Europe By Road: Over 50 Feared Dead In Sahara Desert
This is not a story of adventure. It is a story of desperation. It is a story of misfortune. It is the story of young Africans.
Some desperate Nigerians headed to Europe by road in search of better life have perished in the Sahara Desert after their driver abandoned the trip.
According to some aid workers and local officials who spoke to journalists on Tuesday, a convoy of three pick-up trucks were transporting over 70 migrants north through the Sahara Desert towards Libya -- a typical route for West Africans seeking to reach Europe -- when plans changed.
Twenty-three of the migrants however survived after walking to a nearby town for help, the International Organization for Migration said in a press release on Tuesday.
The survivors came from Nigeria, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
A local official told Reuters that of the remaining 52, at least 15 were known to have died from thirst while attempts on Monday to find the rest were unsuccessful.
There was no immediate word on their nationalities.
"The migrants were abandoned about 50 miles from Siguidine," Fatoumi Goudou, a prefect in the Bilma department of Niger, told Reuters.
It is not clear why the drivers abandoned their passengers, but rival militias and militants seeking money often stop migrant convoys and are a constant hazard for smugglers.