Home Foreign IOM helps 171 stranded Senegalese migrants return home from Libya

IOM helps 171 stranded Senegalese migrants return home from Libya


Tripoli  –  The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Friday that it had facilitated the return of 171 stranded Senegalese migrants, including one with medical case to Senegal by a chartered flight.

It said that 161 of the immigrants had spent several months in Libya’s detention centre.

The organisation said that the repatriation was done in close cooperation with Libyan authorities, Senegal’s Embassy in Tripoli, the IOM office in Senegal and IOM office in Algeria.

This latest repatriation was instigated after the IOM organised visit by eight West African Embassies in Libya to Abu-Saleem and Al-Gweea immigration detention centres on May 2 and May 3.

“Before departure, IOM Libya staff provided clothes, shoes and hygiene kits. A mobile patrol from the Tripoli Security Committee escorted the buses to Mitiga airport.

“The circumstances of this group were similar to the other migrants who were previously repatriated by the organisation.

“Almost all the migrants travelling on this charter were detained as they were trying to travel to Europe,’’ the IOM said.

It said that the average age of the migrants was 25 years.

The organisation said that 153 of them were detained in Abu Saleem detention centre, eight in Al-Gweea, while 10 were residing irregularly in urban locations.

In spite of their journey of hope ending in detention centres, the migrants considered themselves lucky to had escaped death trying to cross the Mediterranean.

About 978 migrants and refugees were said to have died in the Mediterranean trying to cross the route linking Libya to Italy.
Upon return in Senegal, all migrants were supported with an onward transportation grant to facilitate travel to their final destinations.

IOM said the fund for the charter was provided by the Swiss Secretariat of Migration, under the project Provision of Humanitarian Repatriation and Reintegration for Stranded Migrants in Libya. (PANA/NAN)

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