The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that over 80 migrants have been rescued after being found in a remote stretch of the Sahara Desert where 100s of others have died attempting a dangerous journey in recent years.
The 41 females from Nigeria, including twin, four-year-olds, and 42 males from Nigeria, Togo, Mali and Ghana were in distress, dehydrated and in need of medical assistance when they were found last week, the UN migration agency said on Tuesday.
It works with the General Directorate for Civil Protection to carry out these searches and rescues.
One of the men, a 25-year-old whose identity was given by the Agency as Dennis, said they had been stranded for three days without food or water.
“We searched for water, but all we found were dirty wells used by livestock.
“People were collapsing left and right. I started crying when I saw the cars approaching, hoping help was coming,” he told IOM.
The group had left Agadez, a common transit town in Niger’s north, two weeks ago on separate routes to avoid detection, the Agency said.
Some of those rescued said they were headed for Libya, and their smugglers made a stop on September 1 about 230 kilometres north of the Sahara crossroad of Dirkou.
Vehicles often break down in the desert, where many smugglers abandon their passengers.