At least 44 West African migrants, including women and babies, were found dead in the Sahara desert this week after their truck broke down in arid northern Niger while on the way to Libya, Six survivors walked to a remote village where they said that 44 people, mostly from Ghana and Nigeria and including three babies and two other children, died of thirst, said Lawal Taher, the department head for the Red Cross in the Bilma region.
he Red Cross, which said “at least 44 migrants have died”, has dispatched a team to the site “to gather information” on the circumstances.
A security source who asked not to be named said
“the sub-Saharan migrants, including babies and women, died of thirst because their vehicle broke down”. In early May, eight migrants from Niger, five of them children, were found dead in the desert while on their way to Algeria. Also in May, soldiers on patrol in northern Niger rescued around 40 migrants from various West African countries who had been abandoned in the desert by people-smugglers while travelling to Libya. The group included citizens of The Gambia, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal and Niger, all hoping to reach the Libyan coast so they could cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
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