Nigerien security sources said that the corpses of seven men, 32 women and 48 children were found in the Sahara on Wednesday. They said the immigrants, who were trying to reach Algeria, had died in early October.
Almoustapha Alhacen, from local aid organization Aghir In’man, confirmed the deaths and said, “The corpses were decomposed; it was horrible.”
“We found them in different locations in a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius and in small groups, often under trees, or under the sun. Sometimes a mother and children, but some lone children too,” Alhacen stated.
Reports say 21 of the migrants have survived. Nineteen of the survivors reached the Algerian city of Tamanrasset, but were deported to Niger.
Algeria and Libya are favorite countries for African migrants who seek a new life in Europe.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that at least 30,000 economic migrants passed through northern Nigerien city of Agadez between March and August of 2013.