FG, IOM evacuate 137 stranded Nigerians from Libya

THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Nigerian Mission in Tripoli, has evacuated 137 Nigerians stranded in Libya.

A statement by the Nigerian Mission to Libya disclosed that the returnees, including 76 men, 52 women and nine children, were expected at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday evening.

The statement said the evacuation was part of efforts to ensure the safety of Nigerian citizens abroad.

Most of the returnees were victims of human trafficking, according to the statement.

“This is part of efforts to assist Nigerians in difficult circumstances to return home and reunite with their families.






     

     

    “As a result of Libya’s strategic location on the Mediterranean coast, it has continued to be a transit point and destination for human trafficking.

    “While measures are in place to fight the criminal gangs that indulge in the illicit trade in human beings, rescue efforts and the repatriation exercise will be ongoing as part of the Mission’s consular responsibilities to Nigerian citizens,” the statement said.

    The statement further disclosed that almost 3,000 Nigerians have been evacuated from Libya since January, adding that arrangements have been made with government agencies for rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.

    On Sunday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also received 542 stranded Nigerians from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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