Somali migrants return from Libya
MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least 32 Somalis have been facilitated by the International Organization for Migration [IOM] back home after a long stay in Libya, a country struggling with internal political quarrels.
A number of Somalis lived in Libya, a once stable country in North Africa, before the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Like Somalia, Libya is grappling with internal political disputes.
“Currently, there are nearly 6,000 Somali migrants in Libya, many of whom are still stranded,” said Federico Soda, IOM chief of mission in Libya. “The ORV program is a lifeline for those migrants who choose to return home and rebuild their lives. “
Reports say 10 migrants arrived in Mogadishu and 22 in Hargeisa on November 18 and 23, respectively. Upon arrival in the country, the 32 returnees were received by IOM staff in Somalia and received post-arrival assistance, including basic medical, psychosocial and psychological support.
Returnees are also eligible for in-kind reintegration assistance which can take the form of social, psychosocial and economic assistance. Returning migrant children have the right to assistance enabling them to return to school. Support for livelihoods can also be extended to the families of minors.
Mariam Yassin, Special Envoy for Migrants and Children’s Rights in the Office of the Federal Prime Minister of Somalia, greeted the group of 10 returnees at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu.
“It was an overwhelming experience for all of us to see you back home. However, there are so many young men and women stranded in Libya, and much remains to be done in terms of prevention. Every migrant has the right to return home in a safe and dignified manner, ”she said.
Mohamed Abdi Hussein, 22, was one of the 10 returnees. He had left Mogadishu with the intention of reaching Europe. The trip took him through Ethiopia, then Sudan, and into the Libyan desert where smugglers demanded that his parents transfer more money to him or else they would kill him.
Shortly after, “they told us they would take us on a boat and we would reach Europe.” But it was not. “After months in the desert, we were taken to a house in Tripoli. Then suddenly they hid from us and I never saw them again, ”Mohamed said.
On his own, Mohamed said he decided to continue his journey. “I tried to join a group of Somali migrants sailing on a boat to Italy. The boatmen took US $ 1,000 from me. As the boat was about to leave, we were apprehended by the Libyan Coast Guard and taken to jail.
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