1 November 2012

Gambian Migrants Rounded Up By Libyan Police

Reliable information reaching Foroyaa from the Libyan Capital of Tripoli, has it that several Gambian and other West African nationals, who were hoping to reach Italian Island of Lampadusa via Libya using makeshift boats, were rounded up by Libyan Police and deported back to the border with Niger. The information stated that several would be migrants are in hiding to avoid the Libyan Immigration Police, adding that hundreds are in custody waiting for deportation.

A concerned Gambian youth, who spoke to this reporter on phone from Agadez, a border town of Niger, said several dozen Gambians, Senegalese, Ghanaians, Malians, Nigerians and Guineans, who were found in the streets of Tripoli and Sebha and are without a house or host are being arrested by Police and taken into custody before being deported to the border with Niger. The youth said the deportation did not affect those that are currently working in Libya. The caller said both on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October, 6 trucks loaded with Gambians and other West African nationals were escorted to the border of Niger and left there. The concerned youth said the Libyan authorities gave them a strict warning not to return to Libya again.

The would be Gambian migrant, said they experienced harassment in the hands of the Niger border police who seized monies and other valuables from them before allowing them into Agadez town. He stated that many of them got stranded in Agadez for days without proper food and shelter. He indicated that many of them decided to contact their families back home and in Europe to send them money so that they can be smuggled back into Libya. He added that those that are yet to receive money from families and relatives are currently stranded in Niger, but still determined to return to Libya.

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