The plight of Pays-Bas, a small squatter community in Niamey, Niger, profiled here by Inter Press Service News Agency, illustrates all-too-typical themes.
--the demonization of squatters: "These areas are dens of thieves who disturb the sleep of peaceful communities of the capital," Boubacar Ganda, president of the Council of the Niamey Urban Community (Conseil de la communauté urbaine de Niamey) -- a body of elected officials -- told IPS.
--the pretense that eviction is actually for the squatters' benefit: "Catastrophes must be prevented. It's for this reason that the residents of Pays-Bas must leave this dangerous zone that they are living in -- illegally," Soumaïla Yahaya, a municipal official, told IPS.
--the broken promises: Four months after seeing their homes demolished in the name of safety and security, they are still waiting for resettlement at an alternative, developed site promised by authorities, IPS reports.