25 Nigerien Migrants Dumped in the Desert by Smugglers

At least twenty-five Niger migrants consisting of women and children have been rescued in the northern Niger desert after they were dumped by their driver.

This was disclosed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The migrants were rescued “last weekend in the Sahara desert by (teams of) IOM and the Directorate of Civil Protection of Niger,” said the UN agency in a Facebook post.

African Migrants Abandoned in the Desert
Nigerien Migrants Left in the Desert

The survivors, whose destination was not specified, “remained without food and water for three days” before being found, said the IOM.

Rescue operations for migrants are frequent in the hostile Nigerien desert, mainly in areas close to Libya.

Many West African migrants try to cross through Libya to reach the Mediterranean coast and thus reach Europe.

In April 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 250 stranded West African migrants were found near Madama, on Niger’s border with Libya, abandoned by their smugglers, according to the IOM.

In an effort to discourage smugglers, Niamey passed a law in 2015 making migrant smuggling a crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. However, despite this measure, migrants are taking “new and more dangerous routes” to enter Libya, according to a security source.

Several NGOs and UN agencies regularly denounce the deplorable conditions in Libyan detention centers.

Contributed by Chukwuebuka Festus

Source: Africanews

This post was written by a Guest Contributor.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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