A day after a group of 91 illegal immigrants, mostly children, were voluntarily repatriated from Libya to their home country Niger.
“Based on instructions from the Interior Minister regarding resumption of voluntary repatriation flights for illegal immigrants, a flight deported from Misurata International Airport to Niger’s Niamey airport through the International Organization for Migration (IOM),” Hussain Attorki, Head of Migrants Deportation department in Misurata International Airport, told Xinhua.
“The flight carried 91 illegal immigrants, including six men, 25 women, and 60 children and infants,” he added.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, run by the IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homeland.
Since 2015, more than 53,000 illegal immigrants have been repatriated from Libya through the program, which is carried out under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and through the Italian foreign ministry’s Migration Fund.