Additionally, the amended decree states that convictions rendered in accordance with the May 2015 statute “shall be erased.”
An anti-migration law that had assisted in reducing the number of West Africans traveling to Europe but was despised by those living in the desert whose economy had long depended on the traffic was repealed by the military administration of Niger, the country said on Monday.
In May 2015, when the number of individuals crossing the Mediterranean from Africa reached record highs, a political and humanitarian crisis erupted in Europe, putting pressure on governments to halt the migration. when a result, the legislation prohibiting the transportation of migrants through Niger was approved.
The law was overturned on Saturday by the Niger administration, which came to power in a coup in July. The announcement was made on national television on Monday night. Convictions granted under the 2015 statute “shall be erased,” according to the new decree.
The government is trying to garner support at home, particularly in the northern desert towns that had profited most from migration, and is reevaluating its connections with previous Western partners who denounced the coup.
The law caused a sharp decline in the number of migrants passing through Niger, a major transit nation on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, but the towns and villages that had provided food and shelter to migrants as well as sold fuel and auto parts to traffickers suffered greatly as a result of the change.
In exchange, the European Union established the Trust Fund for Africa in 2015 with a 5 billion euro ($5,5 billion) goal of eliminating the underlying reasons of migration, but many believed this was insufficient. In locations like the historic city of Agadez, a well-known entry point to the Sahara, unemployment skyrocketed.
Numerous cars used to transport migrants have been seized, and dozens of persons involved in illegal movement networks have been detained and imprisoned.
Instead, however, migrants have chosen new, riskier routes through the desert that lack landmarks or water sources, making it impossible for them to be rescued in the event of emergency.
Some in Agadez, which was dubbed Europe’s border guard and subsequently Africa’s center of smuggling, are pleased with the most recent development.
Before authorities seized his vehicles in 2016, Andre Chani used to make thousands of dollars a month transporting migrants over the desert. When he gets the money, he intends to relaunch his company.He claimed via text message from Agadez on Monday, “I’m going to start again.” “We are overjoyed.”