IOM Helps 172 Stranded Nigerian Migrants to Return Home from Libya

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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IOM yesterday (10/03) helped 172 stranded Nigerian migrants, including 6 women, to return home to Nigeria from Libya. One hundred forty-two had spent months in immigration detention centers.

The repatriation — done in close cooperation with Libyan authorities, Nigeria's Embassy in Tripoli and the IOM office in Nigeria —was on board a charter flight departing Tripoli's Mitiga Airport and arriving in Lagos in the morning.

Before departure, IOM Libya staff provided clothes, shoes, underwear, and hygiene kits. A mobile patrol from the Tripoli Security Committee escorted the buses to Mitiga airport.

Almost all the migrants traveling on this charter were detained as they were trying to cross to Europe. Despite ending their journey of hope inside detention centres, these migrants consider themselves lucky to have escaped death on the Mediterranean, which this year has taken the lives of 97 migrants and refugees on the route linking Libya to Italy.

The funds for this charter were provided by the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Interior, under the project called Prevention and Management of Irregular Migration Flows from the Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean Sea (SAHMED).

The stories were similar in the light of the current unstable situation in Libya, which caused migrants many physical and psychological problems.