300 Stranded Europe-Bound Nigerians Return From Libya

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More than 320 Nigerians stranded in Libya have been rescued with the International Organisation for Migration coordinating moves to help them return to Nigeria.

War-torn Libya has become a key departure point on North Africa’s Mediterranean coast for migrants, mainly from other parts of Africa, risking dangerous sea voyages in hopes of reaching Europe.

It was reported that Libya’s rival administrations last year agreed on a Tripoli-based anti-immigration body tasked with coordinating deportations of foreigners who are in the country illegally.

“We carried out on Tuesday the expulsion of 163 irregular migrants of Nigerian nationality from the Mitiga airport, including 107 women, 51 men and five children,” Libya migration agency’s head of security, Mohamad Baredaa, said

In a move coordinated with the IOM, Baredaa added that “160 Nigerians will be sent back to their country from Benina airport in Benghazi” later on Tuesday.

An AFP correspondent saw the first group at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport early Tuesday, where they were given a laissez-passer before boarding shuttles to the plane.

According to the IOM, there are more than 700,000 migrants in Libya.

As foreign countries like the United Kingdom tighten their immigration policies, many Nigerians are still racing to leave the country following the wave of “Japa” and as economic conditions continue to worsen amid naira devaluation.

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