Managing Trafficking in Northern Niger
This report examines the risks in this approach but also the dangers in adopting the harder line that some Western governments are pushing for. It focuses on the most lucrative illicit businesses, in migrants, gold and illegal drugs. Research was carried out in Niamey, Agadez and Iferouane in April, June and December 2018 and February 2019, as well as in the U.S. in April 2019. Crisis Group spoke with actors including traffickers, northern elites, gold miners, central state policymakers, security officials, Western diplomats and humanitarian agency officers. The report builds on Crisis Group’s work on drug trafficking and violence in northern Mali, which highlights the risks and costs of failing to manage illicit trade.