Jerome Tubiana At the Agadez checkpoint.
Jerome Tubiana Trucks on the Agadez-Dirkou road. In the past, migrants mostly traveled on the top of the trucks, but in recent years smugglers prefer to drive light vehicles that can escape patrols.
Jerome Tubiana Trucks at the Chad-Libya-Niger border.
Jerome Tubiana Trucks on the Agadez-Dirkou road. Most travel from late afternoon to morning, in order to benefit from driving on hardened sand.
Jerome Tubiana A military car leading the convoy between Agadez and Dirkou.
Jerome Tubiana A break during the convoy between Agadez and Dirkou.
Jerome Tubiana A car following the convoy between Agadez and Dirkou.
Jerome Tubiana In recent years, most migrants preferred to travel in quick, small vehicles.
Jerome Tubiana Midway between Agadez and Dirkou, Puits Espoir or "Hope’s Well" is the only stagepost for all travelers from Niger to Libya.
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Jerome Tubiana Passengers whose vehicle broke down wait under a palm tree.
Jerome Tubiana Passengers whose vehicles broke down decide to risk their life walking in the hope for a lift or a place with water and shade.
Jerome Tubiana <span>Passengers whose vehicles had broken down ask for a lift from passing cars.</span>

Europe's "Migrant Hunters"

Before mid-2016, there were between 100 and 200 vehicles, mostly pickups, each filled with around 30 migrants heading for Libya, that were making such a journey every week. Since mid-2016, however, under pressure from the European Union, and with promises of financial support, the Niger government began cracking down on the northward flow of sub-Saharans, arresting drivers and confiscating cars, sometimes at the Agadez checkpoint itself. Now there are only a few cars transporting passengers, most of them Nigeriens who have managed to convince soldiers at the checkpoint—often with the help of a bribe—that they do not intend to go all the way to Europe but will end their journey in Libya. In a largely stateless stretch of the Sahara, Europe has helped to empower militias as proxy border guards, some of whom are the very smugglers whose operations the EU is trying to thwart. Read the full story here.

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