Tags: africa | europe | migrants | dies

Africa Migrants Might Have Died in Desert Trying to Reach Europe

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 09:46 AM

Dozens of desperate people attempting to cross the African desert and migrate to Europe may have died of thirst after their vehicle experienced mechanical trouble in Niger, the BBC reported.
 
Approximately 60 people, many of them families with women and children, were reportedly in the convoy when it experienced mechanical problems several weeks ago. 

Five are confirmed dead — two women and three girls between nine and 11 years old. Another 35 who abandoned the vehicle and went off to seek help are missing, according to the BBC.

Approximately 20 people — one-third of those on the original convoy — have survived.

Days later, some of the survivors reached Arlit, a uranium mining town in Niger, where they told soldiers about the vehicle breakdown. But by the time the military got to the scene, most of the would-be migrants had vanished.

Authorities in Niger have ended the search for the missing migrants

The convoy was reportedly headed for Tamanrassett, Algeria — a town of more than 90,000 people in the heart of the Sahara Desert, approximately 975 miles south of Algiers — and eventually to Europe.

The tragedy is just the latest example of the dangers faced by residents of West Africa who attempt to illegally migrate to Europe.

About 365 migrants drowned Oct. 3 when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea near an Italian island.

A May 2011 report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted the role of organized crime in smuggling people from West Africa to Europe.

Male and female migrants interviewed for the report told harrowing tales of mistreatment, including robbery, murder, rape, and enslavement.

Another danger highlighted in the report is the fact that the migrants must cross a wide swath of territory in which jihadist groups such as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb operate, and some have been recruited into service by these organizations.
 
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Dozens of desperate people attempting to cross the African desert and migrate to Europe may have died of thirst after their vehicle experienced mechanical trouble in Niger, the BBC reported.
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2013-46-30
Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 09:46 AM
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