n Conflict Trends - The migrant crisis in Libya and the Nigeria experience - research

Volume 2019 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The drive for survival and for greener pastures has continued to force millions of West African young men and women to gamble with death in attempts to cross over to Europe and other parts of the world. This quest to escape poverty, hunger, unemployment and insecurity, among other reasons, caused a major segment of Nigeria’s population to seek alternatives for better livelihood prospects for themselves and their families.1 Those seeking economic survival see irregular migration as the best alternative, given the difficulty and resources involved in migrating through regular and legitimate routes. In many instances, very few of the original number who set out on these dangerous journeys live to tell their stories. While many regularly drown in the Mediterranean Sea, many also die in the deserts, and others are sold as slaves in a modern slave market. Most of the victims of this trade are from West Africa. Many of them leave home with expectations of getting to Europe and other destinations perceived to have better economic prospects for them, but they end up in the slave merchant nets in North Africa. The victims are put in camps and sold in open markets in Libya, while the international community watches in silence. The geographical location of Libya renders it a transit route for migrants journeying to Italy and many other parts of Europe.

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