(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
On Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), brought “seven West African embassies in Libya to visit an immigration detention centre in Tripoli,” said a report by the IOM.
The IOM brought the embassies to the detention centre, which was holding citizens from West African countries as “irregular migrants”.
IOM facilitated the visit in coordination with The Libyan authorities. It brought “diplomats from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Nigeria, the Gambia and Chad to Salah Al Dein detention centre,” said the report.
“The centre is run by the Libyan Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) and is currently holding 350 West African nationals,” it said.
The purpose of organizing this visit was to allow the diplomats to see their citizens and figure out a way to get them out of the centre and potentially send them back to their countries.
The individuals held in the centre are possibly refugees fleeing a difficult life in Africa for a better life in Europe.
“The visit was part of IOM’s European Union-funded project: ‘Repatriation Assistance for Vulnerable Migrants Stranded inside Libya and Promoting Stability in Libya’s Southern Regions’,” said the IOM report.
This comes as the European Union (EU) announced last week that it will extend its Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to block off further migration of refugees from Africa to Europe. This program was criticized by humanitarian and civil rights organizations like Amnesty International who warn that missions like the EUBAM are attempts by the EU to avoid and not take responsibility for the refugee crisis.
Tens of thousands of refugees have risked their lives to make the journey through Libya in hopes of making it to Europe to start a better life, free of the violence most have been subjected to in their countries.