34 Migrants Including 20 Children Found Dead in Niger Desert

Charles Ayitey June 16, 2016
Hundreds of thousands of Africans risk their lives each year in search of better opportunities. najj.com

The bodies of 34 migrants, including 20 children, have been found near Assamaka, a small town in the Sahara Desert near Niger’s border with Algeria. Niger’s Interior Minister Bazoum Mohammed confirmed that the migrants, made up of nine adult women and five adult men, two of whom were identified as Nigerien.

Authorities believe that they were abandoned by their smuggler sometime between the 6th and 12th of June:

“They probably died of thirst, as is often the case, and they were found near Assamaka. [The migrants] were abandoned by people smugglers and only two of the bodies have so far been identified – a man and a 26-year-old woman both from Niger,” a security source told AFP.

This sad development follows a report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which indicates that more than 120,000 migrants crossed Niger’s scorched northern Agadez region in 2015 alone. Libya had once been North Africa’s main destination of sub-Saharan Africans seeking to illegally migrate. Algeria has since taken first place, following the ouster and execution of Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Europe has stepped up efforts to reduce illegal migration from Africa in the wake thousands of who have died in the Mediterranean Sea and a deal struck in March this year to reduce the number of people using Turkey to enter Europe.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: June 19, 2018


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