160 Stranded Nigerians Repatriated from Libya

160 Stranded Nigerians Repatriated from Libya
160 Stranded Nigerians Repatriated from Libya

On Monday, more than 160 stranded Nigerians were repatriated from Libya by the Nigerian Federal Government, with the support of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

In a statement in Abuja, the Chargé d’affaires En Titre, Ambassador Kabiru Musa said the evacuees were expected to arrive in Nigeria on Monday.

According to Musa, the evacuees are Nigerians who were trapped in Libya, as irregular migrants on the verge of perilous journey to Europe and other parts of the world.

He said the repatriation came less than a week after 155 irregular migrants were voluntarily evacuated, assuring of the Government’s commitment to ensure no citizen was left abandoned abroad.

“The 160 Nigerians departed Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, aboard a chartered flight number UZ0189 on Monday,” he added.

Last week, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Government, repatriated 155 Nigerian migrants stranded across Libya.

The returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of Lagos’ Murtala Muhammad International Airport. They boarded an Al Buraq Air, Boeing 737-800, registration number 5A-DMG.

The IOM added that of 155 returnees that arrived, there were 125 females, 22 males, and 8 infants.

The UN migration body noted that officials of the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Port Health Service, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRM) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were at the airport to receive the returnees.

Last month, NEMA said that more than 298 Nigerians have been repatriated directly from Libyan prisons, through two chartered flights within a week.

On 21 August, the first chartered flight deported 161 returnees, while the second flight arrived on Monday with 137 returnees.

The migrants had been held in various detention camps in Libya, and shared their bitter experiences upon their return.

Among the returnees were 119 women, many of whom were pregnant, along with five girls. Additionally, there were 170 men, and four boys, making a total of 298 individuals repatriated.

The IOM said in August that 2,013 people have already died or disappeared this year, while attempting to cross the central Mediterranean. This figure surpasses the total of 1,417 for the entirety of 2022.