Migrants in the Sahara
Migrants in the Sahara

Forty-four migrants from Ghana and Nigeria have died of thirst in Niger after their truck broke down en route to Libya. The Red Cross says three children and three babies were among the victims.

Municipal and Red Cross officials in northern Niger said Thursday only six individuals - five men and a woman - survived the ordeal by managing to walk until they were rescued near the town of Achigour.

Niger is a major route for West Africans headed for Europe. Last year, about 330,000 transited the land-locked nation bound for Libya's Mediterranean coastline, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Read: Types of protection in Germany for asylum seekers

Desert routes deadly

Early in May, eight migrants from Niger, five of them children, were found dead in the desert while on their way to Algeria.

Last year, the Danish organization 4mi said it was likely that more migrants perished in the desert than the thousands who drown in the Mediterranean.

Last month, Italy and Germany called for an EU mission to be installed along Libya's border with Niger to reduce migrant inflows.

Read: DRC's homemade refugee crisis

ipj/rt (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa) 

First published June 1 2017

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