The Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), successfully repatriated 281 stranded and detained Nigerians from Libya on Tuesday, December 12th, 2023.
According to Ambassador Kabiru Musa, Charge d’Affaires En Titre of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, 159 of the evacuees were freed from detention facilities across Libya, while the remaining 122 were stranded in various parts of the country.
Two separate chartered flights transported the evacuees back to Nigeria. The first flight, carrying 122 stranded individuals, departed Tripoli International Airport at 12:25 PM local time and landed in Lagos later that evening. The second flight, carrying the 159 individuals released from detention, departed at 1:25 PM local time and also arrived in Lagos on the same day.
Among the evacuees were 47 male adults, 45 female adults, 18 children, and 12 infants on the first flight. The second flight transported 50 male adults, 94 female adults, and 6 infants.
Ambassador Musa expressed his gratitude to the IOM and the Libyan authorities for their support in facilitating the evacuation exercise and securing the release of those detained. He emphasised that the ongoing Voluntary Humanitarian Repatriation (VHR) program demonstrates the government’s commitment to assisting its citizens abroad.
“The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) airlifted 122 stranded Nigerians on Dec. 12, from Tripoli, Libya to Lagos aboard chartered flight No.UZ 189.
“The flight had 47 male adults, 45 female adults, 18 children and 12 infants, all the passengers were stranded in various areas of Tripoli.
“The other 159 Nigerians from detention centres were also repatriated aboard chartered flight No.UZ190 at 13:25 hours local time and are expected to arrive at Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos at 16:25 hours same day,” he said.
This latest repatriation marks a significant milestone, bringing the total number of Nigerians evacuated from Libya between 2022 and December 2023 to over 6,000. This successful collaboration between the Nigerian government and the IOM continues to provide vital support to Nigerian citizens in need.