Bullets and Borders: Transnational Armed Groups and Violence in the Sahara–Sahel Region

Lubna Allam

'Many smugglers think of themselves as transporters, not criminals.[i] For, they argue, isn’t the smuggling of petrol, cigarettes and other goods across largely uncontrolled borders simply a way of making a living? And in terms of moving people, can people who smuggle migrants across borders be seen rather as service providers such as bus companies — as some suggest — rather than as smugglers? But it is the ramifications of human trafficking (migrants drowning, their physical and financial exploitation at transnational borders, and their maltreatment by traffickers, to name a few) that made migrant smuggling, in particular in the Libyan context, evolve and get closer to more pernicious forms of trafficking (drugs, arms)...'

Keywords: armed violence SANA illicit trafficking Sahel