Migration and displacement Host and transit country for displaced people
First of all, the Niger is hosting a large number of people from Mali and Nigeria who have fled their homes to get away from terrorist attacks by Islamist organisations such as Al Qaida in Maghreb and Boko Haram. The displaced people also include many citizens of the Niger who had settled in Nigeria and have now returned to their home country seeking refuge. Since February 2015, Boko Haram has attacked targets in south-eastern Niger, too. The number of internally displaced persons in the border region of Diffa has risen sharply since then.
Secondly, the Niger is an important transit country for refugees and migrants from West and Central Africa. The two main migration routes from the south and south-west of the country cross through the desert city of Agadez. The city is the starting point for those seeking to travel onwards to Libya and Algeria, and from there across the Mediterranean and into Europe.
The Niger has been particularly affected by the failure of the state in Libya: traditional trading relations have been disrupted and numerous labour migrants from the Niger have been obliged to return home. There, however, their chances of finding similar employment are fairly small. In the border regions, which are difficult to control, it is particularly those trafficking arms, drugs and people, along with the terrorist groups, who benefit most from the unstable political situation in the Niger’s neighbouring countries.