Stories from the Southern Route
Tufa, Fekadu Adugna
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Between 17,000 and 20,000 Ethiopian men travel to the Republic of South Africa every year, mainly from Hadya and Kambatta via Moyale. Ethiopia has been a focus country for EU directives and IOM action plans to control irregular migration towards South .Africa, Libya and the Middle East. The government has outlawed many kinds of migrant smugglers and brokers and their businesses have gone underground. There is now a large migration industry of smugglers, informal brokers and other actors who help migrants navigate border controls. The research on which this comic is based sought to understand the social relations that underpin brokerage and the implications of clandestine migration for the welfare of the migrants themselves as well as their families. The relationships between migrants and those who mediate migration are complex with the power shifting between the migrant and broker at different points of the journey. The research shows that brokers organise journeys through networks using diverse mobility routes and communication technology. It shows how the system operates and why it continues despite the controls.
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