Mali : 123 Malian migrants return from Libya

The Ministry of Malians Abroad and African Integration, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), repatriated on Friday, November 24, 123 Malian migrants from Libya. This repatriation is part of assistance to Malians in distress in Libya.

They were welcomed Friday night at the Bamako International Airport by Malian officials and IOM members. Living conditions in Libya were difficult, said a migrant at his decent from the plane. “We suffered but thanks to God, we have returned home well”, he added.

It is a voluntary repatriation, said the minister of Malians Abroad and African integration, earlier in a press conference, yesterday Friday. “(…) All repatriations are made on their own consent. We do not have the right to force people to return. Of the 170 migrants announced, 123 have boarded. Of these, 70 are coming out of prison and there are some who are seriously ill”, said Dr Abdramane Sylla, Minister of Malians Abroad.

According to the IOM, initiatives are under way for the reintegration of migrants. “It’s important when they (initiatives, Ed.) are accompanied by sensitization messages, because creating reintegration activities without sensitizing is also encouraging more people to leave”, said Bakary Doumbia, Head of Mission of IOM Mali.

Since 2013, nearly 5,000 Malian migrants in difficult situations have been repatriated from Libya, according to the authorities. An upcoming flight is scheduled for December 7.