Libyan authorities, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on Monday deported 72 illegal Cameroonian immigrants to their country voluntarily.
According to a statement issued by the Libyan Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Department, the deported immigrants include women and children who were housed in a reception center in the capital Tripoli.
The immigrants were deported through Tripoli’s M’etiga international airport to Cameroon, with coordination and supervision of the IOM, the statement added.
Libya is a major departure point for illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, hoping to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores, due to the insecurity and chaos in the country that followed the fall of former Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.
Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued or arrested by the Libyan security services. The IOM offers them the opportunity to return home through the voluntary return program.
The voluntary return program, implemented by the organization in Libya since 2006, arranges the return of illegal migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origins.
The organization deported 20,000 illegal migrants from Libya to their countries of origin in 2017.