Libya’s anti-illegal migration department said on Tuesday that 163 illegal migrants have been deported to their native country of Nigeria.
“Based on instructions from the Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General’s office, 163 illegal Nigerian migrants, including women and children, managed to return to their country voluntarily in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM)”, the department said in a statement.
All the migrants have been tested for COVID-19 before departure, it added.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since 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 Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, run by the IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homelands.
Since 2015, more than 53,000 illegal migrants have returned from Libya through the program, with support from the European Union and the Italian Migration Fund, according to the IOM.