Tristan Azbej, the state secretary responsible for aiding persecuted Christians, told MTI on Thursday that the crisis in Niger threatens to impact security and migration in Europe.
The state secretary said that until the coup on July 27, Niger was “one of the last stable states of the Sahel”. Upending the stability in the region would have grave consequences on security and migration in the Mediterranean and Europe, he said. The region’s countries serve as source and transit countries of migration, he added. Countries in the region have recently collapsed one after the other, Azbej said. Mali is ravaged by armed conflicts, Burkina Faso has seen several coups this year, and a civil war has pushed Sudan to the brink of a humanitarian crisis, he said. All that increased the significance of Niger, which functioned as a democratic country until last week, he said. In the wake of last week’s coup, now looms the threat of a humanitarian crisis, armed conflict and migration towards Europe, he added. The state secretary warned that the number of migrants leaving Africa for Europe could reach 100 million in the coming year, and “there is no border protection in Europe to handle such a wave.”