The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that it sent 126 illegal Nigerian immigrants voluntarily from Libya to their country.
The “126 Nigerian migrants arrived yesterday in Niamey by charter flight with support from IOM Libya,” IOM tweeted.
“IOM staff on the ground assisted them with registration, medical assistance and onward transportation,” it said.
— OIM Niger (@OIM_Niger) October 17, 2019
The deportation is part of IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program, which arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.
The IOM said on Sunday that there are more than 650,000 illegal immigrants in Libya, including about 6,000 being held in detention centers.
Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya because of the insecurity and chaos in the North African nation since the 2011 uprising.
Shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services, despite international calls to close them.