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International migrations in the Sahara are one of the most important issue of the relations between sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Europe. They are not a new phenomenon. Since the 1950s, migrants from the Sahel have travelled to the Maghreb for work, which was plentiful as North African governments invested in their Saharan territories. Since the early 2000s, media coverage of migrations through the Sahara to Europe – that constitute but a minute fraction of overall Saharan migrations – has perturbed these longstanding patterns of mobility. Now, each sub-Saharan migrant in the Sahara is suspected to be in transit to Europe, and North Africa as a whole is re-defined, through the imposition of European migration policies, as the EU’s southernmost border.

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Journal article


Institut Français de Géopolitique

Publication Date





163 - 182