FG, IOM repatriate 21 irregular Nigerian migrants held in Libya

The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration has repatriated 21 Nigerian irregular migrants who were held in Libyan detention facility.

Ambassador Kabiru Musa, Charge D’Affaires En Titre of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, disclosed this in a statement.

In the statement on Monday, Musa said the stranded Nigerians are being evacuated to Nigeria under the Voluntary Humanitarian Repatriation exercise.

He said the exercise was part of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that none of its citizens, irrespective of their migration status, was left stranded in Libya.

He said that the returnees, who would be evacuated via commercial flights by Egypt and Ethiopian Airlines, are expected to arrive the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on June 20.

“He said: The IOM in collaboration with Embassy of Nigeria Tripoli has repatriated  21 stranded Nigerians through the Voluntary Humanitarian Repatriation (VHR) June 19, from the Benghazi International Airport Libya, aboard commercial Egyptian Airline no. S830 to Cairo.

“Commercial Ethiopian Airlines will airlift the returnees from Cairo to Addis Ababa and from Addis Ababa to Lagos, Nigeria with flight nos. ET453 and ET901 respectively.

“The Egyptian airline is expected to depart Benghazi on the 19th June 2023 at 11:10 p.m on transit to Addis Ababa, and the Ethiopian airline will leave Addis Ababa on 20th June 2023 at 09.00 a.m local time.”

According to Musa, the flight is expected to arrive Lagos at 12:25pm local time.

The Ambassador said the exercise was the seventh voluntary evacuation that would be conducted this year, with about total number of 5,000 stranded Nigerians repatriated under the VHR.

“We are working closely with the Libyan authorities and we appreciate their support always,” Musa said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that thousands of Nigerian irregular migrants are locked up in detention centres across Libya for migration offences.

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