African Migrants Trapped in Libya to Be Evacuated

Elias Hubbard
December 7, 2017

This is even as 300 other Nigerians are to be repatriated from Libya every week. "Certainly, it has to be those who want to come back home".

"Migration is a natural and has always happened but becomes an issue when there are people migrating illegally meaning the migrants arrive without proper documentations and hide their identity".

On Tuesday night, a batch of 144 stranded Nigerians in Libya was deported in continuation of the massive repatriation of Nigerians in the North African country.

"What we do is identify the Nigerians in the camps, register them then issue them an emergency travel certificate but those who happen to be sick get medical treatments before being confirmed to fly".

Libya's United Nations -backed government last month said it would take action after a video broadcast by CNN, which appeared to show the auction of African migrants as farmhands for $400, led to protests across Europe and Africa.

After constant complaints, several sub-Saharan countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, and Nigeria announced the progressive repatriation of their compatriots who traveled to Libya in order to cross the Mediterranean Sea and reach Europe.

The ministry also explained that the embassy, in collaboration with the IOM, repatriates 250 migrants weekly and had returned 3,000 of them so far.

He said: "I can confirm that the stories of Africans being bought as slaves in general is true however, we discovered other people who were bought and sold by their fellow Nigerians living in Europe".

The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement signed by the Spokesperson, Mr. Tiwatope Elias-Fatile on Tuesday, said the country's embassy in Libya had been visiting detention camps to identify Nigerians for registration.

He said the returnees were received by officials of NEMA, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says some Nigerians in Libya have refused to come home despite the ongoing slave trade.

He said, "The Federal government now in talks with officials of Nigeria's Charge D'Affairs in Libya to ascertain the number of Nigerians held up in Libya detention centers so as to expedite action in bringing them back home".

At least 3,000 refugees have paid the supreme price while trying to make the unsafe crossing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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