By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 November 2016:
The IOM reported this week that it had assisted 142 stranded migrants from Burkina Faso return home from Libya.
The repatriation was conducted in close cooperation with the Libyan authorities, the Burkina Faso Embassy in Tripoli and the IOM office in Burkina Faso. The migrants were transferred by a charter flight from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport to the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, the IOM reported.
The IOM said that before departure, all migrants stayed overnight at a shelter organized by the Burkina Faso embassy in Tripoli, where IOM Libya staff provided food, drinks and hygiene kits. A mobile patrol from the Tripoli Security Committee then escorted the buses to Mitiga airport.
Among the repatriated migrants was 30-year-old Feras* who had migrated to Libya for work. One day, a car stopped next to him as he was walking on the road and demanded that he get in, when he refused one of the passengers started shooting. Feras was hit multiple times before the car drove off, leaving him bleeding on the pavement. Badly wounded, he was admitted to Abu Sleem hospital in Tripoli. Suffering from several leg fractures, he was immediately taken into surgery and after two months of intensive hospital treatment, the Burkina Faso Embassy coordinated with IOM and facilitated his return home.
The IOM reported that Feras and the other migrants, were received at home by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Burkinabe Abroad, the National Solidarity and Family society and the IOM Country Office in Burkina Faso. Furthermore, all migrants were supported with onward transportation grants to facilitate their transportation to their final destination within the country. In addition, 20 of the most vulnerable migrants were allocated in-kind reintegration assistance.
The funds for the charter were provided by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations and international organizations, reported the IOM.
It will be recalled that the IOM had organized the repatriation of another 160 migrants from Libya back to Burkina Faso in September. It had also successfully repatriated migrants back to Niger and Nigeria from Libya.
*Feras is not the migrant’s real name.