Libya Slave Trade: Some Nigerians Unwilling To Return To Nigeria - Minister

Many Nigerians in Libya don't want to return-FG

"The fact that the coast guards at the Mediterranean Sea are professionally trained and well funded by the European Union, they have captured many people who are trying to illegally cross to Europe and returned them to Libya".

Ibrahim Farinloye, Spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South West zone, said the returnees arrived aboard a Libyan Airlines aircraft at the Cargo Wing of the airport at about 1.30a.m.

"They comprised 65 adult females, 179 adult males, seven children and six infants with four of them in need of the emergency medical care", Alabi said.The repatriation comes after a global outrage over claims that hundreds of African migrants are being held as slaves in Libya.

In this regard, the AU urged the Libyan authorities to guarantee the safety of the detained migrants, following the numerous complaints of several nations that point to serious violations of their human rights.

Alabi said:"We received another batch of Nigerians early this morning from Libya".

He said, "The Federal government now in talks with officials of Nigeria's Charge D'Affairs in Libya to ascertain the number of Nigerians held up in Libya detention centers so as to expedite action in bringing them back home".

The ministry also explained that the embassy, in collaboration with the IOM, repatriates 250 migrants weekly and had returned 3,000 of them so far.

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As at the time of filing in this report, another flight conveying other returnees was being expected from Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

The ministry further said the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, had invited the Nigerian Embassy's Head of Mission, Mr. Iliya Fachano, to Abuja for consultations.

He gave these updates at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Most of the victims are said to be Africans wanting to go to Europe through Mediterranean Sea.

"We also ensure that we are up to date with the number of Nigerians in specific detention camps".

"Especially how many Nigerians are in detention and are trying to come home?"

The Charge d'Affaires of Nigeria in Libya, Illiya Fachano, told the News Agency of Nigeria "there is a camp with 5000 Nigerians and we need the diplomatic police to escort us to extract them".

The minister said the evacuation would be done in co-ordination with International Organisation for Migration "and see if we can very quickly repatriate all our Nigerian nationals who are there who want to return home".

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