who are in the industry, there has been no change.”

      The crackdown has also raised security concerns, as France has taken additional steps to stop migration along the Niger-Libya border that go beyond its asylum-processing center.

      From its military base in the northern Nigerien outpost of Madama, France funded last year an ethnic Toubou militia in southern Libya, with the goal of using the group to help stop smugglers, according to Nigerien security officials.

      This rankled the Nigerien military because the militia is headed by an ex-Nigerien rebel, Barka Sidimi, who is considered a major security risk by the country’s officials. To military leaders, this was an example of a European anti-migrant policy taking precedent over Niger’s own security.

      A French military spokesperson said, “We don’t have information about the collaboration you speak of.”

      Despite the country’s progress in reducing the flow of migrants, Nigerien officials know the problem of human smugglers using the country as a conduit is not going away.

      “The fight against clandestine migration is not winnable,’’ said Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s interior minister.

      Even as Libya has experienced a net drop in migrants, new routes have opened up: More migrants are now entering Algeria and transiting to Morocco to attempt a Mediterranean crossing there, according to Giuseppe Loprete, who recently left his post after being the I.O.M.’s director in Niger for four years.

      But despite the drawbacks that come with it, the smuggling crackdown will continue, at least for now, according to Mr. Bazoum, the interior minister. Migrant smuggling and trafficking, he said, “creates a context of a criminal economy, and we are against all forms of economic crime to preserve the stability and security of our country.”

      For Mr. Mohammed, the former smuggler, the crackdown has left him idle and dejected, with no employment prospects.

      “There’s no project for any of us here,” he said. “There’s nothing going on. I only sleep and wake up.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/25/world/africa/niger-migration-crisis.html#click=https://t.co/zSUbpbU3Kf

    • Le 25 Octobre 2018, le Chef de Mission de l’ OIM Niger, M. Martin Wyss, a remis à la Police Nationale-Niger ??️via son Directeur Général Adjoint, M. Oumarou Moussa, le premier prototype du poste frontière mobile, en présence du #Directeur_de_la_Surveillance_du_Territoire (#DST) des partenaires techniques et financiers.

      Ce camion aménagé avec deux bureaux et une salle d’attente, des climatiseurs et une connectivité satellitaire, est autonome en électricité grâce à des panneaux solaires amovibles et une turbine éolienne. Il aura pour fonction d’appuyer des postes de contrôle aux frontières, établir un poste frontalier temporaire ou venir en soutien de mouvements massifs de personnes à travers les frontières.

      Ce prototype unique au monde a été entièrement développé et conceptualisé par l’unité de #gestion_des_frontières de l’#OIM_Niger, pour l’adapter au mieux aux contraintes atmosphériques et topographiques du Niger.

      Il a été financé par le Canada’s International Development – Global Affairs Canada ??️

      Crédits photos : OIM Niger / Daniel Kouawo

      source : https://www.facebook.com/IBMNiger/posts/1230027903804111

      #OIM #IOM #frontière_mobile #Canada

    • Remise du système MIDAS et inauguration du parc de vaccination à Makalondi

      L’ OIM Niger a procédé à la remise du #système_MIDAS au niveau du poste de police de #Makalondi (Burkina Faso - Niger).

      MIDAS saisit automatiquement les informations biographiques et biométriques des voyageurs à partir de lecteurs de documents, d’#empreintes_digitales et de #webcams. Il est la propriété entière et souveraine du Gouvernement du Niger.

      Le sytème permet d’enregistrer pour mieux sécuriser et filtrer les individus mal intentionnés, mais aussi de mieux connaître les flux pour ensuite adapter les politiques de développement sur les axes d’échange.

      A la même occasion, le Gouverneur de Tillabéri et l’OIM ont inauguré un par de vaccination le long d’un couloir de transhumance de la CEDEAO.

      Ce projet a été réalisé grâce au don du peuple Japonais.

      https://www.facebook.com/IBMNiger/videos/483536085494618
      #surveillance #biométrie #MIDAS

    • Le mardi 28 aout 2018, s’est tenu la cérémonie de remise du système MIDAS au poste de police frontalier de Makalondi (frontière Burkina faso). Cette cérémonie organisée par l’OIM Niger dans le cadre du projet « #NICOLE – Renforcement de la coopération interservices pour la sécurité des frontières au Niger » sous financement du Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan a enregistré la remarquable participation du gouverneur de la région de Tillabéri, le directeur de la surveillance du Territoire (DST), les responsables régionaux, départementaux et communaux de la police Nationale et de l’élevage, les autorités locales et coutumières du département de #Torodi et de la commune rurale de #Makalondi ainsi que de l’#Eucap_Sahel_Niger. MIDAS (#Migration_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System) qui est un système d’information et de gestion des données migratoires développé par l’OIM en 2009 et opérationnel dans 19 pays est aujourd’hui également opérationnel au niveau du poste frontière de Makalondi. Cette cérémonie était aussi l’occasion d’inaugurer le parc de vaccination pour bétail réalisé dans le cadre du même projet par l’OIM afin de soutenir les capacités de résilience des communautés frontalières de la localité.
      toutes les autorités présentes à la cérémonie ont tenues à exprimer leur immense gratitute envers l’OIM pour son appui au gouvernement du Niger dans son combat pour la sécurisation des frontières.


      https://www.facebook.com/IBMNiger/posts/1197797207027181

    • Niger grapples with migration and its porous borders

      Europe has been grappling with the migration problem on its side of the Mediterranean for several years now with little sign of bringing the situation under control, but there is also an African frontline, on the edges of the Sahara, and the improverished nation of Niger is one of the hotspots. The situation here is similarly out of control, and EU funds have been made available to try and persude people smugglers to give up their business. However, much of the money has gone to waste, and the situation has in some ways evolved into something worse. Euronews’ Valerie Gauriat has just returned from Niger. This is her report.

      Scores of four-wheel drives have just arrived from Libya, at the checkpoint of the city of Agadez, in central Niger, Western Africa’s gateway to the Sahara.

      Every week, convoys like these travel both ways, crossing the thousand kilometers of desert that separate the two countries.

      Travelers are exhausted after a 5-day journey.

      Many are Nigerian workers, fleeing renewed violence in Libya, but many others are migrants from other western African countries.

      “When we get to Libya, they lock us up. And when we work we don’t get paid,” said one Senegalese man.

      “What happened, we can’t describe it. We can’t talk about everything that goes on, because it’s bad, it’s so bad !” said another, from Burkina Fasso.

      Many have already tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

      “We paid for it, but we never went. They caught us and locked us up. I want to go home to Senegal now, that’s my hope,” said another man.

      Mohamed Tchiba organised this convoy. This former Touareg rebel is a well-known figure in Agadez’s migration business, which is a long-standing, flourishing activity despite a law against irregular migration which made it illegal two years ago.

      EU-funded reconversion projects were launched to offset the losses, but Mohamed refuses to give up his livelihood.

      “I’m a smuggler, even now I’m a smuggler! Because I’ve heard that in town they are giving us something to give up this job. But they did not give me anything. And I do not know any other work than this one,” he told us.

      We head to Agadez, where we find dozens of vehicles in a car park. They were confiscated from the smugglers who were arrested by the police, and are a slowly-rusting symbol of the fight against irregular immigration.

      But that didn’t go down well with the local population. The law hit the local economy hard

      Travelers departing for Libya were once Ibrahim’s main source of revenue, but now customers for his water cans are scarce. The layoffs of workers after the closure of gold mines in the area did not help.

      “Before, we sold 400 to 500 water cans every week to migrants, and cans were also sent to the mine. But they closed the road to Libya, they closed the mines, everything is closed. And these young people stay here without working or doing anything, without food. If they get up in the morning, and they go to bed at night, without eating anything, what will prevent them one day from going to steal something?” wonders trader Oumarou Chehou.

      Friday prayers are one of the few occasions when the city comes to life.

      We go to meet with the President of the so-called Association for former migration workers.

      He takes us to meet one of the former smugglers. After stopping their activity they have benefited from an EU-funded reconversion programme.

      Abdouramane Ghali received a stock of chairs, pots, and loudspeakers, which he rents out for celebrations. We ask him how business is going.

      "It depends on God ... I used to make much more money before; I could get up to 800 euros a week; now it’s barely 30 euros a week,” he says.

      Abdouramane is still among the luckiest. Out of 7000 people involved in the migration business, less than 400 have so far benefited from the reconversion package: about 2000 euros per project. That’s not enough to get by, says the president of the Former Smugglers’ Association, Bachir Amma.

      “We respected the law, we are no longer working, we stopped, and now it’s the State of Niger and the European Union which abandoned us. People are here, they have families, they have children, and they have nothing. We eat with our savings. The money we made before, that’s what feeds us now, you see. It’s really difficult, it’s very hard for us,” he says.

      We catch up with Abdouramane the next morning. He has just delivered his equipment to one of his customers, Abba Seidou, also a former smuggler, who is now a taxi driver. Abba is celebrating the birth of his first child, a rare opportunity to forget his worries.

      “Since it’s a very wonderful day, it strengthened my heart, to go and get chairs, so that people, even if there is nothing, they can sit down if they come to your house. The times are hard for immigration, now; but with the small funds we get, people can get by. It’s going to be okay,” the proud father says. Lots of other children gather round.

      “These kids are called the” talibe “, or street kids,” reports euronews’ Valerie Gauriat. "And the celebration is a chance for them to get some food. Since the anti-smuggling law was implemented, there are more and more of them in the streets of Agadez.”

      The European Union has committed to spending more than one billion euros on development aid in a country classified as one of the poorest in the world. Niger is also one of the main beneficiaries of the European emergency fund created in 2015 to address migration issues in Africa. But for the vice-president of the region of Agadez, these funds were only a bargaining chip for the law against irregular immigration, which in his eyes, only serves the interests of Europe.

      Valerie Gauriat:

      “Niger has received significant funding from the European Union. Do you believe these funds are not used properly?”

      Vice-President of the Agadez Regional Council, Aklou Sidi Sidi:

      “First of all the funding is insufficient. When we look at it, Turkey has received huge amounts of money, a lot more than Niger. And even armed groups in Libya received much more money than Niger. Today, we are sitting here, we are the abyss of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, displaced people. Agadez is an abyss,” he sighs.

      In the heart of the Sahel region, Niger is home to some 300,000 displaced people and refugees. They are a less and less transitory presence, which weighs on the region of Agadez. One center managed by the International Office for Migration hosts migrants who have agreed to return to their countries of origin. But the procedures sometimes take months, and the center is saturated.

      “80 percent of the migrants do not have any identification, they do not have any documents. That means that after registration we have to go through the procedure of the travel authorisation, and we have to coordinate this with the embassies and consulates of each country. That is the main issue and the challenge that we are facing every day. We have around 1000 people in this area, an area that’s supposed to receive 400 or 500 people. We have mattresses piled up because people sleep outside here because we’re over our capacity. Many people are waiting on the other side. So we need to move these people as quickly as possible so we can let others come,” says the IOM’s transit centre manager, Lincoln Gaingar.

      Returning to their country is not an option for many who transit through Niger. Among them are several hundred Sudanese, supervised by the UNHCR. Many fled the Darfur conflict, and endured hell in Libyan detention centres. Some have been waiting for months for an answer to their asylum request.

      Badererdeen Abdul Kareem dreams of completing his veterinary studies in the West.

      “Since I finished my university life I lost almost half of my life because of the wars, traveling from Sudan to Libya. I don’t want to lose my life again. So it’s time to start my life, it’s time to work, it’s time to educate. Staying in Niger for nothing or staying in Niger for a long time, for me it’s not good.”

      But the only short-term perspective for these men is to escape the promiscuity of the reception center. Faced with the influx of asylum seekers, the UNHCR has opened another site outside the city.

      We meet Ibrahim Abulaye, also Sudanese, who spent years in refugee camps in Chad, and then Libya. He is 20 years old.

      “It was really very difficult, but thank God I’m alive. What I can really say is that since we cannot go back home, we are looking for a place that is more favourable to us, where we can be safe, and have a better chance in life.”

      Hope for a better life is closer for those who have been evacuated from Libyan prisons as part of an emergency rescue plan launched last year by the UNHCR. Welcomed in Niamey, the capital of Niger, they must be resettled in third countries.

      After fleeing their country, Somalia, these women were tortured in Libyan detention centers. They are waiting for resettlement in France.

      “There are many problems in my country, and I had my own. I have severe stomach injuries. The only reason I left my country was to escape from these problems, and find a safe place where I could find hope. People like me need hope,” said one of them.

      A dozen countries, most of them European, have pledged to welcome some 2,600 refugees evacuated from Libya to Niger. But less than 400 have so far been resettled.

      “The solidarity is there. There has to be a sense of urgency also to reinstall them, to welcome them in the countries that have been offering these places. It is important to avoid a long stay in Niger, and that they continue their journey onwards,” says the UNHCR’s Alessandra Morelli in Niamey.

      The slowness of the countries offering asylum to respect their commitments has disappointed the Niger government. But what Niger’s Interior minister Mohamed Bazoum most regrets is a lack of foresight in Europe, when it comes to stemming irregular immigration.

      “I am rather in favor of more control, but I am especially in favor of seeing European countries working together to promote another relationship with African countries. A relationship based on issuing visas on the basis of the needs that can be expressed by companies. It is because this work is not done properly, that we have finally accepted that the only possible migration is illegal migration,” he complains.

      Estimated from 5 to 7,000 per week in 2015, the number of migrants leaving for Libya has fallen tenfold, according to the Niger authorities. But the traficking continues, on increasingly dangerous routes.

      The desert, it is said in Agadez, has become more deadly than the Mediterranean.

      We meet another one of the smugglers who for lack of alternatives says he has resumed his activities, even if he faces years in prison.

      “This law is as if we had been gathered together and had knives put under our throats, to slit our throats. Some of us were locked up, others fled the country, others lost everything,” he says.

      He takes us to one of the former transit areas where migrants were gathered before leaving for Libya, when it was allowed. The building has since been destroyed. Customers are rarer, and the price of crossings has tripled. In addition to the risk of being stopped by the police and army patrols, travelers have to dodge attacks by arms and drug traffickers who roam the desert.

      “Often the military are on a mission, they don’t want to waste time, so sometimes they will tell you,’we can find an arrangement, what do you offer?’ We give them money to leave. We must also avoid bandits. There are armed people everywhere in the bush. We have to take byways to get around them. We know that it’s dangerous. But for us, the most dangerous thing is not to be able to feed your family! That’s the biggest danger!”

      We entered one of the so-called ghettos outside Agadez, where candidates for the trip to Europe through Libya hide out, until smugglers pick them up. We are led to a house where a group of young people are waiting for their trip to be organized by their smuggler.

      They have all have already tried to cross the desert, but were abandoned by their drivers, fleeing army patrols, and were saved in the nick of time. Several of their fellow travelers died of thirst and exhaustion.

      Mohamed Balde is an asylum seeker from Guinea.

      “The desert is a huge risk. There are many who have died, but people are not discouraged. Why are they coming? One should just ask the question!” he says. “All the time, there are meetings between West African leaders and the leaders of the European Union, to give out money, so that the migrants don’t get through. We say that’s a crime. It is their interests that they serve, not the interests of our continent. To stop immigration, they should invest in Africa, in companies, so that young people can work.”

      Drogba Sumaru is an asylum seeker from the Ivory Coast.

      “It’s no use giving money to people, or putting soldiers in the desert, or removing all the boats on the Mediterranean, to stop immigration! It won’t help, I will keep going on. There are thousands of young people in Africa, ready to go, always. Because there is nothing. There is nothing to keep them in their countries. When they think of the suffering of their families, when they think that they have no future. They will always be ready, ready for anything. They will always be ready to risk their lives,” he concludes.

      https://www.euronews.com/2018/10/26/niger-grapples-with-migration-and-its-porous-borders

    • Europe’s « Migrant Hunters »

      The checkpoint on the way out of the Saharan town of Agadez in Niger is nothing more than a long metal chain that stretches across the road. On a Monday afternoon in March, a handful of pickup trucks and lorries loaded with migrants mostly from southern Niger waited quietly at the barrier to embark on the long journey up through the Ténéré desert. An overweight officer inspected the vehicles and then invited the drivers to show him their paperwork inside a somber-looking shack on the side of the road, where money most likely changed hands.

      Every Monday afternoon a convoy, protected by an escort of three military pickups, two mounted with machine guns, begins its arduous journey toward Dirkou, 435 miles away, on the road to the Libyan border. Protection has long been needed against highwaymen—or, as they’re called locally, coupeurs de route. These disgruntled Tuareg youths and former rebels roam the foothills of the Aïr Mountains just beyond Agadez. If a vehicle slips out of view of the escort for even a moment, the coupeurs seize the opportunity, chasing and shooting at the overloaded vehicles to relieve the passengers of their money and phones—or sometimes even to take the cars. A cautious driver sticks close behind the soldiers, even if they are pitifully slow, stopping frequently to sleep, eat, drink tea, or extract bribes from drivers trying to avoid the checkpoints.

      The first 60 miles out of Agadez—a journey of about two hours through the mountains—were the most hazardous. But then we reached the dusty Ténéré plain. As darkness fell, lighter vehicles picked up speed, making good headway during the night as the cold hardened the sand. Sleepy migrants, legs dangling over the side of the tailboard, held on to branches attached to the frame of the vehicle to keep from falling off.

      The following day, there was a stop at Puits Espoir (“Hope’s Well”), midway between Agadez and Dirkou. It was dug 15 years ago to keep those whose transport had broken down in the desert from dying of thirst. But the well’s Arabic name, Bir Tawil, which means “the Deep Well,” is perhaps more apt. The well drops nearly 200 feet, and without a long enough rope to reach the water below, migrants and drivers can perish at its edge. The escort soldiers told me that the bodies of 11 who died in this way are buried in the sand inside a nearby enclosure built from car scraps. Travelers took a nap under its shade or beside the walls around the well, which were graffitied by those who had passed through. There was “Dec 2016 from Tanzania to Libya” or “Flavio—Solo from Guinea.” After Espoir, most vehicles abandon the slow convoy and go off on their own, risking attacks by coupeurs for a quicker journey toward Libya.

      PROXY BORDER GUARDS

      Before mid-2016, there were between 100 and 200 vehicles, mostly pickups, each filled with around 30 migrants heading for Libya, that were making such a journey every week. Since mid-2016, however, under pressure from the European Union, and with promises of financial support, the Niger government began cracking down on the northward flow of sub-Saharans, arresting drivers and confiscating cars, sometimes at the Agadez checkpoint itself. Now there are only a few cars transporting passengers, most of them Nigeriens who have managed to convince soldiers at the checkpoint—often with the help of a bribe—that they do not intend to go all the way to Europe but will end their journey in Libya.

      “To close Libya’s southern border is to close Europe’s southern border,” Marco Minniti, Italy’s interior minister, said in April at a meeting in Rome with representatives of three cross-border Saharan tribes, the Tubu, Awlad Suleiman Arabs, and Tuareg. The leaders agreed to form a border force to stop migrants entering Libya from traveling to Europe, reportedly at the demand of, and under the prospect of money from, the Italian government. All three communities are interested in resolving the deadly conflicts that have beset the country since the fall of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011 and hope Italy will compensate them monetarily for their casualties (in tribal conflicts, a payment is needed to end a fight) as well as fund reconstruction and development of neglected southern Libya. Italy, of course, is keen on halting the flow of migrants reaching its shores and sees these Saharan groups, which have the potential to intervene before migrants even get to Libya, as plausible proxies.

      Some tribal leaders in southern Libya—mostly Tubu and Tuareg—look favorably on Italy’s and Europe’s overtures and suggested that the EU should cooperate directly with local militias to secure the border. But their tribes largely benefit from smuggling migrants, and they also made clear this business will not stop unless development aid and compensation for the smugglers is provided. “The EU wants to use us against migrants and terrorism,” a Tubu militia leader told me, off-the-record, on the side of a meeting in the European Parliament last year. “But we have our own problems. What alternative can we propose to our youth, who live off trafficking?”

      With or without the EU, some of the newly armed groups in Libya are selling themselves as migrant hunters. “We arrested more than 18,000 migrants,” a militia chief told me, with a hauteur that reminded me of the anti-immigrant sentiment spreading across Europe. “We don’t want just to please the EU, we protect our youths and our territory!”

      It seems rather reckless, however, in a largely stateless stretch of the Sahara, for Europe to empower militias as proxy border guards, some of whom are the very smugglers whose operations the EU is trying to thwart. The precedent in Sudan is not encouraging. Last year, Khartoum received funding from the EU that was intended to help it restrict outward migration. The best the government could do was redeploy at the Sudanese-Libyan border the notorious Rapid Support Forces, recruited among Darfur’s Janjaweed militias, which have wreaked havoc in the province since 2003. In due course, their leader, Brigadier General Dagalo, also known as “Hemeti,” claimed to have arrested 20,000 migrants and then threatened to reopen the border if the EU did not pay an additional sum. The EU had already given Sudan and Niger 140 million euros each in 2016. And the Libyan rival factions are catching on, understanding well that the migrant crisis gives them a chance to blackmail European leaders worried about the success of far-right anti-immigrant groups in their elections. In February, with elections looming in the Netherlands and France, the EU made a deal to keep migrants in Libya, on the model of its March 2016 agreement with Turkey, with the Tripoli-based, internationally recognized Government of National Accord, despite the fact it has little control over the country. In August, the GNA’s main rival, eastern Libya’s strongman Khalifa Haftar, claimed that blocking migrants at Libya’s southern borders would cost one billion euros a year over 20 years and asked France, his closest ally in Europe, to provide him with military equipment such as helicopters, drones, armored vehicles, and night vision goggles. Needless to say, Haftar did not get the equipment.

      THE HUB

      Dirkou became a migrant hub about 25 years ago and remains a thriving market town whose residents make a living mostly off of road transport to and from Libya. Smuggling people across Libya’s southern borders became semiofficial practice in 1992, as Qaddafi sought to circumvent the UN’s air traffic embargo. This, in turn, opened up an opportunity for ambitious facilitators who could get their hands on a vehicle, a period that came to be known locally as “the Marlboro era.” Planes and trucks, contravening the embargo, delivered cigarettes to Dirkou, where there was already an airstrip long enough for cargo planes. They then sold their contraband to Libyan smugglers, who took them north with help from Nigerien authorities.

      Smuggling was possible at the time only if the government was involved, explained Bakri, one of the drivers I met in Dirkou (and who requested his name be changed). Gradually, cigarettes were replaced by Moroccan cannabis, which was driven down from around the Algerian border through Mali and Niger. Tuareg rebels, who had been involved in sporadic insurgencies against the governments of Mali and Niger, began to attack the convoys to steal their cargoes for reselling. The traffickers eventually enlisted them to serve as their protectors, guides, or drivers.

      That process began in the 1990s and 2000s when the Niger government and Tuareg rebels held regular peace talks and struck deals that allowed former insurgents to be integrated into the Niger armed forces. Hundreds of fighters who were left to fend for themselves, however, fell back on banditry or drug trafficking, and it wasn’t long before the authorities decided that they should be encouraged to transport migrants to Libya instead. Many now own vehicles that had been captured from the army in the course of the rebellion. These were cleared through customs at half the normal fee, and the Ministry of Transport awarded a great number of them licenses. It was decided that the new fleet of migrant facilitators would take passengers at the bus station in Agadez.

      In 2011, after the NATO-backed revolution in Libya had toppled Qaddafi, newly formed Tubu militias took control of most of the country’s arms stockpiles, as well as its southern borderlands. Many young Tubu men from Libya or Niger stole or, like Bakri, who dropped out of the university to become a smuggler, bought a good pickup truck for carrying passengers. The new wave of drivers who acquired their cars during the turmoil were known in Arabic as sawag NATO, or “NATO drivers.”

      “If the number of migrants increased,” Bakri told me, “it’s mostly because NATO overthrew Qaddafi.” Qaddafi was able to regulate the flow of migrants into Europe and used it as a bargaining chip. In 2008, he signed a friendship treaty with Italy, which was then led by Silvio Berlusconi. In exchange for Libya’s help to block the migrants, “Il Cavaliere” launched the construction of a $5 billion highway in Libya. Crucially, however, Qaddafi’s regime provided paid work for hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharans, who had no need to cross the Mediterranean. Since 2011, Libya has become a much more dangerous place, especially for migrants. They are held and often tortured by smugglers on the pretext that they owe money and used for slave labor and prostitution until their families can pay off the debt.

      In May 2015, under EU pressure, Niger adopted a law that made assistance to any foreigner illegal on the grounds that it constituted migrant trafficking. Critics noted that the legislation contradicts Niger’s membership in the visa-free ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), from which most migrants traveling between Niger and Libya hail (they numbered 400,000 in 2016). The law was not enforced until the middle of last year, when the police began arresting drivers and “coaxers”—the regional term for all intermediaries on the human-smuggling routes up through West Africa. They jailed about 100 of them and confiscated another 100 vehicles. Three months later, the EU congratulated itself for a spectacular drop in migrant flows from Niger to Libya. But the announcement was based on International Organization for Migration (IOM) data, which the UN agency has since acknowledged to be incorrect, owing to a “technical problem” with its database.

      Saddiq, whose name has also been changed, is a coaxer in Agadez. He told me that migrants were still arriving in the town in the hope of heading north. “The police are from southern Niger and they are not familiar with the desert,” he said. “For every car arrested, 20 get through.” The cars have gotten faster. One of Saddiq’s drivers traded his old one for a Toyota Tundra, which can reach 120 miles per hour on hard sand. Meanwhile, groups of migrants have gotten smaller and are thus lighter loads. New “roads” have already been pounded out through the desert. Drivers pick up migrants as far south as the Nigerien-Nigerian border, keeping clear of towns and checkpoints. “Tubu drivers have been going up with GPS to open new roads along the Niger-Algeria border,” said Saddiq. “They meet the drug traffickers and exchange food and advice.”

      On these new roads, risks are higher for drivers and passengers. Vehicles get lost, break down, and run out of fuel. Thirst is a constant danger, and, as drivers and the IOM warned, deaths increased during the 2017 dry season, which began in May. Drivers pursued by patrols are likely to aim for a high-speed getaway, which means abandoning their passengers in the desert. “Because we couldn’t take the main road, bandits attacked us,” Aji, a Gambian migrant, told me as he recounted his failed attempt to get to Libya last December. “Only 30 kilometers from Agadez, bandits shot at us, killed two drivers and injured 17 passengers, including myself.” They took everything he owned. He was brought back to the hospital in Agadez for treatment for his wounded leg. He was broke and his spirits were low. “I no longer want to go to Libya,” he said.

      New liabilities for the smugglers drive up their prices: the fare for a ride from Agadez to Libya before the Niger government decided to curtail the northward flow was around $250. Now it is $500 or more. People with enough money travel in small, elite groups of three to five for up to $1,700 per head. Migrants without enough cash can travel on credit, but they risk falling into debt bondage once in Libya. Even with the higher fees, smugglers’ revenues have not increased. Saddiq’s has fallen from $5,000 a month to around $2,000. Costs, including lavish bribes to Niger’s security forces, have risen sharply. Still, the pace of the trade remains brisk. “I have a brand-new vehicle ready for 22 passengers,” Saddiq told me. That evening, as he loaded up his passengers with their light luggage and jerry cans of water, a motorbike went ahead of it with its headlights off to make sure that the coast was clear.

      “Many won’t give up this work, but those who continue are stuntmen,” grumbled one of Saddiq’s colleagues, a Tuareg former rebel who has been driving migrants for more than 15 years. Feeling chased by the authorities, or forced to pay them bribes twice as much as before, Tuareg and Tubu drivers are increasingly angry with the Nigerien government and what they call “the diktat of Europe.” He thought there might be better money in other activities. “What should we do? Become terrorists?” he said, somewhat provocatively. “I should go up to Libya and enlist with Daesh [the Islamic State, or ISIS]. They’re the ones who offer the best pay.”

      https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/niger/2017-08-31/europes-migrant-hunters
      #Agadez #réfugiés #Niger #désert_du_Ténéré #passeurs #smugglers #smuggling #Dirkou #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoires

    • Sfidare la morte per fuggire dal Niger

      In Niger i militari inseguono i migranti. Ordini dall’alto: quello che vuole l’Europa. Che per questo li paga. I profughi cercano così altri percorsi. Passano per il deserto, per piste più pericolose. Con il rischio di morire disidratati


      #photographie

    • A line in the sand

      In late 2016, Agadez made headlines when Niger became one of the European Union (EU)’s prime partners in the fight against irregular migration. The arrest of human smugglers and the confiscation of their 4x4 trucks resulted in a decrease in the number of migrants travelling through the region.

      Given Agadez’s economic dependence on the migration industry, Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit investigated the costs of these measures for the local population, their authorities and regional security. We invite you to work with our data and explore our findings.


      https://www.clingendael.org/sustainable_migration_management_Agadez
      #économie #économie_locale

    • Quel lunedì che ha cambiato la migrazione in Niger

      Nella prima storia della sua trilogia sul Niger per Open Migration, Giacomo Zandonini ci raccontava com’è cambiata la vita di un ex passeur di migranti dopo l’applicazione delle misure restrittive da parte del governo. In questa seconda storia, sfida i pericoli del Sahara insieme ai migranti e racconta come la chiusura della rotta di Agadez abbia spinto la locale economia al dettaglio verso le mani di un sistema mafioso.

      http://openmigration.org/analisi/quel-lunedi-che-ha-cambiato-la-migrazione-in-niger
      #fermeture_des_frontières #mafia

      En anglais:
      http://openmigration.org/en/analyses/the-monday-that-changed-migration-in-niger

    • In Niger, Europe’s Empty Promises Hinder Efforts to Move Beyond Smuggling

      The story of one former desert driver and his struggle to escape the migration trade reveals the limits of an E.U. scheme to offer alternatives to the Sahara smugglers. Giacomo Zandonini reports from Agadez.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/01/03/europes-empty-promises-hinder-efforts-to-move-beyond-smuggling
      #reconversion

    • Agadez, aux portes du Sahara

      Dans la foulée de la ’crise des migrants’ de 2015, l’Union Européenne a signé une série d’accords avec des pays tiers. Parmi ceux-ci, un deal avec le Niger qui provoque des morts anonymes par centaines dans le désert du Sahara. Médecins du Monde est présente à Agadez pour soigner les migrants. Récit.

      https://spark.adobe.com/page/47HkbWVoG4nif

    • « A Agadez, on est passé de 350 migrants par jour à 100 par semaine »

      Journée spéciale sur RFI ce 23 mai. La radio mondiale propose des reportages et des interviews sur Agadez, la grande ville-carrefour du Nord-Niger, qui tente de tourner le dos à l’émigration clandestine. Notre reporter, Bineta Diagne essaie notamment de savoir si les quelque 5 000 à 6 000 passeurs, transporteurs et rabatteurs, qui vivent du trafic des migrants, sont en mesure de se reconvertir. Au Niger, Mohamed Bazoum est ministre d’Etat, ministre de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité publique. En ligne de Niamey, il répond aux questions de Christophe Boisbouvier.

      http://www.rfi.fr/emission/20180523-agadez-on-est-passe-350-migrants-jour-100-semaine

      Des contacts sur place ont confirmé à Karine Gatelier (Modus Operandi, association grenobloise) et moi-même que les arrivées à Agadez baissent.
      La question reste :

      Les itinéraires changent : vers où ?

    • Niger: la difficile #reconversion d’Agadez

      Le Niger est un pays de transit et de départ de l’émigration irrégulière vers l’Europe. Depuis fin 2016, les autorités tentent de lutter contre ce phénomène. Les efforts des autorités se concentrent autour de la ville d’Agadez, dans le centre du pays. Située aux portes du désert du Ténéré et classée patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco, Agadez a, pendant plusieurs années, attiré énormément de touristes amoureux du désert. Mais l’insécurité a changé la donne de cette région, qui s’est progressivement développée autour d’une économie parallèle reposant sur la migration. Aujourd’hui encore, les habitants cherchent de nouveaux débouchés.

      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180523-niger-difficile-reconversion-agadez
      #tourisme

    • Au #Sahara, voyager devient un crime

      La France s’est émue lorsque Mamadou Gassama, un Malien de 22 ans, sans papiers, a sauvé un enfant de 4 ans d’une (probable) chute fatale à Paris. Une figure de « migrant extraordinaire » comme les médias savent régulièrement en créer, mais une figure qui ne devrait pas faire oublier tous les autres, « les statistiques, les sans-nom, les numéros. » Ni tous celles et ceux qui n’ont aucune intention de venir en Europe, mais qui sont néanmoins victimes des nouvelles politiques migratoires européennes et africaines mises en œuvre à l’abri des regards, à l’intérieur même du continent africain.

      Les migrations vers et à travers le Sahara ne constituent certes pas un phénomène nouveau. Mais à partir du début des années 2000, la focalisation des médias et des pouvoirs publics sur la seule minorité d’individus qui, après avoir traversé le Sahara, traversent également la Méditerranée, a favorisé l’assimilation de l’ensemble de ces circulations intra-africaines à des migrations économiques à destination de l’Europe.

      Ce point de vue, qui repose sur des représentations partielles et partiales des faits, éloignées des réalités de terrain observées par les chercheurs, sert depuis lors de base de légitimation à la mise en œuvre de politiques migratoires restrictives en Afrique.

      Le Sahara, zone de contrôle

      L’Europe (Union européenne et certains États), des organisations internationales (notamment l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM)) et des structures ad hoc (#Frontex, #EUCAP_Sahel_Niger), avec la coopération plus ou moins volontariste des autorités nationales des pays concernés, participent ainsi au durcissement législatif mis en place dans les pays du Maghreb au cours des années 2000, puis en Afrique de l’Ouest la décennie suivante, ainsi qu’au renforcement de la surveillance et du contrôle des espaces désertiques et des populations mobiles.

      Le Sahara est ainsi transformé en une vaste « #zone-frontière » où les migrants peuvent partout et en permanence être contrôlés, catégorisés, triés, incités à faire demi-tour voire être arrêtés.

      Cette nouvelle manière de « gérer » les #circulations_migratoires dans la région pose de nombreux problèmes, y compris juridiques. Ainsi, les ressortissants des États membres de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (#CEDEAO), qui ont officiellement le droit de circuler librement au sein de l’#espace_communautaire, se font régulièrement arrêter lorsqu’ils se dirigent vers les frontières septentrionales du #Mali ou du #Niger.

      Le Niger, nouveau garde-frontière de l’Europe

      Dans ce pays, les migrations internationales n’étaient jusqu’à récemment pas considérées comme un problème à résoudre et ne faisaient pas l’objet d’une politique spécifique.

      Ces dernières années, tandis que le directeur général de l’OIM affirmait – sans chiffre à l’appui – qu’il y a dorénavant autant de décès de migrants au Sahara qu’en Méditerranée, l’UE continuait de mettre le gouvernement nigérien sous pression pour en finir avec « le modèle économique des passeurs ».

      Si des projets et programmes sont, depuis des années, mis en œuvre dans le pays pour y parvenir, les moyens financiers et matériels dédiés ont récemment été décuplés, à l’instar de l’ensemble des moyens destinés à lutter contre les migrations irrégulières supposées être à destination de l’Europe.

      Ainsi, le budget annuel de l’OIM a été multiplié par 7,5 en 20 ans (passant de 240 millions d’euros en 1998 à 1,8 milliard d’euros en 2018), celui de Frontex par 45 en 12 ans (passant de 6 millions d’euros en 2005 à 281 millions d’euros en 2017), celui d’EUCAP Sahel Niger par 2,5 en 5 ans (passant de moins de 10 millions d’euros en 2012 à 26 millions d’euros en 2017), tandis que depuis 2015 le Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique a été lancé par l’UE avec un budget de 2,5 milliards d’euros destinés à lutter contre les « causes profondes de la migration irrégulière » sur le continent, et notamment au Sahel.

      Ceci est particulièrement visible dans la région d’Agadez, dans le nord du pays, qui est plus que jamais considérée par les experts européens comme « le lieu où passe la plupart des flux de [migrants irréguliers] qui vont en Libye puis en Europe par la route de la Méditerranée centrale ».

      La migration criminalisée

      La mission européenne EUCAP Sahel Niger, lancée en 2012 et qui a ouvert une antenne permanente à Agadez en 2017, apparaît comme un des outils clés de la politique migratoire et sécuritaire européenne dans ce pays. Cette mission vise à « assister les autorités nigériennes locales et nationales, ainsi que les forces de sécurité, dans le développement de politiques, de techniques et de procédures permettant d’améliorer le contrôle et la lutte contre les migrations irrégulières », et d’articuler cela avec la « lutte anti-terroriste » et contre « les activités criminelles associées ».

      Outre cette imbrication officialisée des préoccupations migratoires et sécuritaires, EUCAP Sahel Niger et le nouveau Cadre de partenariat pour les migrations, mis en place par l’UE en juin 2016 en collaboration avec le gouvernement nigérien, visent directement à mettre en application la loi nigérienne n°2015-36 de mai 2015 sur le trafic de migrants, elle-même faite sur mesure pour s’accorder aux attentes européennes en la matière.

      Cette loi, qui vise à « prévenir et combattre le trafic illicite de migrants » dans le pays, définit comme trafiquant de migrants « toute personne qui, intentionnellement et pour en tirer, directement ou indirectement, un avantage financier ou un autre avantage matériel, assure l’entrée ou la sortie illégale au Niger » d’un ressortissant étranger.
      Jusqu’à 45 000 euros d’amende et 30 ans de prison

      Dans la région d’#Agadez frontalière de la Libye et de l’Algérie, les gens qui organisent les transports des passagers, tels les chauffeurs-guides en possession de véhicules pick-up tout-terrain leur permettant de transporter une trentaine de voyageurs, sont dorénavant accusés de participer à un « trafic illicite de migrants », et peuvent être arrêtés et condamnés.

      Transporter ou même simplement loger, dans le nord du Niger, des ressortissants étrangers (en situation irrégulière ou non) fait ainsi encourir des amendes allant jusqu’à 30 millions de francs CFA (45 000 euros) et des peines pouvant s’élever à 30 ans de prison.

      Et, cerise sur le gâteau de la répression aveugle, il est précisé que « la tentative des infractions prévue par la présente loi est punie des mêmes peines. » Nul besoin donc de franchir irrégulièrement une frontière internationale pour être incriminé.

      Résultat, à plusieurs centaines de kilomètres des frontières, des transporteurs, « passeurs » avérés ou supposés, requalifiés en « trafiquants », jugés sur leurs intentions et non leurs actes, peuvent dorénavant être arrêtés. Pour les autorités nationales, comme pour leurs homologues européens, il s’agit ainsi d’organiser le plus efficacement possible une lutte préventive contre « l’émigration irrégulière » à destination de l’Europe.

      Cette aberration juridique permet d’arrêter et de condamner des individus dans leur propre pays sur la seule base d’intentions supposées : c’est-à-dire sans qu’aucune infraction n’ait été commise, sur la simple supposition de l’intention d’entrer illégalement dans un autre pays.

      Cette mesure a été prise au mépris de la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples (article 12.2) et de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme (article 13.2), qui stipulent que « toute personne a le droit de quitter tout pays, y compris le sien ».

      Au mépris également du principe de présomption d’innocence, fondateur de tous les grands systèmes légaux. En somme, une suspension du droit et de la morale qui reflète toute la violence inique des logiques de lutte contre les migrations africaines supposées être à destination de l’Europe.
      Des « passeurs » sans « passages »

      La présomption de culpabilité a ainsi permis de nombreuses arrestations suivies de peines d’emprisonnement, particulièrement dans la région d’Agadez, perçue comme une région de transit pour celles et ceux qui souhaitent se rendre en Europe, tandis que les migrations vers le Sud ne font l’objet d’aucun contrôle de ce type.

      La loi de 2015 permet en effet aux forces de l’ordre et de sécurité du Niger d’arrêter des chauffeurs nigériens à l’intérieur même de leur pays, y compris lorsque leurs passagers sont en situation régulière au Niger. Cette loi a permis de créer juridiquement la catégorie de « passeur » sans qu’il y ait nécessairement passage de frontière.

      La question des migrations vers et à travers le Sahara semble ainsi dorénavant traitée par le gouvernement nigérien, et par ses partenaires internationaux, à travers des dispositifs dérivés du droit de la guerre, et particulièrement de la « guerre contre le terrorisme » et de l’institutionnalisation de lois d’exception qui va avec.

      Malgré cela, si le Niger est peu à peu devenu un pays cobaye des politiques antimigrations de l’Union européenne, nul doute pour autant qu’aucune police n’est en mesure d’empêcher totalement les gens de circuler, si ce n’est localement et temporairement – certainement pas dans la durée et à l’échelle du Sahara.

      Adapter le voyage

      Migrants et transporteurs s’adaptent et contournent désormais les principales villes et leurs #check-points, entraînant une hausse des tarifs de transport entre le Niger et l’Afrique du Nord. Ces #tarifs, qui ont toujours fortement varié selon les véhicules, les destinations et les périodes, sont passés d’environ 100 000 francs CFA (150 euros) en moyenne par personne vers 2010, à plusieurs centaines de milliers de francs CFA en 2017 (parfois plus de 500 euros). Les voyages à travers le Sahara sont ainsi plus onéreux et plus discrets, mais aussi plus difficiles et plus risqués qu’auparavant, car en prenant des routes inhabituelles, moins fréquentées, les transporteurs ne minimisent pas seulement les risques de se faire arrêter, mais aussi ceux de se faire secourir en cas de pannes ou d’attaques par des bandits.

      Comme le montre l’article Manufacturing Smugglers : From Irregular to Clandestine Mobility in the Sahara, cette « clandestinisation » (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0002716217744529) généralisée du transport de migrants s’accompagne d’une diminution, voire d’une disparition, du contrôle social jusque-là exercé sur les différents acteurs, entre eux, mais aussi par leurs proches ou par les agents de l’État qui ponctionnaient illégalement leurs activités.

      Il était en effet aisé, jusqu’à récemment, de savoir qui était parti d’où, quel jour, avec combien de passagers, et de savoir si tous étaient arrivés à bon port. Ce qui incitait chacun à rester dans les limites morales de l’acceptable. Ces dernières années, entre les risques pris volontairement par les transporteurs et les migrants, et les abandons de passagers dans le désert, il ne serait pas étonnant que le nombre de morts sur les pistes sahariennes ait augmenté.
      Une vraie fausse réduction des flux

      Récemment, l’OIM a pu clamer une diminution des volumes des flux migratoires passant par le Niger, et des représentants de l’UE et de gouvernements sur les deux continents ont pu se féliciter de l’efficacité des mesures mises en œuvre, clamant unanimement la nécessité de poursuivre leur effort.

      Mais de l’accord même des agents de l’#OIM, seul organisme à produire des chiffres en la matière au Sahara, il ne s’agit en fait que d’une diminution du nombre de personnes passant par ses points de contrôle, ce qui ne nous dit finalement rien sur le volume global des flux à travers le pays. Or, malgré toutes les mesures sécuritaires mises en place, la toute petite partie de la population qui a décidé de voyager ainsi va sans doute continuer à le faire, quel qu’en soit le risque.

      https://theconversation.com/au-sahara-voyager-devient-un-crime-96825
      #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #mobilité #libre_circulation #frontières #externalisation #fermeture_des_frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #IOM #contrôles_frontaliers #déstructuration #passeurs #smugglers

    • Déclaration de fin de mission du Rapporteur Spécial des Nations Unies sur les droits de l’homme des migrants, Felipe González Morales, lors de sa visite au Niger (1-8 octobre, 2018)

      L’externalisation de la gestion de la migration du Niger par le biais de l’OIM

      En raison de ses capacités limitées, le gouvernement du Niger s’appuie depuis 2014 largement sur l’OIM pour répondre à la situation des personnes migrantes expulsées de l’Algérie ou forcées de revenir de pays voisins tels que la Libye et le Mali. À leur arrivée dans l’un des six centres de transit de l’OIM, et sous réserve qu’ils s’engagent à leur retour, l’OIM leur offre un abri, de la nourriture, une assistance médicale et psychosociale, des documents de voyage/d’identité et le transport vers leur pays d’origine. Depuis 2015, 11 936 migrants ont été rapatriés dans leur pays d’origine dans le cadre du programme d’AVR de l’OIM, la plupart en Guinée Conakry, au Mali et au Cameroun.

      Au cours de ma visite, j’ai eu l’occasion de m’entretenir avec de nombreux hommes, femmes et enfants vivant dans les centres de transit de l’OIM à Agadez et à Niamey, inscrits au programme d’AVR. Certains d’entre eux ont indiqué qu’ils ne pouvaient plus supporter les violations des droits de l’homme (ayant été victimes de discrimination raciale, d’arrestations arbitraires, de torture, d’expulsion collective, d’exploitation sexuelle et par le travail pendant leur migration) et de la situation difficile dans les centres de transit et souhaitaient retourner dans leur pays d’origine. D’autres ont indiqué qu’ils s’étaient inscrits au programme d’AVR parce que c’était la seule assistance qui leur était offerte, et beaucoup d’entre eux m’ont dit que dès leur retour dans leur pays d’origine, ils essaieraient de migrer à nouveau.

      En effet, quand le programme d’AVR est la seule option disponible pour ceux qui ont été expulsés ou forcés de rentrer, et qu’aucune autre alternative réelle n’est proposée à ceux qui ne veulent pas s’y inscrire, y compris ceux qui se trouvent dans une situation vulnérable et qui ont été victimes de multiples violations des droits de l’homme, des questions se posent quant à la véritable nature volontaire de ces retours si l’on considère l’ensemble du parcours qu’ils ont effectué. De plus, l’inscription à un programme d’AVR ne peut pas prévaloir sur le fait que la plupart de ces migrants sont à l’origine victimes d’expulsions illégales, en violation des principes fondamentaux du droit international.

      L’absence d’évaluations individuelles efficaces et fondées sur les droits de l’homme menées auprès des migrants rapatriés, faites dans le respect du principe fondamental de non-refoulement et des garanties d’une procédure régulière, est un autre sujet de préoccupation. Un grand nombre de personnes migrantes inscrites au programme d’AVR sont victimes de multiples violations des droits de l’homme (par exemple, subies au cours de leur migration et dans les pays de transit) et ont besoin d’une protection fondée sur le droit international. Cependant, très peu de personnes sont orientées vers une demande d’asile/procédure de détermination du statut de réfugié, et les autres sont traitées en vue de leur retour. L’objectif ultime des programmes d’AVR, à savoir le retour des migrants, ne peut pas prévaloir sur les considérations en lien avec les droits de l’homme pour chaque cas. Cela soulève également des préoccupations en termes de responsabilité, d’accès à la justice et de recours pour les migrants victimes de violations des droits de l’homme.

      Rôle des bailleurs de fonds internationaux et en particulier de l’UE

      Bien que les principaux responsables gouvernementaux ont souligné que l’objectif de réduction des migrations vers le nord était principalement une décision de politique nationale, il est nécessaire de souligner le rôle et la responsabilité de la communauté internationale et des bailleurs de fond à cet égard. En effet, plusieurs sources ont déclaré que la politique nigérienne en matière de migration est fortement influencée et principalement conduite selon les demandes de l’Union européenne et de ses États membres en matière de contrôle de la migration en échange d’un soutien financier. Par exemple, le fait que le Fonds fiduciaire de l’Union européenne apporte un soutien financier à l’OIM en grande partie pour sensibiliser et renvoyer les migrants dans leur pays d’origine, même lorsque le caractère volontaire est souvent discutable, compromet son approche fondée sur les droits dans la coopération pour le développement. De plus, d’après mes échanges avec l’Union européenne, aucun soutien n’est prévu pour les migrants qui ne sont ni des réfugiés ni pour ceux qui n’ont pas accepté d’être renvoyés volontairement dans leur pays d’origine. En outre, le rôle et le soutien de l’UE dans l’adoption et la mise en œuvre de la loi sur le trafic illicite de migrants remettent en question son principe de « ne pas nuire » compte tenu des préoccupations en matière de droits de l’homme liées à la mise en œuvre et exécution de la loi.

      https://www.ohchr.org/FR/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23698&LangID=F
      #droits_humains #droits_de_l'homme_des_migrants #Niger #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    • African migration ’a trickle’ thanks to trafficking ban across the Sahara

      The number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean for Europe has been dropping and that is partly because of tougher measures introduced on the migrant routes, as Mike Thomson reports from Niger.

      In a small dusty courtyard near the centre of Agadez, a town on the fringes of the Sahara desert, Bachir Amma, eats lunch with his family.

      A line of plastic chairs, clinging to the shadow of the mud walls, are the only visible furniture.

      Mr Amma, a former people smuggler, dressed in a faded blue denim shirt and jeans, has clearly known better days.

      "I stopped trafficking migrants to the Libyan border when the new law came in.

      "It’s very, very strict. If you’re caught you get a long time in jail and they confiscate your vehicle.

      “If the law was eased I would go back to people trafficking, that’s for sure. It earned me as much as $6,000 (£4,700) a week, far more money than anything I can do now.”
      Traffickers jailed

      The law Mr Amma mentioned, which banned the transport of migrants through northern Niger, was brought in by the government in 2015 following pressure from European countries.

      Before then such work was entirely legal, as Niger is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) that permits the free movement of people.

      Police even provided armed escorts for the convoys involved. But since the law was passed many traffickers have been jailed and hundreds of their vehicles confiscated.

      Before 2015, the Agadez region was home to more than 6,000 people traffickers like Mr Amma, according to figures from the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) .

      Collectively they transported around 340,000 Europe-bound migrants through the Sahara desert to Libya.
      Migration in reverse

      Since the clampdown this torrent has become a relative trickle.

      In fact, more African migrants, who have ended up in Niger and experienced or heard of the terrible dangers and difficulties of getting to Europe, have decided to return home.

      This year alone 16,000 have decided to accept offers from the IOM to fly them back.

      A large and boisterous IOM-run transit centre in Agadez is home to hundreds of weary, homesick migrants.

      In one large hut around 20 young men, from a variety of West African countries, attend a class on how to set up a small business when they get home.

      Among them is 27-year-old Umar Sankoh from Sierra Leone, who was dumped in the Sahara by a trafficker when he was unable to pay him more money.

      “The struggle is so hard in the desert, so difficult to find your way. You don’t have food, you don’t have nothing, even water you can’t drink. It’s so terrible,” he said.

      Now, Mr Sankoh has given up his dreams of a better life in Europe and only has one thought in mind: "I want to go home.

      "My family will be happy because it’s been a long time so they must believe I am dead.

      “If they see me now they’ll think, ’Oh my God, God is working!’”
      Coast guards intercept vessels

      Many thousands of migrants who make it to Libya are sold on by their traffickers to kidnappers who try and get thousands of dollars from their families back home.

      Those who cannot pay are often tortured, sometimes while being forced to ask relatives for money over the phone, and held in atrocious conditions for months.

      With much of the country in the grip of civil war, such gangs can operate there with impunity.

      In an effort to curb the number of migrants making for southern Europe by boat, thousands of whom have drowned on the way, coast guards trained by the European Union (EU) try and stop or intercept often flimsy vessels.

      Those on board are then taken to detention centres, where they are exposed to squalid, hugely overcrowded conditions and sometimes beatings and forced hard labour.
      Legal resettlement offers

      In November 2017, the EU funded a special programme to evacuate the most vulnerable refugees in centres like these.

      Under this scheme, which is run by the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), a little more than 2,200 people have since been flown to the comparative safety of neighbouring Niger.

      There, in a compound in the capital, Niamey, they wait for the chance to be resettled in a European country, including the UK, as well as Canada and the US.

      So far just under 1,000 have been resettled and 264 accepted for resettlement.

      The rest await news of their fate.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46802548
      #cartographie

      Commentaire de Alizée Daouchy via la mailing-list Migreurop:

      Rien de très nouveau dans cet article, il traite des routes migratoires dans le Sahara mais ne s’intéresse qu’au cas d’Agadez.
      L’auteur qualifie les « flux » dans le Sahara de « migration in reverse ». Alors qu’avant l’adoption de la loi contre le trafic de migrants (2015), 340 000 personnes traversaient le désert du Sahara vers la Libye (sans préciser pour quelle(s) année(s)), en 2018, 16 000 personnes ont été ’retournées’ dans leur pays d’origine par l’#OIM.

      Pour autant, des ’trafiquants’ continuent leurs activités en empruntant des routes plus dangereuses pour éviter les forces de l’ordre. A ce sujet la représentante de l’UNHCR au Niger rappelle que : la communauté internationale ("we, the international Community, the UNHCR") considère que pour chaque mort en Méditerranée, il y en aurait au moins deux dans le désert". Mais toujours pas de sources concernant ces chiffres.

      #migrations_inversées #migrations_inverses

    • After crackdown, what do people employed in migration market do?

      Thousands in Niger were employed as middlemen until the government, aided by the EU, targeted undocumented migration.

      A group of women are squeezed into a modest room, ready to take their class in a popular district of Agadez, the largest city in central Niger.

      A blackboard hangs on the wall and Mahaman Alkassoum, chalk in hand, is ready to begin.

      A former people smuggler, he is an unusual professor.

      His round face and shy expression clash with the image of the ruthless trafficker.

      “We’re here to help you organise your savings, so that your activities will become profitable,” Alkassoum tells the women, before drawing a timeline to illustrate the different stages of starting a business.

      Until mid-2016, both he and the women in the room were employed in Agadez’s huge migration market, which offered economic opportunities for thousands of people in an immense desert region, bordering with Algeria, Libya and Chad.

      Alkassoum used to pack his pick-up truck with up to 25 migrants at once, driving them across the Sahara from Agadez to the southern Libyan city of Sebha, earning up to 1,500 euros ($1,706) a month - five times the salary of a local policeman.

      All of us suffered with the end of migration in Agadez. We’re toasting peanuts every day and thinking of new ways to earn something.

      Habi Amaloze, former cook for migrants

      The women, his current students, were employed as cooks in the ghettos and yards where migrants were hosted during their stay in town.

      At times, they fed 100 people a day and earned about 200 euros ($227) a month.

      For decades, the passage of western African migrants heading to Libya, and eventually to Italian shores, happened in daylight, in full view - and in most cases with the complicity of Niger security forces.

      According to a 2016 study by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), migrants in transit had injected about 100 million euros ($113.8m) into the local economy,

      But the “golden age” of migration through Agadez ended abruptly in the summer of 2016 when the government of Niger launched a crackdown on people smuggling.

      More than 300 drivers, middlemen and managers of ghettos, have been arrested since then, convincing other colleagues - like Alkassoum and his students - to abandon their activity.

      The driver’s new career as a community organiser began right after, when most locals involved in the smuggling business realised they had to somehow reinvent their lives.

      At first, a few hundred men, former drivers or managers of ghettos, decided to set up an informal association, with the idea of raising funds between members to launch small commercial activities.

      But the project didn’t really work, Alkassoum recounts. In early 2018, the leader of the group, a renowned smuggler, disappeared with some of the funds.

      Alkassoum, at the time the association’s secretary, got discouraged.

      That was the moment when their female colleagues showed up.

      Most of them were wives or sisters of smugglers, who were cooking for the migrants inside ghettos and, all of a sudden, had also seen their source of income disappear.

      Resorting to an old experience as a youth leader, Alkassoum decided to help them launch new businesses, through lessons on community participation and bookkeeping.

      As of mid-2018, more than 70 women had joined.

      “At first we met to share our common suffering after losing our jobs, but soon we realised we needed to do more,” says Fatoumata Adiguini at the end of the class.

      They decided to launch small businesses, dividing themselves into subgroups, each one developing a specific idea.

      Habi Amaloze, a thin Tuareg woman, heads one of the groups: 17 women that called themselves “banda badantchi” - meaning “no difference” in Hausa - to share their common situation.

      The banda badantchi started with the cheapest possible activity, shelling and toasting peanuts to sell on the streets.

      Other groups collected small sums to buy a sheep, chicks or a sewing machine.

      “We started with what we had, which was almost nothing, but we dream to be able one day to open up a restaurant or a small farming activity,” explains Amaloze.

      While most men left Agadez to find opportunities elsewhere, the women never stopped meeting and built relations of trust.

      Besides raising their children, they have another motivation: working with migrants has freed them from marital control, something they are not willing or ready to lose.

      According to Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of Agadez, the crackdown on northbound migration responded to European requests more than to local needs.

      Since 2015, the European Union earmarked 230 million euros ($261.7m) from its Emergency Trust Fund of Africa for projects in Niger, making it the main beneficiary of a fund created to “address the root causes of migration”.

      Among the projects, the creation of a police investigative unit, where French and Spanish policemen helped their Nigerien counterparts to track and arrest smugglers.

      Another project, known under its acronym Paiera, aimed at relieving the effect of the migration crackdown in Agadez, included a compensation scheme for smugglers who left their old job. The eight million-euro ($9.2m) fund was managed by the High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace, a state office tasked with reducing conflicts in border areas.

      After endless negotiations between local authorities, EU representatives and a committee representing smugglers, a list of 6,550 smuggling actors operating in the region of Agadez, was finalised in 2017.

      But two years after the project’s launch, only 371 of them received small sums, about 2,300 euros ($2,616) per person, to start new activities.

      The High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace told Al Jazeera that an additional eight million-euro fund is available for a second phase of the project, to be launched in March 2019, allowing at least 600 more ex-smugglers to be funded.

      But Feltou, the city’s mayor, isn’t optimistic.

      “We waited too much and it’s still unclear when and how these new provisions will be delivered,” he explains.

      Finding viable job opportunities for thousands of drivers, managers of ghettos, middlemen, cooks or water can sellers, who lost their main source of income in a country the United Nations dubbed as the last in its human development index in 2018, is not an easy task.

      For the European Union, nonetheless, this cooperation has been a success. Northbound movements registered by the IOM along the main desert trail from Agadez to the Libyan border, dropped from 298,000 people a year in 2016 to about 50,000 in 2018.

      In a January 2019 report, the EU commission described such a cooperation with Niger as “constructive and fruitful”.

      Just like other women in her group, Habi Amaloze was disregarded by Brussels-funded programmes like Paiera.

      But the crackdown changed her life dramatically.

      Her brother, who helped her after her husband died years ago, was arrested in 2017, forcing the family to leave their rented house.

      With seven children, ranging from five to 13 years old, and a sick mother, they settled in a makeshift space used to store building material. Among piles of bricks, they built two shacks out of sticks, paperboard and plastic bags, to keep them safe from sand storms.

      “This is all we have now,” Amaloze says, pointing to a few burned pots and a mat.

      In seven years of work as a cook in her brother’s ghetto, she fed tens of thousands of migrants. Now she can hardly feed her family.

      “At that time I earned at least 35,000 [West African franc] a week [about $60], now it can be as low as 2,000 [$3.4], enough to cook macaroni once a day for the kids, but no sauce,” she says, her voice breaking.

      Only one of her children still attends school.

      Her experience is familiar among the women she meets weekly. “All of us suffered with the end of migration in Agadez,” she says.

      Through their groups, they found hope and solidarity. But their future is still uncertain.

      “We’re toasting peanuts every day and thinking of new ways to earn something,” Hamaloze says with a mix of bitterness and determination. “But, like all our former colleagues, we need real opportunities otherwise migration through Agadez and the Sahara will resume, in a more violent and painful way than before.”


      https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/crackdown-people-employed-migration-market-190303114806258.html

  • Paolo Gentiloni : « L’esercito italiano sarà impegnato in Sahel contro il terrorismo »

    «Partiremo con un’operazione bilaterale con il Niger che naturalmente ha un interesse specifico anche per quanto riguarda i flussi migratori dalla Libia»

    http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2017/12/13/paolo-gentiloni-lesercito-italiano-sara-impegnato-in-sahel-contro-il-
    #armée #sahel #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Niger #Italie #accords_bilatéraux #accord #terrorisme #anti-terrorisme #Sahel #Sahara #opération_militaire

    Je traduis cela, le chapeau :

    «Partiremo con un’operazione bilaterale con il Niger che naturalmente ha un interesse specifico anche per quanto riguarda i flussi migratori dalla Libia»

    –-> « on partira avec une opération bilatérale avec le Niger qui naturellement a un intérêt spécifique aussi concernant les flux migratoires de la Libye. »
    Le titre disait : « L’armée italienne sera active dans le Sahel contre le terrorisme »
    Et voilà qu’en quelques mots l’#amalgame est faite entre terrorisme, migrations et #criminalité. Un chef d’oeuvre de la propagation des #préjugés
    #criminalisation

    cc @reka

    • Il governo manderà soldati italiani in Niger

      Saranno inviati 470 uomini e 150 veicoli per addestrare le truppe nigerine e per combattere il traffico di migranti

      http://www.ilpost.it/2017/12/14/missione-italia-niger

      –-> 470 soldats italiens envoyés au Niger pour « former les troupes nigérianes et combattre le trafic de migrants »
      –-> et voilà que c’est dit : pour arrêter les flux migratoires (ici ils parlent de trafic de migrants, mais bon... l’autre article parlait bien de flux migratoires)... on envoie l’armée... comme si on était en #guerre contre les migrants.

      #it_has_begun, et c’est très très triste

    • J’ai vu ce matin que la presse française se félicitait de la création d’une Europe militaire :
      https://www.lecho.be/economie-politique/europe-general/L-Europe-lance-sa-cooperation-militaire-permanente/9963067?ckc=1&ts=1513324016

      info qu’on trouve surtout sur la presse économique, boursière, pour la press généraliste on fait dans le story telling dans le monde ils disent que c’est pour remonter le morale des européen après le brexit et pour répondre à une demande de trump...
      C’est le soir.be on raconte des belles histoires avant de nous envoyer nous coucher :
      « Ceci n’est pas une armée européeenne » affirme lesoir.be
      http://plus.lesoir.be/129354/article/2017-12-14/ceci-nest-pas-une-armee-europeenne
      c’est très très dégulasse
      #fascisme #racisme

    • Campagna italiana d’Africa nel Sahel sulle strade dei migranti

      Campagna d’Africa a fare cosa? Paolo Gentiloni: “L’esercito italiano sarà impegnato in Sahel contro il terrorismo”. Ma la frase che spiega veramente viene dopo,”Partiremo con un’operazione bilaterale con il Niger che naturalmente ha un interesse specifico anche per quanto riguarda i flussi migratori dalla Libia”.

      https://www.remocontro.it/2017/12/14/campagna-italiana-dafrica-nel-sahel-sulla-strada-dei-migranti
      #G5_Sahel

    • Niger: la missione militare italiana, un nuovo corso

      Al margine del vertice del G5 Sahel di Celle-Saint-Cloud, vicino a Parigi, Paolo Gentiloni ha annunciato l’invio di una missione militare in Niger con compiti di addestramento delle forze anti-terrorismo congiunte G5 Sahel. L’Italia sta approfittando dell’arretramento del sedicente Stato islamico, l’Isis, per alleggerire il suo impegno in Iraq e mandare circa 470 uomini nel terreno africano.

      http://www.affarinternazionali.it/2017/12/niger-missione-italiana-corso/?platform=hootsuite

    • Commentaire de Sara Prestianni sur FB :

      Qualche riflessione sull’intervento militare nostrano in Niger, fermo restando che si tratta di una operazione di contrasto all’immigrazione che cela interessi economici e geostrategici:

      1) che nozione di urgenza si applica per questa missione al punto da spingere Gentiloni a volerla far passare solo in commissione difesa senza discussione nelle Camere e alcuni rappresentanti PD a chiedere che venga rinviato lo scioglimento delle Camere a questo fine ?

      2) perché, se ancora non è chiaro se e come questa missione verrà approvata, un primo nucleo di parà è stato già inviato a Niamey

      3) Si definiscano le competenze della Folgore per una missione di controllo delle frontiere

      Queste le domande che si dovrebbero porre oggi a Gentiloni che su Ius Soli rimanda e su Niger accelera ....

    • Gentiloni in Niger come Cavour in Crimea?

      A metà dicembre, nel suo blog su HuffPost, Sara Prestianni scriveva che «la relazione tra militarizzazione, lotta ai migranti e al terrorismo - già emersa con il finanziamento della missione #EuCapSahel finalizzato alla formazione dei poliziotti di frontiera per il controllo dei migranti nella regione di Agadez – diventa strutturale. Il Niger diviene il nuovo avamposto militare dell’Occidente. Alle basi con i droni americani con licenza di uccidere si aggiungono oggi i mezzi europei. Nel mezzo migliaia di uomini, donne e bambini ostaggio della guerra ai migranti».

      http://www.huffingtonpost.it/marco-perduca/gentiloni-in-niger-come-cavour-in-crimea_a_23317882

    • Lettera aperta. L’Italia in armi sulle vie del Niger: una storia scritta sulla sabbia

      «La svolta africana. Soldati italiani in Niger non solo per addestrare (…). Con 470 uomini e 150 veicoli le nostre truppe svolgeranno anche «attività di sorveglianza e di controllo del territorio». All’inizio coi francesi, tra miliziani, contrabbandieri e migranti». Così Gianluca di Feo su «Repubblica» del 14 dicembre del 2017 ha anticipato ciò che il Ministero della Difesa ha sostanzialmente confermato il giorno seguente e che il presidente del Consiglio Paolo Gentiloni ha ribadito nei giorni di Natale. Nel Niger, dove mi trovo da quasi sette anni, il 18 dicembre si è celebrata la proclamazione della Repubblica, avvenuta 59 anni or sono. Mi vengono in mente una Repubblica di carta e l’altra di sabbia.

      https://www.avvenire.it/opinioni/pagine/italia-in-armi-sulle-vie-del-niger-armanino

    • Commentaire de Francesco Floris sur FB (29.12.2017) :

      Sulla questione Niger bisogna leggere i siti dei militari, dei veterani militari, degli amici dei militari, di quelli con le entrature militari, dei wanna be militari e derivati vari.
      Non per sposare le tesi ma per comprendere che cosa bolle in pentola.
      Dicono tutti le stesse cose.
      1. Non serve a niente a fermare i migranti perché «La missione in Niger rischia infatti di rivelarsi utile a ridurre l’impegno e i costi di Parigi nell’operazione Barkhane senza però scalfirne la leadership di Parigi nel Sahel mentre circa il contrasto ai flussi migratori illegali non va dimenticato che i trafficanti potrebbero optare per rotte alternative, aggirando il dispositivo militare italiano grazie alle le piste desertiche che attraversano il confine algerino per poi sconfinare in Libia a sud di Ghat, area in cui da alcuni mesi è stata registrata la presenza di miliziani dello Stato Islamico.» Oppure perché «Mi sembra velleitario pretendere di fermare i flussi migratori provenienti dall’Africa sub-sahariana sorvegliando solo il confine Niger-Libia perché i migranti muovono in piccoli gruppi diradati seguendo dei passatori (quindi per antonomasia profondi conoscitori del territorio in cui muovono) i quali possono contare sulla complicità di tutta una popolazione che lucra su tale fenomeno; non ci vuole nulla a by-passare quella regione». [http://www.analisidifesa.it/2017/12/luci-e-ombre-sulla-missione-italiana-in-niger/]

      2. Si domandano che senso abbia andare in zone altamente instabili senza poter premere il grilletto (loro scrivono «missione combat» ma tradotto significa «adoro l’odore del napalm al mattino»).

      3. Giungono tutti alle stesse conclusioni. E qui li lascio parlare: «In fin dei conti per bloccare i flussi migratori illegali l’arma più efficace (e la meno costosa) in mano all’Italia è rappresentata dai respingimenti sulle coste libiche dei migranti soccorsi in mare in cooperazione con la Guardia costiera di Tripoli». E ancora: «il metodo più adeguato alla bisogna, l’unico in grado di dare garanzie di riuscita é il blocco navale». [http://www.congedatifolgore.com/it/missione-in-niger-meglio-un-blocco-navale-che-svegliare-i-gruppi-jihadisti-dormienti-nel-sahel/]

      Purtroppo purtroppissimo le loro facili soluzioni (blocco navale e respingimenti collettivi) sono illegali oltre che disumane anche se avrebbero l’indubbio merito di gettare finalmente la maschera che copre i volti dei nostri governanti.
      E poi sarebbe brutto attuare un blocco navale e due mesi dopo presentare ad Oslo la candidatura di Lampedusa al Nobel per la Pace. Davvero brutto. Anche se in fin dei conti uno come Gentiloni potrebbe sempre rispondere che era pacifista negli anni ’80 ma che oggi, all’alba del 2018, «fra la vostra fede e la mia Glock, scelgo la Glock» (per citare un altro noto pacifista di Hollywood).
      Gentiloni: da pacifista militante a finanziatore di dittatori e guerre
      Speciale per Africa ExPress Antonio Mazzeo Catania, 11 dicembre 2016 Paolo Gentiloni l’ha spuntata: il ministro degli affari esteri e della cooperazione…
      africa-express.info

    • Il ministro Alfano in missione in Niger

      “Questa visita a Niamey giunge al culmine di un anno intenso di incontri ai massimi livelli fra Italia e Niger, che hanno portato i due Paesi ad avere rapporti sempre più stretti. Il Niger è oramai divenuto un alleato strategico nel quadro della nostra politica estera in Africa. L’Italia ha aperto l’Ambasciata a Niamey che ho inaugurato personalmente nel corso della missione odierna. Presto rafforzeremo i rapporti di cooperazione in materia di sicurezza con particolare attenzione alla formazione e supporto delle forze nigerine per il controllo del territorio ed il contrasto dei traffici illeciti, ad iniziare da quello di essere umani. Nel 2017, l’Italia ha destinato al Niger il 40% delle risorse a valere sul Fondo Africa, contribuendo ad affrontare le cause profonde del fenomeno migratorio. I dati dell’OIM evidenziano, infatti, una netta riduzione del numero di migranti che dal Niger entrano in Libia e un aumento dei rimpatri volontari di migranti dal Niger verso i Paesi di origine”.


      http://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/approfondimenti/il-ministro-alfano-in-missione_17.html

    • Quali interessi sul Niger? Una intervista a Giacomo Zandonini

      «A mio avviso si utilizza la “questione migranti” per interessi geopolitici molto più ampi. Il Niger è diventato un paese importante, una base logistica e un paese sicuro per garantire gli interessi occidentali. L’Italia, alla fine del febbraio scorso ha aperto una propria ambasciata provvisoria a Niamey (la capitale Ndr) ma l’ambasciatore era già stato nominato nel dicembre 2016. Ora l’ambasciata è stata trasferita in altri locali e inaugurata alla presenza del ministro degli esteri Angelino Alfano ma, a quanto mi risulta il personale è ancora limitato. Non ci sono ancora funzionari addetti a occuparsi delle relazioni economiche e non c’è un ufficio consolare. Ma insieme a questo aspetto di forte visibilità si è mosso anche altro. Un percorso iniziato già nel 2010 col ministro dell’interno Roberto Maroni e con i primi interventi dell’Oim che si è accelerato negli ultimi due anni. L’Italia è il principale donatore del fondo fiduciario d’emergenza per l’Africa dell’UE, di cui il Niger è uno dei primi destinatari. Il nostro governo ha concesso 50 milioni di euro come supporto al budget dello Stato del Niger, un contributo in fase di erogazione, in più tranches, che serve anche per accreditarsi come partner. Non ci sono veri e propri obblighi rispetto all’uso che verrà fatto di questi soldi ma unicamente vincoli. In primis il fatto che questi soldi dovranno essere destinati ai ministeri della Giustizia e degli Interni. Perché si continui a versare le diverse tranche è necessario il soddisfacimento di alcuni indicatori molto ampi che vanno dalla riduzione del numero di migranti che passeranno dal Niger all’aumento di guardie di controllo alle frontiere. Di fatto però il contenuto dei contratti fra UE e Niger e fra Italia e UE non é stato reso pubblico. L’unico documento che ho potuto visionare è il decreto che stanzia il cobtributo, parte del “Fondo Africa” della Farnesina. Fra gli indicatori specifici che rientrano nell’accordo fra UE e Niger c’è l’allargamento e la ristrutturazione di una pista di atterraggio a Dirkou, un avamposto commerciale e militare nel nord del paese. Dirkou è un punto chiave della rotta verso la Libia, la pista di atterraggio attualmente è usata per voli militari e rari voli umanitari ma le ragioni del suo ampliamento vengono spacciate dai funzionari italiani come “umanitarie”. Dovrebbe servire a facilitare l’evacuazione di migranti dalla Libia e a garantire un supporto ai soccorsi nel deserto, realizzati dall’Organizzazione Internazionale per le Migrazioni con la Protezione Civile del Niger. A Dirkou si prevede anche di realizzare un nuovo “centro di transito” per migranti. Un altro requisito, per la prosecuzione del finanziamento italiano, è che il Niger adotti una Strategia nazionale per la sicurezza e una Strategia nazionale contro le migrazioni irregolari, documenti effettivamente redatti negli ultimi mesi».

      https://www.a-dif.org/2018/01/10/quali-interessi-sul-niger-una-intervista-a-giacomo-zandonini

    • Il Niger e i veri motivi del prossimo intervento militare italiano

      Cosa succede in Niger? Perché l’Italia sta portando un proprio contingente militare? Il motivo è il controllo dei flussi migratori oppure c’è altro? Vita.it raccoglie la testimonianza del giornalista e ricercatore #Giacomo_Zandonini, che ha passato due degli ultimi sei mesi nel Paese africano oggi al centro dell’attenzione europea. Zandonini è stato soprattutto nella regione di Agadez e nei villaggi sparsi nella zona predesertica sia per reportage (a questo link un suo contributo per Openmigration) che per il rapporto sul Fondo fiduciario della Ue per l’Africa promosso dalla rete di ong Concord Europe e per un lavoro di documentazione per l’Oim, Organizzazione internazionale delle migrazioni.

      http://www.vita.it/it/article/2018/01/17/il-niger-e-i-veri-motivi-del-prossimo-intervento-militare-italiano/145643

    • La camera approva la missione militare italiana in Niger

      La camera dei deputati ha approvato il decreto missioni con una larga maggioranza. Hanno votato contro Liberi e uguali e il Movimento 5 stelle. Si è astenuta la Lega nord, mentre il Partito democratico e Forza Italia hanno votato a favore del decreto, che prevede il ridimensionamento della presenza militare italiana in Afghanistan e in Iraq e l’intervento militare in Niger, nell’ambito della missione del G5 (Mali, Ciad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania) nel Sahel, in cui l’Italia ha chiesto di essere membro osservatore. Nel complesso nel 2008 l’Italia spenderà 1,5 miliardi di euro in 31 missioni e in 21 paesi, ma solo una parte di questi fondi è stata approvata dal parlamento.

      In Iraq sarà ridotta la presenza italiana: i militari passeranno da 1.500 a 750, mentre in Afghanistan si passerà da 900 a 700 soldati. I contingenti italiani saranno spostati in Africa, in particolare in Libia e in Niger. In Libia si passerà da 370 a 400 soldati, mentre in Niger saranno mandati 470 soldati, centoventi nel primo semestre del 2018.

      https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2018/01/17/camera-missione-niger

    • L’Italie veut envoyer des soldats au Niger, refus de Niamey

      L’Italie avait annoncé, fin 2017, son intention d’envoyer des militaires au Niger afin de lutter contre l’insécurité. Paolo Gentiloni, le Premier ministre italien, avait précisé que cette décision faisait suite à une demande venue du gouvernement nigérien. Un premier contingent de 120 hommes devait partir pour le Niger en ce début d’année. Mais le gouvernement nigérien nie avoir été consulté à ce sujet.

      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180125-italie-envoyer-soldats-niger-niamey

    • Niger: mistero sulla missione italiana?

      Il 30 gennaio scorso, però, è arrivata una doccia fredda da parte del Governo nigerino: secondo l’emittente francese ‘Radio France International‘ (RFI), le Autorità di Niamey avrebbero negato di aver richiesto l’intervento di Roma e persino di essere state informate della missione dal Governo italiano. Inoltre, il Governo della Repubblica del Niger si sarebbe detto contrario alla missione italiana sul suo territorio e avrebbe dichiarato di essere già supportato da esperti statunitensi e francesi.

      http://www.lindro.it/niger-mistero-sulla-missione-italiana

    • Ministro Interni del Niger: nessun accordo con l’Italia per una missione militare

      Il ministro degli Interni nigerino Mohamed Bazoum definisce «inconcepibile» la missione militare italiana approvata a fine gennaio dal parlamento. Ai microfoni dell’inviato di Rainews24 Ilario Piagnerelli, Bazoum spiega come non ci siano mai stati contatti in merito tra Roma e Niamey e racconta di aver appreso la notizia dai media. Resta aperto lo spiraglio per una «missione di esperti», ma non con ruoli operativi e non «nell’ordine dei quattrocento». Questo, dice il ministro, "non è concepibile, semplicemente”

      http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/media/Niger-Ministro-Interni-nessun-accordo-con-Italia-per-missione-militare-b4e83