Tripoli, Feb 6 (IANS) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that 116 illegal immigrants were voluntarily deported from Libya to Niger.
A total of “116 Nigerien migrants arrived yesterday in Niamey by charter flight with support from IOM Libya,” IOM tweeted on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The IOM staff on the ground assisted (the migrants) with registration, medical assistance and onward transportation,” the IOM said.
The IOM runs the Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, which arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.
More than 650,000 illegal immigrants are currently staying in Libya, including about 6,000 being held in detention centres, the IOM estimated.
The illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from Libya because of the insecurity and chaos in the North African country since the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Muammar Gaddafi.