320 stranded Europe-bound Nigerians rescued from Libya

At least 320 Nigerians stranded in Libya have been rescued with the International Organisation for Migration coordinating moves to help them return to Nigeria.

Migrants from different countries in Africa trying to reach Europe flock to Libya which has become a key departure point.

Last year, Libya’s rival administrations agreed on a Tripoli-based anti-immigration body tasked with coordinating deportations of foreigners who are in the country illegally.

“We carried out on Tuesday the expulsion of 163 irregular migrants of Nigerian nationality from the Mitiga airport, including 107 women, 51 men and five children,” Libya migration agency’s head of security, Mohamad Baredaa, told AFP.

In a move coordinated with the IOM, Baredaa added that “160 Nigerians will be sent back to their country from Benina airport in Benghazi” later on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

An AFP correspondent saw the first group at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport early Tuesday, where they were given a laissez-passer before boarding shuttles to the plane.

According to the IOM, there are more than 700,000 migrants in Libya.