#National News

Dozens of migrants rescued in Sahara Desert

Sep 10, 2020, 12:38 PM

Dakar, Senegal: More than 80 migrants have been rescued after being found in a remote stretch of the Sahara Desert where hundreds of others have died attempting a perilous journey in recent years, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

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,” he told IOM. “People were collapsing left and right. I started crying when I saw the cars approaching, hoping help was coming.”

The group had left Agadez, a common transit town in Niger’s north, two weeks ago on separate utes to avoid detection, the agency 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, some of those rescued said. Vehicles often break down in the desert, where many smugglers abandon their passengers.

The mayor of Dirkou, Boubacar Djaram, said the group would likely have perished, like so many others who haven’t been found.

“The migrants rescued last Thursday were found in an isolated place far from any form of life,” he said. The Agadez region spans more than 700,000 square kilometres.

The group has been transferred to a COVID-19 confinement site where they are receiving food, water and medical care, the IOM said.

Since 2016, more than 1870 migrants have been rescued through operations in Niger’s desert, among them more than 400 this year alone, the UN agency said.

“It is impossible to know how many migrants have died attempting to cross the Sahara. Many bodies are buried during sandstorms, never to be found again,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s chief of mission in Niger.

Libya is a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe.

AP

Read Other Articles In National News
Lybert Schools
Lybert Schools sets sight on aggregate 6 next year 
Oct 1, 2021, 12:46 PM

A madou A. Jallow, a senior teacher at Lybert Nursery, Primary and Upper Basic schools in Sanchaba Sulay Jobe has said that their target in next year’s Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examination (GABECE) is to produce aggregate 6.

BAC
BAC conducts cleansing exercise at Nema Kunku market
Jul 7, 2020, 12:32 PM

Brikama Area Council yesterday conducted a cleansing exercise at Nema Kunku market as part of their routine efforts to eradicate illegal dumpsites that are created as a result of indiscriminate dumping.

KOICA
KOICA, UNODC donate 10 modern cooking equipment to GPS
Dec 23, 2020, 12:33 PM

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes recently handed over ten modern electric/gas cookers to The Gambia Prison Services.

GYCC engage stakeholders on policy challenges, solutions for start ups
Apr 9, 2021, 2:50 PM

The Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) on Wednesday organized a high-level stakeholders engagement on policy challenges and solutions for start up businesses in The Gambia.