African migrants in Niger, Mayotte and the Caribbean

In 2015, Niger, under pressure from the European Union, passed a law banning foreigners from moving north of Agadez. The city was then part of a key migration route in Africa. It is now home to footballers from all over the continent. Some have travelled more than 3 000 km to play for a season at local club AC Nassara and then try to get to Europe via Libya, Algeria or Morocco. Others stay in the local football league or return to their home countries, while the best hope to make their way to Europe legally, thanks to their talent for football.

Why did more than 600 Cameroonians end up on the Caribbean island of Antigua, which many of them had never heard of? They are those fleeing the war that has been raging in Cameroon for several years between English-speaking secessionists and the mainly French-speaking government. The migrants were supposed to travel to the US via Antigua and South America. Some spent as much as $6,000 on charter flights sold on social media by fake travel companies that pledged to organise immigration logistics. However, the transport ended up in the Caribbean, and the cash-strapped travellers from Africa are vegetating on the island, trying to raise funds to continue their journey.

Although Mayotte is a poor archipelago of small islands, it is a French territory, making it an attractive destination for migrants from Madagascar. Tragic accidents and drownings occur during cruises. The International Organisation for Migration for Madagascar and Comoros has been developing a programme to counter immigration from Madagascar for several months.

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