TRIPOLI, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday said that 174 illegal Nigerian migrants have been voluntarily deported from Libya to Nigeria.
“Today, 174 migrants returned home to Nigeria via IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return and Reintegration Assistance Program,” the IOM said in a statement on Thursday.
“So far this year, more than 15,000 migrants were able to return home to 32 countries across Africa and Asia, with support from the European Union Trust Fund,” the statement said.
The IOM deported more than 19,000 illegal migrants from Libya to their home countries in 2017.
The voluntary return program is carried out by the IOM, with an aim to arrange the return of illegal migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.
Shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
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