More than 200 migrants voluntarily deported from Libya in January: IOM

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TRIPOLI, LIBYA - FEBRUARY 14: A group of deportee illegal immigrants wait before boarding to a plane, heading to Nigeria during their deportation at Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya on February 14, 2017. Approximately 171 Nigerian illegal immigrants are deported after the official process. (Photo by Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Migrants are seen at the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tajora shelter center in Tripoli, Libya. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday said it voluntarily deported more than 200 migrants from Libya to their countries of origin so far in January.

“Under the EU (European Union)-IOM Joint Initiative, IOM Libya has so far facilitated the return of 222 migrants this month,” the IOM tweeted.

The organization carries out the voluntary humanitarian return program, which arranges the return of migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.

“Due to the prolonged armed conflict in Libya, hundreds of migrants are requesting assistance to return to their countries of origin,” the IOM added.

The IOM recently said that almost 10,000 migrants have been voluntarily returned from Libya to their countries of origins in 2019.

Thousands of migrants, mostly Africans, attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from Libya because of the insecurity and chaos in the North African country since the 2011 uprising, which toppled its late leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Many migrants are detained in reception centers in Libya despite international calls for closing those centers.

The UN-backed government and the east-based army have been violently fighting for control of the capital Tripoli since early April, killing and injuring thousands of people including migrants.

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