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112 Illegal Migrants Sent Back From Libya: UN Migration Agency

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday said 112 illegal migrants were sent from Libya to their country of origin.

“Today 112 migrants were able to return their country of origin through the European Union funded Joint Initiative,” the UN agency said in a statement.

“The charter flight carrying men, women, and children, including five medical cases, departed from Sebha airport to Niamey, Niger this afternoon,” it said.

The voluntary return program provides migrants in vulnerable situations with assistance including transportation, medical checks, documentation, and other logistical needs to return home safely.

Because of the insecurity and chaos in Libya since the fall of its late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, many migrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya.

So far, 2,850 illegal immigrants were rescued at sea and returned to Libya this year, according to the agency.

Rescued migrants usually end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers and release the migrants.