Nigeria to evacuate 230 nationals from Libya, EU

Black migrants in Libya
Photo: Business Insider

The Nigerian government has concluded arrangements to bring back home a fresh set of 180 Nigerian migrants trapped in Libya and 50 deportees from the European Union this week.

While the Libya returnees will arrive the country on Tuesday, the deportees from the EU will be received on Thursday.

A statement by Balogun Abdur-Rahman, the media assistant to Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, said the returnees will arrive through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport cargo terminal.

He said the returnees will be profiled by airport officials and security agencies before being transported to their states of origin.

While the Federal government has warned Nigerian about entering Libya illegally due to the persecution of black immigrants in the country, which is a popular transit point for many Africans seeking better lives in Europe, it has intensified efforts at repatriating Nigerians trapped in prison camps in the country.

Reacting to a viral video and pictures purportedly showing the abuse of black Africans migrants in Libya, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa had in January warned Nigerians of the hazards of illegal migration through the Sahara Desert to Libya with the hope of crossing to the EU.

Since the fall of the Muammar Ghadaffi regime in 2011, Libya has been engaged in a sectarian conflict, and militants affiliated to the so-called Islamic State now controls large swath of territory in the country.

There have been reports of arbitrary executions, torture and rape of migrants by the militants and human traffickers.

There are an estimated 300,000 African irregular migrants, many of them Nigerians, trapped in prison camps in Libya. The Nigerian government said it has evacuated over 2,000 from Libya and nearly 1,000 deportees from Europe since July 2016.

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Nicholas Ibekwe is PREMIUM TIMES’ Head of Investigations. He is a graduate of English Language from the Lagos State University. He has a Master’s in International Journalism from City University, London, United Kingdom.

Nicholas, who is 2016 fellow of the World Press Fellowship, has won several awards for his work including the Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Journalism, two-time finalist, FAIR( Forum for African Investigative Reporters) Award, and Chevening Scholarship. Twitter: @nicholasibekwe 


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