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EU should invest in development, not security in Africa

samedi 11 février 2017

One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe.

A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated.

Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria, where they were put in jail by the local police. They were then sent back to Niger through a return programme funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Patrick was distraught. "We don’t know what to tell people in Douala. They all saved some money for our trip and we all failed," he explained to us.

He is one among 350,000 migrants, mostly from West Africa, who travelled through Agadez in 2016 on their way to Libya or Algeria. In response to the influxes, the European Union recently negotiated a bilateral compact with Niger as part of its Migration Partnership Framework "to curb the flow of irregular migrants"

Voir l'article sur : aljazeera.com

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