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Nigerien Authorities Rescue Abandoned Nigerian Migrates in Sahara Desert


Not fewer than 92 West African migrants, mostly Nigerians, have been rescued in the Sahara desert after they were abandoned to die by traffickers.
Reports say authorities of Niger rescued them last week as they tried to cross into neighbouring Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.
The impoverished West African country, Niger, is a gateway for migrants heading to Europe.
The 92 migrants, most of them Nigerians, were rescued on Friday by an IOM team and Nigerien soldiers, Giuseppe Loprete, head of the IOM mission in Niger, said.
One of the migrants died shortly after arriving at an IOM facility in the north-eastern town of Dirkou, he said.
The rest will soon be transferred to Agadez in central Niger before eventually being repatriated to their countries of origin.
European countries have promised Niger tens of millions of dollars to combat people smuggling and the IOM said in April that the number of migrants crossing Niger to reach Libya has declined since last year, largely due to a government crackdown.
Even so, many continue to take the risk. More than 40 migrants died of thirst in northern Niger this month and Loprete said that IOM teams are currently searching for another 25 believed to be lost in the desert.

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