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Niger's Military Junta Revokes Anti-Migration Law, Posing Implications for Europe

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BNN Correspondents
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Niger's Military Junta Revokes Anti-Migration Law, Posing Implications for Europe

In a significant policy shift, Niger's ruling military junta has rescinded a 2015 anti-migration law that had notably stemmed the tide of West Africans migrating to Europe. This action is a part of the junta's ongoing reevaluation of its diplomatic relations with former Western allies, who had openly disapproved of the coup that brought the junta to power.

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The overturned law, enacted in response to a surge of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, had made it illegal to transport migrants through Niger. Its implementation led to a dramatic decrease in migration numbers but also drastically affected the economies of northern desert communities such as Agadez, which were heavily reliant on services related to migration. The law's repeal now raises questions about the repercussions on migration trends and the impact on relations with Europe, particularly the European Union.

The Junta's Strategy

The junta, under the leadership of General Abdourahamane Tiani, seeks to consolidate internal support by addressing local economic hardships reportedly exacerbated by Western sanctions. The repeal of the anti-migration law, which had been a source of economic stagnation for key transit areas like Agadez, could be seen as a stratagem to bolster domestic approval.

The junta's decision deals a significant blow to Europe's ongoing efforts to curb African migration. One such initiative was the European Union's Trust Fund for Africa, launched in 2015 with a budget of 5 billion euros. However, despite these measures, unemployment rates in these areas have remained alarmingly high, prompting a rethinking of strategies.

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