In an ongoing effort to curb illegal migration, Libya has repatriated 664 Egyptians and 300 Nigerians, transporting them to their respective home countries. General Mohamad Bardaa, head of Libya’s anti-immigration body affiliated with the interior ministry, confirmed the operations, highlighting the country’s commitment to addressing the issue of illegal migration.
The Egyptians were scheduled to be transported by bus to the Emsaed border post with Egypt, approximately 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) east of Tripoli. Simultaneously, 300 Nigerians were taken to the airport for a flight back to Nigeria. These repatriation efforts are part of Libya’s strategy to combat human trafficking and address the challenges posed by the influx of migrants attempting to reach Europe through perilous sea crossings.
Libya, grappling with internal divisions and political instability since the ouster of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has become a focal point for illegal migration to Europe. The country is currently governed by rival administrations in the west and east.
Migrants attempting the dangerous sea journey to Europe often fall prey to trafficking gangs that exploit them for money. Additionally, thousands of people, primarily Egyptians, have been residing illegally in and around the Libyan capital, working in various sectors such as agriculture, business, and construction.
This repatriation operation follows similar initiatives conducted last month, where 600 Egyptians were sent home on November 6, and 250 individuals were repatriated to Niger and Chad on November 28. The International Organization for Migration reported that between May and June this year, there were over 700,000 migrants in Libya, primarily from Niger and Egypt.
The Libyan government’s actions underscore the ongoing challenges associated with illegal migration in the region and the need for concerted efforts to address the root causes of this phenomenon.