17 September 2017

Sudan: Libya Returns 170 Sudanese Migrants to Khartoum

Khartoum — On Thursday, the Libyan authorities, in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), returned 170 Sudanese migrants as part of a voluntary repatriation programme.

The migrants were transported in an aircraft chartered by the IOM from Tripoli's Mitiga Airport to Khartoum. They had entered Libya illegally in search of work or, as most of them do, in an attempt to reach Italy by sea.

Migrants who attempt journeys to Europe but are intercepted by Libya's coastguard or whose boats capsize in the Mediterranean are rescued and sent to detention centres across the country.

The IOM gives them the option of returning home. Twice a week, the international organisation organises travel documents and private aircraft to various destinations in Africa for those who wish to return or are held in Libyan detention centres.

Thursday's flight was the first to return Sudanese nationals.

European Union

The IOM programme is one of the few ways the European Union can fund action inside conflict-torn Libya. Other options have been held-up by poor security, political resistance, and the lack of government control in Libya, where powerful militias and smuggling networks act with impunity.

"The IOM scheme is meant to offer a way out to those stuck in Libya without money, work, or a means to move on," Othman Belbeisi, IOM's chief of mission for Libya, told Reuters in March this year. "It is voluntary, with each migrant interviewed individually and able to change their mind at any time."

The organisation flew 2,775 African migrants back last year, and is expecting to increase that number to between 7,000 and 10,000 this year, with new European funding. Since the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the organisation has repatriated more than 11,000 migrants from Libya to their countries of origin.


Blind Sudanese Activist Staring Death Sentence

A visually impaired Sudanese religious teacher, who is also a human rights activist, is facing the death penalty for his… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Radio Dabanga. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.