UN Refugee Agency ‘Shocked’ By Deaths Of 44 Migrants In Sahara

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UNITED NATIONS – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Friday that it was shocked to hear about the reported deaths of 44 migrants and refugees in the Sahara Desert this week, mostly from Nigeria and Ghana, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at the daily briefing that survivor accounts suggest a group of 50 people was on their way to Libya when their truck broke down between the cities of Agadez and Dirkou in the desert in northern Niger, exposing them to extreme heat and lack of drinking water.

Only six people survived, he noted.

UNHCR repeated its call for credible alternatives to these dangerous crossings for people in need of international protection, and is seeking US$75.5 million to meet the increased humanitarian and protection needs of people in Libya, including internally displaced persons and host communities, as well as refugees and asylum seekers, said Haq.