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MIGRANTS by : 5:42 pm On July 14, 2018

Number of migrants ‘abandoned by Algeria’ in Sahara drops

The number of migrants allegedly being forced to cross the Sahara Desert on foot by Algeria has dropped significantly, a UN agency says. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has dealt with about 10,000 people abandoned near the southern border since last September. Some were left by traffickers, but others were expelled by Algerian authorities, the IOM said – a claim rejected by the North African country. But now the flow has almost stopped.

An IOM spokesman said that the numbers arriving at the borders with Niger and Mali had dropped significantly, saying only a “couple of dozen” people had arrived in Gao, Mali, since the end of June. The Associated Press news agency also reports the expulsions have almost totally ground to a halt since the issue came to light. But it adds mass detentions of migrants are continuing.

Algeria is on the migrant route to the Mediterranean and has seen an estimated 100,000 people cross into its territory in the last few years, mainly from West Africa.

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