IOM deports 140 illegal Bangladeshi migrants from Libya

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it deported 140 illegal Bangladeshi migrants to their country of origin from Libya.

 

The migrants, including nine with medical conditions, were assisted to return to Bangladesh from Benghazi on Thursday, in the first Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flight from the city since the resumption of the IOM’s VHR program, the IOM said in a statement on Friday.

 

“Closely facilitated and supported by the Embassy of Bangladesh, the returning migrants underwent health checks and were provided with counselling services and protection screening, as well as personal protective equipment and Covid-19 tests before boarding,” the statement said.

 

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

 

The VHR program, run by the IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homelands.

 

Since 2015, more than 53,000 migrants have been returned from Libya through the VHR programme, with support from the European Union and the Italian Migration Fund, according to the IOM.

 

CGTN/Olajumoke Adeleke

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