Libya’s anti-illegal immigration department on Tuesday said that 124 illegal immigrants from Mali were voluntarily deported from Libya to their country, within the voluntary return program of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“Some 124 illegal immigrants from the state of Mali returned to their country via a flight from M’etiga international airport in Tripoli to the capital Bamako,” the department said in a statement.
The department said the return was a part of IOM’s voluntary return program, which arranges the return of illegal migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.
Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.