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Nigerians among 44 migrants ‘killed by dehydration’ in Sahara Desert
By ICIR Nigeria
Nigerians are among the 44 migrants to have died of thirst after their truck broke down in the Sahara Desert in northern Niger.
According to BBC, there were six survivors, all women, who managed to walk to a remote village Dirkou, Niger, where they are being looked after in.
Lawal Taher, a Red Cross official, said several children were among the dead. He added that nobody had visited the site yet to identify the bodies.
Sahelien, a Nigerien news site, said the Ghanaians and Nigerians were trying to get to Libya.
African migrants traditionally attempt crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe by first travelling from Niger to Libya.
Reuters reports that crossing the Sahara is one of the most perilous parts of the journey, as migrants are crammed into pickup trucks often with just enough room for a few litres of water.
The unforgiving conditions of the Sahara Desert mean that a broken-down vehicle is often a death sentence for migrants.
Every year, tens of thousands of migrants cross the Sahara to reach Libya. From the Libyan coast they board rickety boats to ferry them to Europe.
Although lots of death go unaccounted for, it is common knowledge that many migrants die of thirst, while others are robbed and attacked by criminal gangs and security forces.
In June 2016, the bodies of 34 migrants, including 20 children, were found in the Sahara Desert near Niger’s border with Algeria, a government minister saying it appeared they had died of thirst after being abandoned by their smuggler