TRIPOLI — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Sunday said it voluntarily deported 110 illegal Sudanese migrants from Libya to their home country.
“IOM assisted 110 Sudanese migrants with Voluntary Humanitarian Return home via a charter that departed from Tripoli. Among those returning were 13 migrants with health conditions, requiring IOM medical escort,” IOM said in a statement. “More than 500 migrants have left Libya since IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return program resumed its operation three weeks ago,” the statement said.
The Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, run by IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homeland. The program was resumed on Aug. 20 after a five-month suspension due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions in Libya. IOM estimates that more than 600,000 illegal migrants are living in Libya currently.
Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of immigrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores, in order to escape insecurity and chaos that have plagued Libya since the fall of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.