Tags: AF | Niger | Deaths

44 Migrants Die of Thirst in Niger While Crossing Desert

Thursday, 01 June 2017 11:38 AM

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — At least 44 migrants, including babies, have died of thirst after their vehicle broke down in the Sahara Desert as they were making their way to Libya, an official in Niger said Thursday.

Niger is a major route for West African migrants making their way toward Europe. Some 300,000 migrants passed through the vast West African nation in 2016 alone, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Most of the dead migrants were from Ghana, said the prefect of Dirkou locality, Bachir Manzo. The victims included three babies, two children and 17 women. The official said six people survived.

It is impossible to know how many migrants are lost in the desert as they make their way north.

The bodies were discovered just days after President Mahamadou Issoufou made a plea to the leaders of G-7 industrialized nations to address the migration crisis during a meeting in Taormina, Sicily.

Niger is one of the world's poorest countries and has been strained by the migration burden. The IOM says most of the migrant traffic is not refugee-related.

Also Thursday, a local Red Cross worker said an attack by suspected extremists near Niger's border with Mali killed 40 people, including six soldiers.

Issa Younoussi says civilians are among the dead in the attack in Abala, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of the capital, Niamey.

It is not clear who staged the attack.

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At least 44 migrants, including babies, have died of thirst after their vehicle broke down in the Sahara Desert as they were making their way to Libya, an official in Niger said Thursday.Niger is a major route for West African migrants making their way toward Europe. Some...
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2017-38-01
Thursday, 01 June 2017 11:38 AM
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