Some 170 Illegal Gambian migrants return home from Libya

Gambian migrants deported from Libya stand in line with plastic bag from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as they wait for registration at the airport in Banjul, Gambia April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Hundred and sixty nine Gambian migrants have been sent back home from Libya after their unsuccessful attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Gambian migrants deported from Libya stand in line with plastic bag from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as they wait for registration at the airport in Banjul, Gambia April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

According to Reuters, the migrants who stepped off a jet at the airport in Banjul were mostly young men in their 20s –most of them were in jail in the North African nation. Some women and children were also aboard the plane.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and Gambian government helped release them from detention centers in Tripoli and elsewhere, Reuters reported.

Two weeks ago, 141 young men returned home, abandoning the illegal, life-threatening “Back Way” to Europe.

It was the first time the IOM helped repatriate a group of Gambians willing to return home.

Every day, scores of lives perish in the desert crossings or in the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite a small population of less than 2 million, the West African tiny nation is one of Africa’s largest per capita people exporters. Last year, 7% of the migrants who arrived in Libya were Gambians, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Since the beginning of this year, at least 590 migrants have died or gone missing off the Libyan coast, excluding the latest capsizing, the IOM estimates.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3610 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network