Located in the heart of the Sahel, Niger extends over 1,270,000 km2, three quarters of which are located in the Sahara Desert. The country shares borders with seven countries: Libya in the north-east, Chad in the east, Nigeria and Benin in the south, Burkina Faso and Mali in the west and Algeria in the north-west. Niger’s 5,690 km of borders are porous and largely unregulated or monitored, representing a major risk for the Niger’s authorities in managing the security of its population and integrity of its territory.
The purpose of this study, funded by the Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism of the United States Department of State, is to analyse local people’s perceptions of border management in Tillabéri region, as well as the role of border authorities in pre-existing response mechanisms to massive flows of displaced or migrating populations. The Tillabéri region, located in the south-west of Niger, in the heart of the Liptako–Gourma area, is characterized by fragile stability and threatened by various economic and security risks concentrated at this three-State border zone. Lack of effective border control has been a determining factor in the unimpeded movement and development of various terrorist and criminal groups that occupy and regularly cross the border areas of the Tillabéri region. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in the Niger works to strengthen the capacities of national and regional authorities by developing a structured and resilient community commitment that can support the work of local and regional authorities.