A total of over 320 Nigerians, who were stranded in war-torn Libya, have been successfully rescued and are returning to Nigeria, coordinated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Libya, facing internal conflicts, has become a significant departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe via dangerous sea voyages from North Africa’s Mediterranean coast.
Last year, Libya’s rival administrations jointly established an anti-immigration body based in Tripoli, tasked with organizing the deportation of foreigners residing in the country illegally.
The head of security for Libya’s migration agency, Mohamad Baredaa, reported the expulsion of 163 irregular migrants of Nigerian nationality from Mitiga airport, including 107 women, 51 men, and five children. The deportation was conducted in collaboration with the IOM. Baredaa added that an additional 160 Nigerians would be repatriated from Benina airport in Benghazi.
The International Organization for Migration estimates that there are more than 700,000 migrants in Libya. As immigration policies in foreign countries like the United Kingdom become more stringent, many Nigerians are still attempting to leave their home country. This trend, often referred to as “Japa,” has intensified due to economic challenges exacerbated by the devaluation of the Nigerian currency.