FILE - In this Monday, June 4, 2018 file photo, Nigeriens and third-country migrants head towards Libya from Agadez, Niger. Algeria’s deadly expulsions of migrants into the Sahara Desert have nearly ground to a halt after widespread condemnation and the abrupt firing of two of its top security officials. Officials with the UN’s International Organization for Migration said the expulsions to the desert border Algeria shares with Niger and Mali had all but ended since The Associated Press reported more than 13,000 people had been dropped there since May 2017, including women and children.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

UN official: Algerian migrant expulsions resume in desert

July 14, 2018 - 7:17 am

PARIS (AP) — A U.N. migration official says Algeria's government has resumed expelling migrants into the Sahara Desert to die.

The head of the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration in Niger, Giuseppe Loprete, tweeted Saturday that 391 migrants from 16 countries were abandoned at the border. The Associated Press reported last month that Algeria has left more than 13,000 migrants in the desert of Niger and Mali since May 2017, forcing them to walk or die under searing heat.

For several weeks, the expulsions appeared to have been suspended. An aid worker with contacts inside Algeria said the government instead was keeping migrants incommunicado for weeks in detention centers.

IOM has found many migrants as they stumble through the desert. Many told the AP they saw deaths along the way.

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