132 Guinean migrants, including six unaccompanied children, returned voluntarily to Guinea from Libya with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with Guinean and Libyan authorities.
William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, who was in Libya at the time, saw them off at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport on Thursday. The returnees arrived in Conakry that same evening.
“Many of these migrants just really want to go home,” said Ambassador Swing from the airport tarmac. “We have voluntarily returned nearly 6,000 people so far this year and we hope to have helped at least 12,000–15,000 migrants get home safely from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return assistance by the end of 2017.”
Prior to departure, IOM Libya conducted interviews and medical checkups with the migrants. They also received additional assistance, such as kits containing clothes and shoes.
At Conakry airport, the returnees were welcomed by teams from IOM, the National Service for Humanitarian Actions (SENAH), the Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry in charge of Guineans Living Abroad, and of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Apart from providing psychosocial support, IOM interviewed the returnees to obtain deeper insight into the profile of irregular migrants – why they left their country, their migratory pathway and living conditions in Libya. Among the migrants assisted, three patients received medical assistance from the Red Cross upon arrival at Conakry. The three were then transferred by ambulance to a medical facility in a special unit prepared for returning migrants.
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