By Voice News
MORE THAN 200 Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya have been returned to their home country, Nigerian officials said.
According to CNN, the 242 migrants landed at Lagos airport on a Libyan Airlines flight at around 9:00 pm local time (3:00pm ET) on Tuesday (Nov 28). Nigerian authorities say they worked on returning the migrants from Libya in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Some of those returning home had been in Libyan detention camps while others willingly approached the Nigerian embassy in Libya to return home because of hardship there, authorities said.
Abike Dabiri, senior special adviser on foreign and diaspora affairs to Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari spoke to CNN and said the government there had been working with the IOM, the Nigerian National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and other local agencies to bring Nigerians back home.
Dabiri added that around 5,000 Nigerians have come back from Libya in the past year. “The President has said any Nigerian who wants to come back should be brought back, so IOM has been helping out,” Dabiri said.
The NCFRMI said it has been processing on average between eight and 10 flights a month of Nigerians returning from Libya.
The migrant crisis in Libya has sparked international outrage following a recent report from CNN exposing black Africans being sold into slavery in the north African country.