Dozens of migrants die of thirst in Niger desert: Officials
Niamey: Dozens of Nigerien migrants heading for Algeria died of thirst in the desert south of the Sahara after their vehicle broke down, local officials said on Monday, while police said 19 survived.
"About 40 Nigeriens, including numerous children and women, who were attempting to immigrate to Algeria, died of thirst in mid-October," Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of the main northern town of Agadez, said.
"Many others have been reported missing since their vehicle broke down in the desert," he said.
"Travellers told us that they saw and counted up to 35 bodies, mostly those of women and children, by the road," said Abdourahmane Maouli, the mayor of the northern uranium mining town of Arlit.
The army has found the bodies of two women and three adolescents, a paramilitary policeman said. No other bodies have so far turned up.
However, 19 survivors have been taken to Arlit, the policeman said.
According to Feltou, two vehicles carrying "at least" 60 would-be emigrants left Arlit "around October 15", heading for Tamanrassett, an Algerian town in the heart of the Sahara.
When one vehicle broke down, the other drove on empty, leaving the passengers behind in a plan to find spare parts and bring them back for repairs, the mayor of Agadez said.
The migrants, short of water, dispersed in small groups in search of an oasis, Feltou said. After days of walking, five survivors reached Arlit and alerted the army, "who arrived too late at the scene."
In the lucrative business of transporting Africans fleeing conditions at home for what they hope will be a better life elsewhere, traffickers quite frequently abandon their human cargo in the desert, leaving them to near certain death.
Azaoua Mamane, who works for the non-governmental organisation Synergie in Arlit, said the group left behind consisted of "entire families, including very many children and women, who departed for Algeria, where they hoped to beg for their keep."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- What Muslims think about Ram Mandir issue?
- Anti-Romeo squad launched: Has moral policing started in UP?
- Martyrs' Day: Nation remembers Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for their sacrifice
- London terrorist attack leaves five dead, including police officer
- Do not put unnecessary pressure on police: PM Modi tells UP BJP MPs
- Hukumdev Narain Yadav to be new Vice-President of India?
- 400 Trinamool Congress members including many TMC stalwarts join BJP in Tripura
- Unable to meet educational expenses, Muslim girl writes to PM Narendra Modi – Know what happened next
- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru were hanged on 23 March 1931 – This is how PM Modi paid tribute today
- Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Prateek, his daughter-in-law Aparna meet UP CM Yogi Adityanath - Know why