Niger: 33 migrants have died in desert this year

2015-06-17 08:47


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey - A total of 33 migrants have died in the Sahara desert in Niger while en route to Europe this year, including 18 found dehydrated last week near a road to the border with Algeria, the government of Niger said on Tuesday.

International assessments, however, have put the number closer to 50. Many thousands attempt to cross the vast and inhospitable terrain in order to reach the Libyan coast, where they hope to begin another hazardous trip by boat to Europe.

Six foreigners were found dead near a road between Agadez and the Libyan border on May 12, while nine were found dead on June 2 and four more are missing on a road to Libya, said an interior ministry statement.

"The use of unsecured routes and the refusal to take military convoys is always at the origin of these tragedies," the statement said.

Reports from migrants

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said in its own statement on Tuesday that 30 migrants had been found dead in the Sahara near Dirkou in Niger on Monday, bringing to 48 the number of bodies recovered in the country this year.

In a separate case, the bodies of 18 migrants were discovered on Sunday near Arlit, a route to Algeria, IOM said in a statement.

It is likely given reports from migrants and others that far more than 48 migrants have died in Niger's desert this year, said IOM spokesperson Joel Millman.

"We know that traffickers are increasing in the area through the desert to Libya. We believe that there has been an undercount [of the dead] because of the remoteness and the difficulty of patrolling," he told Reuters.

Figures offered by Niger's government and IOM differ, but both offer a glimpse into what migration experts say is a hidden tragedy in the Sahara.

Read more on:    iom  |  niger  |  west africa  |  migrants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.