ALGIERS, Algeria — Algeria has categorically denied the most recent claims that it forcibly expels West African migrants to its border with Niger, leaving them stranded in the desert.

A statement Wednesday night by Algeria's foreign ministry said the country would continue expelling migrants living there illegally, adhering to international conventions and "with respect to (migrants') dignity."

Algeria was responding to a statement this week by the U.N.'s top migrant rights official after a visit to Niger. Filipe Gonzalez Morales said that collective forced expulsions are in "utter violation of international law."

The Algerian statement countered that he was taking migrants' allegations as truths. It said the Niger bureau of the International Organization for Migration is becoming a "vector of propaganda," providing similar accounts.

Algeria has expelled more than 8,000 West Africans since September 2017.