News / Africa

First Airlift Of Nigerian Migrants Leaves Tripoli

A Nigerian migrant worker who fled the unrest in Libya waits at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir, March 3, 2011
A Nigerian migrant worker who fled the unrest in Libya waits at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir, March 3, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The International Organization for Migration reports it has airlifted 332 migrants from Niger out of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.  The migrants were stranded during the Libyan conflict that ousted Moammar Gadhafi.  IOM says they are the first group of African migrants to be evacuated from Tripoli by air instead of by road or sea.  

The International Organization for Migration says the group of migrants arrived in Niamey, the capital of Niger, earlier this week.  It says most of an estimated 2,000 Niger nationals still stranded in Tripoli also are seeking assistance to return home.  

And, they are not alone in this desire.  IOM spokesman Jumbe Omari Jumbe says his agency is planning further air evacuations for stranded African migrants from Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.

“IOM is planning to speed up evacuations because of protection fears for stranded migrants who are exposed to arbitrary detention and harassment, and also because of the onset of cold temperatures at the moment," said Jumbe. "Most migrants, as you know, live in damp and squalid conditions with no access to water, electricity and medicine.  So, there is a growing concern of health risks during this onset of the cold spell.”  

Jumbe says IOM is working with the Libyan authorities on accelerating the voluntary repatriation of thousands of stranded migrants in Tripoli and in Sabha to the south.  He says the main challenge is documentation.

He explains many African countries have no embassies in Libya.  And, this makes it much harder to verify the citizenship of an African national and to issue temporary travel documents needed for the migrant to leave the country.

“Ninety percent of the Nigerians whom we have just evacuated had no documents," he said. "So, we had to call their representatives to issue them with documents and, of course, that follows up verifications whether they are their Nigerians or not.”  

Jumbe says he does not know how many African migrants still remain in post-Gadhafi Libya.  Before the crisis, he says about one-half million African migrants were working in the country.  He describes most as young men in their 20s and 30s with no family members.  They worked as casual laborers, unskilled, semi-skilled and tradesmen.

IOM reports more than 90,000 Nigerians so far have returned home from Libya.  It says that overall, the organization and its partners have evacuated more than 314,000 migrants from Libya by land, sea and air.  It says operations are set to continue for several more months.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid