Trafficking causes human suffering in West Africa, but removing it can bring instability, which complicates policymaking, Hannah Armstrong (West Africa, 2012-2014) writes for The Washington Post.

The informal arrangements set up by traffickers “can bring a wide range of side effects, including employment for young men who might otherwise join anti-government rebellions or be recruited by regional affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as well as livelihoods for former insurgents,” she writes. “Dialogue between Nigerien government officials and traffickers has also created avenues to mediate local conflicts and contain trafficking-related violence.”

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