Now we're close to zero ... several dozen," she said, noting that numbers normally fall in the winter, but not by so much. Some are holding up Agadez as a sign of a breakthrough in tackling the migration crisis. Other experts have urged caution, saying the smugglers may have simply moved deeper underground. Either way, the immediate impact on the town and the arid region surrounding it is dramatic. The European Union said that only 1,500 migrants crossed Niger in November, down from 70,000 in May, crediting the change to a new partnership strategy it launched with Niger last year. In late

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