Jaume Renyer

per l'esquerra de la llibertat

26 de març de 2024
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Rússia i Iran desplacen França i els EUA del Sahel: conseqüències per Europa

Fa tres anys, arran de la presa del poder a l’Afganistan per part dels talibans vaig reproduir un article de Serge Michailof on advertia que els estats occidentals havien d’extreure’n conclusions adequades per evitar repetir els mateixos erros al Sahel.  Però, vet aquí que aqueix mes s’ha consumat un capgirament estratègic transcendental al Niger, com explica aqueix report de l’Institute for the Study of War del proppassat 21: “Niger Cuts the United States for Russia and Iran“.

D’entre les múltiples conseqüències en destaca el foment de l’emigració sub-sahariana cap a Europa:

“Russia would also likely use positions in northern Niger to exploit trans-Saharan migrant-smuggling routes to increase irregular migration flows to Europe and enrich its mercenaries. Russia has repeatedly and systematically weaponized migrant crises in Europe. The Russian and Belarussian governments have flooded the borders of Finland, Lithuania, and Poland with refugees since 2021.[40] Their tactics included luring refugees from the Middle East and Africa on flights to Europe based on false promises before dropping them at the border.[41] Russia’s attacks on agricultural facilities in Ukraine and scrapping of the Black Sea grain deal in July 2023 indirectly targets food availability in Africa, creating another cause for mass migration.[42] The Kremlin also foments prolonged instability in theaters where it is active, such as Syria, Ukraine, and now the Sahel, which creates long-term refugee crises.[43]

Russia is now active along many of the trans-Saharan migrant routes, increasing its opportunities to facilitate mass migration. Russian mercenaries in the Sahel have contributed to a massive spike in human rights abuses since 2021, helping fuel record-high levels of trans-Saharan migration to Europe.[44] Russian security assistance has simultaneously failed to slow the Salafi-jihadi insurgency, creating conditions for worsening instability that continues to prompt migration.[45] Russia’s partners in the Nigerien junta also annulled an EU-backed migration law that aimed to stem these flows in December 2023, benefiting both parties but directly increasing migrant flows to North Africa and Europe.[46] Russia’s growing footprint in sub-Saharan Africa also increases opportunities for Russian personnel to directly lure more migrants to Europe to drop at NATO’s borders.

Russian mercenaries in Niger can insert themselves into the local migrant-smuggling economy to further increase profits and migrant flows. Facilitating migration to North Africa is a major local economy in northern Niger, and Agadez is a primary staging point.[47] Thousands of people gather in convoys to travel across the desert to Libya, where they seek to reach the Mediterranean coast and take a boat to mainland Europe.[48] Nigerien security forces are already involved in the migrant-smuggling economy by charging migrant smugglers at security checkpoints and escorting migrant convoys.[49] Russian mercenaries have shown adept at inserting themselves in other informal African economies by cultivating ties with civilian and military power brokers and would do the same in Niger.[50] This would allow them to both profit off migration and directly facilitate migration by helping convoys reach the Mediterranean.

The EU border patrol agency and numerous European officials have warned in 2024 that Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to foment greater refugee flows from Africa to destabilize Europe, influence elections, and undermine support for Ukraine.[51] The EU has repeatedly identified migration as a critical issue after the 2010s Syrian refugee crisis destabilized the continent by overwhelming the EU asylum system and amplifying racial tensions, giving rise to ethno-nationalist right-wing political movements.[52] Putin has repeatedly generated refugee crises to exploit this weakness by prolonging military conflicts and humanitarian emergencies that increase migration flows and then either decreasing local migration enforcement measures or directly supporting migrants and smugglers.[53] The EU border patrol agency noted that 380,000 migrants attempted to cross into Europe from Libya in 2023, the highest number of irregular crossings since 2016.[54]

Post Scriptum, 5 d’abril del 2024.

Ahir, l’ISW amplia la informació: “Mali and Russia Explore Mali’s Mineral Wealth; Niger Plays the Field; the Kremlin’s Red Sea Ambitions in Eritrea”.


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