Oct. 5, 2015, Port near Tripoli: migrants are streaming north through Libya because chaos in that country facilitates human trafficking (source: dpa)

Migrations of the third millennium, part 2: Jihadist offensive spurs African flight

Tension between the Mediterranean Sea’s northern and southern shores is nothing new. In fact, it is ancient, dating back well before 1830, when France colonised Algeria in an effort to suppress the piracy, slave trade and smuggling that had infested those waters for centuries, and also to satisfy commercial interests.

According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, the business of smuggling migrants across the Mediterranean brings in several billion euros each year. The International Organization for Migration explains that the number of migrants attempting to traverse its waters could swell to half a million this year. That compares with the 175,000 people w...

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 Charles Millon
Libyan smuggler networks are mostly run by the Berber tribes of the country’s interior, especially the Toubous, near Niger, and the Tuaregs, on the border of Algeria. The migrants are then handed over to tribes with better contacts on the coast, including Arabic peoples from northern Algeria
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