Nigerian migrants were filled with joy and expressed relief as they arrived home yesterday, Tuesday 5th of December 2017 from Libya, describing the “hell” of harsh conditions in detention camps where they had been held.
African heads of state have condemned the treatment of undocumented migrants in Libya, including widespread violence and apparent slave trading.
The 144 returnees who touched down late Tuesday, and another planeload expected to land shortly after, are part of a repatriation programme that Nigeria has stepped up in recent months.
One man who gave his name as Franklin told AFP that he was “very, very happy” to return.
“It’s good to be home, because I’ve been in hell in the land of Libya. I’ll start a new life in my country,” he said as he waited to be given food.
The UN has urged Libya to agree to shut down 30 centres holding 15,000 migrants, whose detention has become a pressing issue after video footage showing African men sold in Libyan slave auctions sparked global outrage.