- Nigeria has the challenge of evacuating a new set of 5,000 migrants currently held in detention camps in Libya
- The Charge d’Affaires of Nigeria in Libya, Illiya Fachano, confirmed this figure
- Fachano is calling on international bodies to assist in evacuating migrants in the country
The federal government is said to have identified 5,000 more Nigerians currently trapped in Libyan detention camps.
This was made known by the Charge d’Affaires of Nigeria in Libya, Illiya Fachano, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“There is a camp with 5,000 Nigerians and we need the diplomatic police to escort us to extract them. There are various camps in the regions of South, West and East of Libya.
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"The UN-backed Libyan Government is in the western region which is where Tripoli is. Camps in the other regions are known but inaccessible camps due to the challenges of going into these camps as a communication chain is required before we can reach them,” he said.
According to Fachano, the Nigerian government has been in talks with the recognised government in Tripoli on how to reach some of the camps to extract its nationals.
He called for the provision of a bigger aircraft to evacuate Nigerians who have agreed to come back home.
“We need the Nigerian government to better fund its embassy in Libya and send the aircraft. We have made our request for that,” he said while calling on the UN to help out by sponsoring repatriation flights, providing food and health materials for the migrants.
Fachano noted that the federal government had so far repatriated 3250 from Libya in recent times while 300 other Nigerians are to be brought back from Libya every week.
He said the government would continue to make efforts to save Nigerians that are trapped in Libya.
“We, the embassy of Nigeria in Tripoli, Libya, have been doing our best to register Nigerians.
“We have visited the detention camps, and also collaborated with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to repatriate migrants weekly.
“We also ensure that we are up to date with the number of Nigerians in specific detention camps.
“I want it to be clear that the mission and Nigerian government have been doing this long before the CNN report.
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“We have asked the Nigerian presidency to provide us with an extra airplane to assist with quick repatriation of registered Nigerians who are willing to return.
“I want the public to know that we have some Nigerians who are not willing to return despite the unfavourable situations and the fact is that we can’t get them on the flight without their consent,” he said.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the National Emergency Agency said that 1,295 Nigerians returned home from Libya in November, a figure which was twice as that of October.
It was gathered that the director-general of the agency, Mustapha Maihaja, said Nigerians were sent back in batches between November 6 and November 30 with the help of the International Organization for Migration and the European Union.
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