Thousands of migrants have been dumped in the Sahara Desert to die with no food or water, it has been claimed.
Algeria has denied it is mistreating migrants amid reports it has abandoned 13,000 people over the past 14 months.
It has been reported that people, including pregnant women and children, are being forced to walk at gunpoint under temperatures of up to 48C.
Many head to Niger, where they limp across a desolate no-man’s-land to Assamakka, while others wander for days before they are found by a UN rescue squad.
Untold numbers reportedly just vanish into the desert.
Janet Kamara, who was forced to leave behind the dead baby she gave birth to during the trek, said: ‘Women were lying dead, men. Other people are missing in the desert because they didn’t know the way.
‘Everybody was just on their own.’
Janet, a Liberian who ran her own home business selling drinks and food in Algeria before she was expelled in May, had to bury her baby in a shallow grave in the molten sand, and blood streaked her legs for days afterwards.
Since October 2017, mass expulsions have increased in Algeria as the EU renewed pressure on North African countries to head off migrants going north to Europe.
A European Union spokesman said the EU was aware of what Algeria was doing, but ‘sovereign countries’ can expel migrants as long as they comply with international law.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 11,276 people have survived the march since May 2017.
Migrants describe being rounded up in hundreds at a time, crammed into open trucks before being dropped in the desert and pointed in the direction of Niger.
In early June, 217 people were dropped around 18 miles from the nearest source of water, according to the IOM.
‘There were people who couldn’t take it. They sat down and we left them. They were suffering too much,’ said Aliou Kande, an 18-year-old from Senegal.
Kande said nearly a dozen people simply gave up, collapsing in the sand. His group of 1,000 got lost and wandered from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., he said. He never saw the missing people again.
‘They tossed us into the desert, without our telephones, without money. I couldn’t even describe it to you,’ he added.
Tamba Dennis, another Liberian who was in Algeria on an expired work visa, said: ‘They bring you to the end of Algeria, to the end in the middle of the desert, and they show you that this is Niger.
‘If you can’t bring water, some people die on the road.’
Ju Dennis, no relation to Tamba, said: ‘You’re facing deportation in Algeria – there is no mercy.
‘We want to expose them now. We are here, and we saw what they did. And we got proof.’
Algeria has denied criticism from the IOM and other organizations that it is committing human rights abuses by abandoning migrants in the desert, calling the allegations a ‘malicious campaign’ intended to inflame neighboring countries.
The IOM has estimated that for every migrant known to have died crossing the Mediterranean, as many as two are lost in the desert – potentially upwards of 30,000 people since 2014.