Lagos, Nigeria : 242 Nigerian migrants, that were stranded in Libya, arrived at the Lagos airport in Nigeria, on Tuesday, aboard a Libyan airline flight, Nigerian officials said. The Nigerian authorities said they collaborated with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to ensure the migrants returned home. Among the migrants were women carrying children, and at least one man in a wheelchair.
The return was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and a joint effort of Nigerian agencies led by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) , National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and others.
Some of the 242 men and women who returned had been in Libyan detention camps, while some of them willingly approached the Nigerian embassy in Libya to return home because of the hardships they were facing in the North African country.
The has been a wordwide outcry since last week following media reports of African migrants being auctioned as slaves to work in agricultural farms.
Libya has been a preferred departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe through the Mediterranean.
The political situation in Libya has created a haven for people smugglers, who often charge the migrants a fee to help them cross the sea.
An EU-Africa Business Forum being held in Cote d’Ivoire’s capital, Abidjan, has made the migrant situation a key focus, with world leaders expected to find a lasting solution to end the exodus.
According to IOM, more than 3,000 migrants have drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.