The management of cross-border areas in the Sahara-Sahel: Between living spaces and "grey areas"

As the security situation deteriorates in the Sahara-Sahel area as a consequence of the Libyan crisis, the border areas have been the subject of different security approaches by regional and extra-regional actors. In the Sahara-Sahel, two visions are facing each other. One considers the border as a fixed line which is supposed to be strictly controlled: it is the vision conveyed by the Sahel region states and their extra-regional partners. The other vision considers the Sahara-Sahel areas, in particular the border areas, as open and dynamic spaces: this vision is shared by the local people, nomads, migrants, irregular armed groups and even some state actors.

Crédit photo : poste-frontière de Maghnia en Algérie (Magharebia / Licence creative commons)