A meeting was held Monday night between the Agadez authorities in the north of Niger and the collective of former migrant smugglers. During this meeting initiated by the former actors of migration, it was about recalling all the promises that were made to them after the implementation of Law 036/2015 criminalizing human trafficking.
For many of these former smugglers interviewed by Sahelien.com, “no promise has been respected”. “It’s been seven months since we’ve been waiting for a sign from them, but alas …”, sighs one of them. “None has been held, not even that of releasing our imprisoned brothers or our immobilized vehicles as part of this fight against migration “, said Bashirou . “Frankly, we are tired of waiting! They still talk to us about reconversion but nothing is on the horizon! “, explains Bazo, another former migrant smuggler.
“We have children to feed, there are fathers who come back late at night to avoid the eyes of their children who have nothing to eat,” Abakar said in anger. “We are here to tell them all our disappointment and to let them know that there is a segregation, because we close our eyes on certain smugglers who continue this work but we are prevented”, rants Abakar, another Former smuggler.
The governor of the Agadez region, Sadou Saloke, asked the collective to wait during his intervention. “In a few days there will be a big meeting to be held here in Agadez to mark the ground for what has been promised. Give us a little time and everything will be settled, we are sensitive to your suffering”, he said.
The president of the Regional Council, Mohamed Anacko, agreed in the same direction and also asked these former smugglers to trust them. “Your problems are ours, and the establishment of the structures to assist you is carried out under the leadership of the High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace, it is just a matter of time”, Mr. Anacko concluded.Ibrahim Manzo Diallo