President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger says that Libya had become "an outdoor weapon store," fueling a triple criminal phenomenon, including drug and human smuggling.
Bazoum was addressing participants in (Italy and Niger..Europe and Africa..Two Continents..One Destiny) Conference, organized by the MedHur Foundation and hosted by the Italian University of Luis.
The event featured speeches by the Italian Minister of Defence Guido Crosito, the Interior Minister Matteo Bentedosi, and President of the Made Hour Foundation/ former Italian minister of Interior Marco Minniti.
The President of Niger said the current developments and the challenges involved expanded the borders of the Mediterranean from the Maghreb to the Sahel, bringing what was perceived to be distant and foreign closer to Europe.
"Niger is not a country of departures for immigration, but because of the Libyan dynamics, it has become a place of transit," Bazoum said, indicating that Niamey has been fighting the criminal network that has been linked to the trafficking of migrants, drugs, and weapons since the beginning of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
President Bazoum reiterated his country's commitment to combat three main phenomena, namely, arms and drug smuggling, besides illegal immigration, as he insisted that the repercussions of the Libyan uprising in 2011 have made Niger a vital route for migration to Europe.