The International Organization of Migration (IOM) says about 120,000 illegal migrants travelled across Niger’s Northern arid northern Agadez region and Mali last year to Algeria. These new routes are at a result of the rapid rate at which people smugglers have largely avoided Libya since it descended into political chaos.
A government statement revealed that about 34 dead migrants were found near a small desert town in Assamaka-. The dead included 20 children. According to the Interior Minister of Niger, Bazoum Mohammed it appeared they died of thirst after being abandoned by their smuggler. Mr. Mohammed said nine of the adults were women and five were men .During his speech he revealed that they may have died between 6 and 12 of June. Temperatures in the region can reach a brutal 42C (108F), with blinding sandstorms tearing across the dessert.
Libya played host to the majority of migrants in sub- Saharan Africa, but since the chaos following the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, Algeria has become the main destination for the region’s migrants. Many transit through Algeria headed for Europe, but more than 7,000 migrants from Niger, mostly women and children were returned to their home country in 2015 as part of an agreement between the two countries.
STORY REWRITTEN BY: ALEXIX NANAESI WALLACE