Over 250 rescued in Niger desert, put in quarantine

UN agency International Organisation for Migration provided food and water to the group. (Reuters pic)

NIAMEY: More than 250 Europe-bound migrants were rescued in Niger’s arid north and placed in coronavirus quarantine after being abandoned by traffickers, the International Organisation for Migration said Thursday.

The IOM provided food and water to the group, including 104 Nigerians, 53 Ghanaians and 34 Burkinabes, who were rescued last week, the UN agency said on Facebook.

They were transported from near the Libyan border to Agadez and housed in a football stadium for 14 days.

IOM said large numbers of migrants were still coming to Niger, a key transit country for people hoping to make it to the West, despite Niamey closing its borders in the wake of the epidemic.

A total of 764 migrants were quarantined at Assamaka, near the Algerian border, IOM said, including children and pregnant women.

There have been 74 confirmed coronavirus cases in Niger, including five deaths.

A curfew has been imposed in the capital Niamey.

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