Heartless syndicates blamed for deadly voyage to Europe

Mediterranean migrant deaths spikeFrom EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – DEVIOUS smugglers have been blamed for the deaths of scores of people desperate to reach Europe though Libya, including more than 40 that have recently died from thirst in Niger.
The 44 migrants died when their vehicle broke down in the Sahara desert.
Nigerien officials said babies and women were among the deceased.
Guiseppe Loprete, IOM Chief of Mission in Niger, said the migrants are often lied to and cheated on their way to Europe.
“Smugglers usually run away with their money and they find themselves in the middle of nowhere, in a country they don’t know, trying to gain enough money to either continue the route or go back home,” Loprete said.
The IOM head said while in the Sahara desert, the biggest in Africa, the migrants were often abandoned by the drivers so they remained stranded for days at a time under the desert sun with no food, water or shade.
Loprete said the death of the migrants in northern Niger Libya indicated more migrants died in the Sahara than in the Mediterranean.
He said due to the inhospitable nature of the region, it was virtually impossible to know the exact number.
Six survivors who alerted authorities to the tragedy said most migrants were from Ghana and Nigeria.
The Niger to Libya is route the one most sub-Saharan African migrants take when trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
Each week, thousands of migrants are crammed into pick-up trucks for the days-long ride, often with only enough room for a few litres of water attempting to cross the Sahara desert, one of most inhospitable and deadliest places on earth.
IOM has recorded 2 300 migrant deaths worldwide this year with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths, about two thirds.
CAJ News


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Posted by on Jun 5 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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