Smugglers’ Routes and Havens in the Sahara

Smuggler Route (Photo via Washinton Post)

Smuggler Route (Photo via Washington Post)

“A Smugglers’ Haven in the Sahara,” by Kevin Sieff for the Washington Post:

The smuggler walked past the diaper aisle, through the back door of the convenience store and into the metal shed where the migrants were hiding.

It was Monday in one of the world’s human-smuggling capitals, the day when trucks crammed with Africans roar off in a weekly convoy bound for Libya, the threshold to Europe. For Musa, an expert in sneaking people across the Sahara, it was time to get ready.

He walked around the white Toyota pickup parked next to the shed, loaded with jugs of water. Then he glanced at the cluster of 30 people waiting to climb atop the load.

One of them was an 11-year-old girl from Burkina Faso, sucking a lollipop. Another was a mother who held her wailing 6-month-old baby. Next to them, 27 men, from five countries, shifted their eyes nervously between Musa and the truck. If they weren’t caught or stranded or killed, it would take them three days to get from the stash house to Libya.

“We need to leave soon,” Musa said, examining the truck, its windows tinted, its license plate missing, prayer beads hanging from the rearview mirror.

Since the 15th century, Agadez has been one of the continent’s most important trading hubs, the gateway between West and North Africa. Now, it is a city run by human smugglers…

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s