Of Those 700,000 Migrants in Libya, Syrians and Eritreans Have No 'Home' to Return to

2018-05-31 06:13:31 Written by  EPDP Information Office Published in EPDP News Read 259 times

The daily French- language Tribune de Genève of 30 May 2018 reported that of the estimated 700,000 migrants and refugees stranded in Libya, 19,370 were repatriated to their home countries and 30,000 more are scheduled to be repatriated within 2018. However, according to refugee agencies, Eritreans and Syrians have no safe home-country to be repatriated to.

Some 50,000 persons in Libya have been registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers but the process of obtaining third-country resettlement is not progressing well. It was reported that 1,342 asylum seekers were evacuated to the emergency transit camp opened in Niger last November, and 5,000 more are be sent there in 2018. However, Niger authorities are informing refugee agencies that the camp is already saturated and may not receive many in the future.

So far, only 322 of those evacuated to Niamey, Niger, were given third-country resettlements in Europe, 40 of them were Eritreans received in Switzerland. Eden, one of those youthful Eritrean refugees in Niger, told a Swiss journalist that she was not sure that she would make it to Europe. She was in Niamey after traumatic travels starting with her risky escape from Eritrea and the hazardous passages to Ethiopia, then to the Sudan and then to Libya.

Reports indicate that the migrants stranded in Libya have become human merchandize for criminal gangs of traffickers and that that many of those 700,000 would wish to return home soon. In the last few days alone, over two hundreds of Nigerians and 100 Somalis were repatriated. Nigeria had repatriated 5,000 of its nationals in 2017.

Ethiopia is promising to repatriate its citizens in Libya willing to return home. But the regime in Asmara has never ever cared about Eritrean refugees in any place in the world.

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