Illegal African migration is one of the most important movements of population across Algeria towards Europe. The border areas in southern Algeria are the main inlets from which these movements come via conduits from the Sahel and West Africa. Recently, border control posts have identified Asian elements using the African migration network to enter Algeria. These population flows have made the city of Tamanrasset a regional capital with a special social pattern because of the intermingling in that cityscape of African cultures and peoples. This is characterized by rapid demographic growth due to the accumulation of illegal migrants over time. In this paper we seek to highlight the factors driving African trans-Saharan migration and the routes taken by migrants bound for North Africa and subsequently on to Europe. In addition, we discuss certain international policies that endeavor to find a solution for such migration and the problems it generates, also within Algeria, to deal with the situation. Finally, we investigate the case of the city of Tamanrasset, which is one of the most important transit centers for migrants in the far south of Algeria who are heading to the northern regions.

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