In collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration, the federal government evacuated 152 Nigerians stranded and living as illegal immigrants in Libya to Nigeria on Tuesday.
The evacuated Nigerians, whose return was facilitated under the federal government-IOM Voluntary Repatriation Exercise, arrived on Tuesday evening at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Kabiru Musa, charge d’affaires en titre of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
The envoy noted that this is the third exercise the FG and IOM have carried out in 2023, with a successful evacuation of nearly 500 Nigerians stranded in Libya to Nigeria already.
“Today, we have successfully evacuated another 152 Nigerians stranded in Libya to Nigeria. Libya is a transit country for irregular migrants to the Western and other parts of the world. Whenever these irregular migrants can no longer continue their journey to expected destinations, they become stranded here,” Mr Musa explained.
The envoy added, “Because of their status as undocumented immigrants, they become vulnerable to exploitation and degrading treatment, including forced labour and prostitution. The federal government is determined to protect the rights of these migrants and will continue to facilitate their safe and voluntary return home.”
According to him, repatriation is the third carried out this year.
“We evacuated almost 4,000 stranded Nigerians from Libya in 2022, and we hope to surpass that number this year,” said Mr Musa.
The official lauded the federal government, the foreign affairs ministry, and IOM for facilitating the evacuation.
He also commended the Libyan authority for their support and cooperation.
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