Illegal migrants depend on information from relatives abroad – Report

MigrantsEvidence suggest that many migrants embarked on their journeys after receiving information or encouragement from friends and relatives already in Europe.

According to Africa Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC) 2015 joint annual report, perceived easiness obviously prompts many new departures as suggested by open sources who are reporting that the number of West Africans arriving in Agadez, Niger each week could reach 6000.

“Most irregular migrants from West Africa who cannot obtain a visa or travel to the Europe using other legal avenues opt to travel by land through Agadez in Niger, where migrant smuggling services are becoming an industry,” it said.

This, the report, attributed to the increasing market presence of many bus companies as they compete for their customers by providing relatively cheap and thus affordable transport for potentially millions of persons across the ECOWAS sub region.

It said many bus companies operate extensive route networks at quite affordable prices.

These companies are also frequently mentioned by irregular migrants upon their arrival in Italy.

“Many bus companies now operate in all 15 ECOWAS countries and offer a vast network of routes at relatively affordable prices,” it said.

The report said there is the need to help transport companies in Africa to operate responsibly and minimise migrant smuggling.

It urged authorities from AFIC countries to engage in dialogue and establish partnership with these companies to raise awareness and work with them on the proper implementation of ECOWAS free-movement protocols.

AFIC was established in 2010 to serve as an international platform for information sharing and analytical work among border security practitioners.

The annual joint report serves several purposes in the AFIC Community including providing opportunities for African partners to engage in practical implementation of risk analysis methodology used by Frontex and most of its other partner countries.

Source: GNA

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