Migrants heading for Europe from central African nations often pass through Niger, but the country also sees a steady flow of people who are heading back home. The UN has four transit centers in Niger to help returnees.
International donors on Tuesday pledged to assist countries in Africa's Sahel region. The UN sounded the alarm over the millions in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger who are facing acute hunger during a militant insurgency.
Rescue workers are still looking for survivors after a vessel carrying more than 120 migrants shipwrecked in the Mediterranean. The United Nations has recorded a recent uptick in departures from Libya since October.
More African migrants have been making the dangerous journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the Canary Islands. The coronavirus pandemic has been just one factor driving the rise in arrivals.
An investigation into the deaths of more than a hundred people last year has put the blame on the country's army. Dozens of people disappeared after an Islamist attack at a military base in December.
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