Migrant crisis emerges in Sahara Desert on Algeria-Niger border, IOM says

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It has also begun deporting thousands of sub-Saharan Africans who are living in Algeria without consent — typically from countries such as Mali, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The result is a southward stream of migrants across the sparsely populated region in temperatures of up to 120 degrees.

On a single day last month, 1,500 arrived at the remote border village of Assamakka, according to Giuseppe Loprete, IOM chief of mission in Niger.

Migrants dropped there by Algerian authorities face a 250-mile journey to the nearest town, Agadez. Many give up seeking transport and walk.

“Most of them have no money or identity documents, food or water,” Loprete said. “They are traumatized. In some cases they have been unable to get transport and have walked or they have been abandoned by human traffickers and don’t know where they are.”

At least 7,000 are expected to pass through in the year to June, according to IOM estimates, often carrying children or a few belongings.

In the desert heat, one…



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