18 Gambian migrants return from Libya


By Talibeh Hydara A reliable source has informed The Standard that at least 18 Gambian migrants in Libya have recently been repatriated. The source, who is currently in Libya’s capital Tripoli, said the repatriation came following a request from the migrants themselves to the International Organization for Migration to help them return home. Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 which plunged the North African country into unrest, thousands of African migrants have used Libya as a route to Italy including Gambians. However, the seemingly unabated armed conflict and the continuous lack of security, has forced hundreds of migrants to return their respective countries. Confirming the repatriation of these migrants, the press officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saikou Ceesay, said the government is doing all it can to ensure the safe return of these migrants. “We are aware of the repatriation and our officials are working with the International Organization for Migration to facilitate their swift repatriation to the Gambia. We will continue to safeguard their interest and their wellbeing,” he said. Mr Ceesay however could not confirm the exact number of migrants that have returned or returning but said it may be more than 18 as earlier thought. According to our source in Tripoli, more Gambian migrants are willing to return home and rebuild their lives especially with the new dispensation.]]>