Niger Orders Closure of Migrant Camps After Sahara Deaths

Yahoo! News, November 1, 2013

Niger on Friday ordered the “immediate” closure of migrant camps in the north of the country after 92 people, mostly women and children, died of thirst trying to cross the harsh Sahara desert.

In a statement read on public television, the government also announced that all those involved in trafficking migrants, many of whom pass through northern Niger on their way to Algeria or Libya, would be identified and “severely punished”.

The decomposed bodies of 52 children, 33 women and seven men were found on Wednesday following their grisly death in October after two trucks carrying them broke down on the way to Algeria.

“This tragedy is the result of criminal activities led by all types of trafficking networks,” government said as it announced the closure of the “ghettos”, the name given to migrant camps in Agadez, the main town in northern Nigeria.

Prime Minister Brigi Rafini will pay a visit to the southern district of Kantche where most of the deceased came from, to present the “condolences of the nation wounded by this tragedy” to their families, according to the statement.

Niger’s government also announced there would be three days of mourning following the tragedy.

Flags flew at half-mast on official buildings in memory of the victims, who all came from the south of the deeply poor west African country and were headed for Algeria.

Those who died were “migrants like we see them pretty much everywhere, such as in the dramas on the Mediterranean Sea,” said Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of Agadez, the main town in north Niger.

Only 21 people survived out of 113 trying to cross Niger’s desert border into Algeria in two trucks, which both broke down, according to a highly placed security source.

‘Thirst is merciless’

The victims “died of thirst, since their two vehicles almost simultaneously broke down,” Feltou said.

“In the desert, thirst is merciless. The strongest can hold out three or four days, but in general at the end of 24 or 48 hours, a swift death process ensues,” the mayor of Agadez added.

The bodies were discovered in small groups “in a radius of 20 kilometres (12 miles)”, said Almoustapha Alhacen of the non-governmental organisation Aghir In’man (“Human Shield” in the language of the ethnic Tuareg people of the desert).

A security source said he believed migrants had managed to survive for five days and then “began to leave the broken-down vehicle in search of a well”.

A woman who originally came from south Niger and allegedly organised the fateful journey was detained by security forces in the desert town of Tamanrasset, a security source said.

The last disaster on such a scale was reported in May 2001 in Libya, which was considered an El Dorado to find work in the days of Moamer Kadhafi. Then, 140 people were found dead of thirst in the desert.

Since the fall of Kadhafi in 2011, the route via Agadez to Libya and on to Europe has gained popularity over the journey to Algeria.

More than 5,000 west Africans, many of them from Niger, took the Agadez trail each month between March and August this year, according to the United Nations.

At Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis on Friday urged Christians worldwide to join him in prayers “for all those of our brothers and sisters, men, women and children, who died victims of hunger, of thirst, of fatigue on their way to find better living conditions.”

“These days, we have seen pictures in the papers of the cruel desert,” the pope told a crowd of 60,000 in an impromptu departure from his homily for All Saints’ Day.

The pope has previously taken up the cause of people faced with poverty and violence who seek a better future and he has spoken out against the human trafficking.

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  • “Niger”

    Remember when and why this country was last in the news? It was over their supposed supply of some yellow cake or uranium cake to Saddam Insane, this was about 10 years ago. When the news hacks were doing this story, they pronounced the name of the country “Nee-JAIR,” not “NYE-gher.”

    It’s as if they were afraid to slip up and say the actual racial pejorative, so they deliberately pronounced it in the Francophone style to discipline their mouths.

    • Jesse James

      I miss the bad old days when Khaddafi used the Libyan military to discourage blacks from passing through Libya on their way to Europe. I believe that he was providing this border service for Western European countries who no longer have the will to defend their own borders. He was paid well for this and I remember that it was his departing curse that the Europeans would be flooded by African refugees is they allowed his government to be destroyed. Looks like he might have had a point. Better mercenary border guards than no border guards.

      • Whitetrashgang

        Thats why the tribe got rid of Khaddafi so Europeans could have even more dieversity. In all seriousness cant we turn black people into something more useful than they are?

        • Spartacus

          How about soap ?

          • Whitetrashgang

            Would you really use it? I was thinking more like oil or lube.

        • Jesse James

          I think the banksters did him in WTG because he was pushing an alternative currency based on gold that he wanted to use for his oil sales instead of the American dollar. Also I think the deals he was cutting that was bringing a Chinese presence into the Mediterranean was the final nail into his coffin.

          • RisingReich

            JFK was assassinated for suggesting the return of a real currency and killing the Fed, amongst other things…

          • Jesse James

            Yup the banksters hate the thought of sound currency backed by precious metals because that is difficult to manipulate and has real value. The biggest fiddle in the history of the world is the way the US government has given the power and profit of printing our currency into the hands of a shadowy group of banksters. Damn the Fed and all the snakes that slither in its shadow.

    • DaveMed

      Nee-JAIR? Haha! I’d love to see a clip of this.

      • Kenner

        That is the correct Francophone pronunciation.

        • Guest

          Hmmm, my mistake. I just looked it up on google translate, and you are correct.

        • Sick of it

          Yet the country was named by the British…and a British man wanted to pronounce it like a Frenchman…

  • 1stworlder

    When I first saw the headline I thought Obama passed a new executive order.

    • bigone4u

      That would take another “g” in the first word in the headline.

  • bigone4u

    “At Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis on Friday urged Christians worldwide to join him in prayers “for all those of our brothers and sisters, men, women and children, who died victims of hunger, of thirst, of fatigue on their way to find better living conditions.””
    Thanks, but no thanks, Pope guy. Let them stay put and better living conditions the way my ancestors did–the way white people did. Keep your sympathy for the parasites out of my face Pope guy, because it ain’t gonna work on me. So, I won’t be joining you in prayers.

    • Sick of it

      Perhaps he should pray for the many more people in Europe and America who are out of work and struggling in dead or dying economies.

    • Kenner

      Pope Francis is a disaster…I can only imagine how many cardinals have ‘buyers remorse’.

  • JohnEngelman

    Few people want black immigrants. No one should want them.

    • Jefferson

      The Nordic countries want Black immigrants, especially if they are from Somalia.

      • JohnEngelman

        They better change their minds before it is too late.

      • Blue-eyed Devil

        My maternal grandmother was Swedish and it breaks my heart to see Sweden being overrun by ragheads and scum from Africa.Too bad the vikings can’t be resurrected. They’d fix this problem right quick.

  • RisingReich

    This kind of crap is why we have groups shooting holes in water containers ‘placed in sympathy for migrants’ illegally crossing our border.

    Of course, many of us suggest shooting something else.

  • James Bro

    The title of this article should read; “migrants are dying trying to reach a welfare state”. Blacks , left to their own devices will ultimately destroy themselves.

  • APaige

    Dying just to be around white racists? I guess real oppression is living in countries run by black people.

  • kjh64

    All of these Black people and Brown people dying to go and live around evil, White racists? If Europe and others would shut their borders, these people would stay home and not die.

  • Blue-eyed Devil

    Don’t these black dumb asses know that we don’t want them in Europe (our ancestral homeland)? I personally don’t tarry where I’m not welcome. But then I’m White and have something called pride. Blacks lack pride.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Wherever White race goes they build a civilization. Wherever Blacks go, they destroy everything. obama is an example of that.

  • gregCall

    I wonder how long before international libtards set up water stations in the Sahara just like the ones set up in the American southwest to assist our own illegal migrants.