Libya Govt Sends 250 Migrants Back To Niger, Chad

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Authorities of Libya have reportedely sent 248 illegal migrants to their home countries Niger and Chad in a joint effort by rival administrations in the war-torn country.

The North African country has became a hub for tens of thousands of migrants seeking to reach Europe by sea every year, often falling into the hands of trafficking gangs that extort them for money.

An official with Tripoli’s government agency against clandestine migration said 120 Nigeriens had left Libya for Niamey in coordination with the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

And in coordination with Libya’s eastern-based authorities, 128 migrants would be taken to the border with Chad, said the official.

After the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, Libya was divided between rival authorities based in the east and the west.

The North African country has became a hub for tens of thousands of migrants seeking to reach Europe by sea every year, often falling into the hands of trafficking gangs that extort them for money.

Moussa al-Koni, vice president of the Libyan presidential council, told a news conference: “We have all paid a big price because of these groups that try to profit not only off nationals of Niger and Chad, but also of more distant countries in Africa and Asia, by smuggling them into Europe.”

To tackle these “criminal networks of traffickers” in Libya, Chad and Niger, cooperation is needed between “the countries of departure or transit and the destination countries”, Koni said.

“This is a collective effort that would let this people stay in their countries and live there in dignity.”