On Thursday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that it has assisted in the repatriation of 3,000 Nigerians stranded in Libya. This is via its voluntary humanitarian flight program, since January 2022.
The report came as a fresh batch of 159 returnees consisting of 62 women, 64 men, 12 children, and 5 infants arrived on Wednesday.
A statement from the IOM office in Nigeria signed by its Public Information Officer, Stylia Kampani cited that the “challenging security situation in the country has left many migrants stranded in Libya.”
NEMA Director General, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed received the distressed returnees in the late hours of Tuesday. There were on a Buraq Air, Boeing 737-800.
He added the repatriation by the Nigerian Embassy in Tripoli is part of the government’s citizen diplomacy drive, to protect Nigerians across the world.
“As you know, most of them here are irregular migrants without travel documents, and consequently face difficult situations in the country,” NAN quoted him as saying.
On 1 November, the Nigerian Federal Government, in collaboration with the IOM evacuated 117 irregular Nigerian migrants from Libya.
The evacuation came a week after the Nigerian Mission in Tripoli successfully evacuated 137 stranded Nigerians from Libya, the Chargé D’affaires of the Nigerian Mission to Libya, Kabiru Musa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Musa said the evacuees, who included 89 men, 22 women, two children, and four infants, left Tripoli and landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMA) in Lagos. He added that the evacuees comprised 48 people, who were released from Libyan detention facilities.
“The EU, together with IOM, remains committed to sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. As well as to strengthening national mechanisms and relevant actors in the reintegration sphere, for the benefit of all returnees,” noted Eleni Zerzelidou, International Aid and Cooperation Officer for Migration Drugs and Organised Crime.
So far over 28,000 Nigerians have been repatriated since April 2017.
The IOM noted that the partnership between the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration has been “instrumental in helping give Nigerians a new perspective back home. Libya has long been an important transit and destination country for migrants arriving from different parts of Africa.”
Over 2,000 Nigerians Repatriated from Libya in 2022
118 Stranded Nigerians in Libya Repatriated