Jueves, 19 Octubre, 2017

Niger Army Rescue 92 Migrants Left for Dead in Sahara Desert

Niger Army Rescue 92 Migrants Left for Dead in Sahara Desert Niger Army Rescue 92 Migrants Left for Dead in Sahara Desert
Montez Delgado | 14 Junio, 2017, 18:59

The International Organization for Migration says its team and Niger authorities have rescued more than 90 migrants abandoned in the hot Sahara Desert on their way to Libya. One of the group died after being taken to a treatment center. The route from Niger to Libya is well-traveled and used to access North Africa before they cross the Mediterranean Sea to their destination.

However, the journey through the desert is perilous as the migrants are crammed into pick-up trucks and have little food or water. More than 40 migrants died of thirst in northern Niger this month and Loprete said that IOM teams are now searching for another 25 believed to be lost in the desert.

Last June, the bodies of 34 migrants - including 20 children - were recovered near the Niger-Algeria border.

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The rescued migrants, who included at least 30 women and babies, were being looked after at a facility in the garrison town of Dirkou in northern Niger, the IOM said. "(The smugglers) tell them that if they do not have money, they can not continue.

The unforgiving conditions of the Sahara Desert mean that a broken down vehicle is often a death sentence for migrants.

The 92 migrants, a lot of them Nigerians, were rescued on Friday by an IOM team and Nigerien soldiers, Giuseppe Loprete, head of the IOM mission in Niger, told Reuters. So they are in a very vulnerable situation...

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He said the migrants - most of whom were from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Burkina Faso - were saved because they were abandoned near a well.

Niger serves as a transit point for West Africans hoping to reach Europe to start a better life.

It's not known how many deaths there are every year - as it's a vast, ungoverned region.

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