Niger will continue to welcome African migrants: president

2018-07-08 16:16


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niger will continue to be a transit country for migrants, including those entering from neighbouring Libya, President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Saturday.

"We are a people open to hospitality, we are a generous people. We will welcome people who are in difficulty, who are in disarray. It is the tradition of our country," President Issoufou said after meeting a UN delegation led by Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohamed.

"The main thing is that people do not stay long in Niger. It is necessary that the transit in Niger happens very quickly... that is the only condition that we pose," Issoufou told journalists.

Libya has become a prime destination for African migrants trying to reach Europe, but it is also dangerous, with many migrants and refugees enduring enslavement, kidnapping, extortion and violence.

Issoufou hailed "the good collaboration" with the European Union in the fight against illegal migration, but said the 2.1bn fund set up by the EU for his country as "not enough".

"It's a drop in the ocean in our funding needs," he said.

Issoufou also noted the "good collaboration" with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which transports refugees stranded in Libya to Niamey while waiting for a host country.

According to UNHCR, they are "vulnerable" refugees and live mainly in Libyan "detention" camps.

At the end of June, the UNHCR called on European countries to speed up the procedures for leaving transit countries for the refugees they have decided to host.

"These people must leave Niger" so that they do not "stay too long," he said, adding only 200 people had left the country in the last six months, compared to 1 200 who arrived from Libya.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    un  |  eu  |  niger  |  west africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.