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Libya Herald | 24.07.2017

A policy paper by the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) published last week says that international policies in the Sahel region fail to adequately address the reasons why migration occurs. The paper says that the chaos in Libya is exacerbating lawlessness and crime in the Sahel and that the continuation of Qaddafi-era smuggling of Libyan subsidised goods such as fuel is thriving and acting as seed capital for criminal activity in broader trade in weapons, drugs, and people.

The study says that global interest in the Sahel has expanded significantly in recent years and that the growth of regional terrorism, the collapse of Malian State in 2012, and the migration crisis after 2014 all mean that world must think about the Sahel. Yet despite the newfound attention to the region, regional and international efforts to resolve these crises remain inadequate.

It states that region-wide strategies and coordination forums have proliferated, and international money has poured into the region. But these strategies remain security-focused despite emphasising the need for improved governance. Informal economies and corruption continue to sap states of needed resources. And overly securitised efforts by the European Union to reduce migration to Europe damage border communities, undermine regional populations, and fail to adequately address the reasons why migration occurs.

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