The European Union (EU) and Niger have launched a joint partnership to fight the smuggling and trafficking of migrants and prevent their influx to neighboring Libya, whose shores they are trying to reach in the hope of arriving on the other side of the Mediterranean.
A joint press release issued by Niger and the EU on Saturday said that combating the trafficking of migrants is a common challenge that requires strong cooperation and coordination with key partner countries alongside the migration routes, in line with the EU's comprehensive approach to migration.
The statement underscored the problem of the region in which Niger is located - that is - in the heart of the Sahel region and has been for decades at the crossroads of migration influxes to North and West Africa and to the EU, as well as a destination for migrants."
The source pointed to Niger's great efforts to counter the trafficking and smuggling of migrants, help evacuate the affected individuals from Libya, and ensure the dignified return of illegal migrants to their nations.
With regard to the details of the operational partnership, the statement said it includes ensuring that migrants are adapted to the environment surrounding migration and the evolution of the phenomenon itself, which will enhance the success of the mission of the Joint Investigation Team in Niger, where officials from EU member states and Niger work side by side, funded by the EU , to disrupt the business model of human traffickers and criminal networks.
The Minister of the Interior of Niger Hamdou Adamou Sole said the implementation of this operational partnership to address the trafficking of migrants is fully consistent with the actions and activities under Programs II and III of the Action Plan stipulated in Niger's National Migration Policy.
"This will allow us to work together to better protect migrants. securing our borders and achieving our ultimate goal, which is to improve the living conditions of migrants and their host communities.” He added.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, explained that the signing of a working agreement between the EU and Niger will lead to improved border management structures and taking strict measures against human traffickers, smugglers and those who seek to take advantage of the plight of migrant women , children and men.