At least 401 Nigerians trapped in detention centers across Libya have been repatriated to their home country in the last 24 hours, an official said on Wednesday.
Some 257 Nigerians arrived early Wednesday, less than 24 hours after 144 of their compatriots returned from the troubled north African nation, Joseph Alabi, spokesman for the Lagos Airport Police Command, told reporters.
“They comprised 65 adult females, 179 adult males, seven children and six infants with four of them in need of the emergency medical care,” Alabi said.
The repatriation comes after a global outrage over claims that hundreds of African migrants are being held as slaves in Libya. Most of the victims are said to be Africans wanting to go to Europe through Mediterranean Sea.
Nigerian Foreign Ministry said at least 2,778 Nigerian migrants are still trapped in Libya and that plans are afoot to repatriate them after necessary documentation.
The ministry said no fewer than 3,000 have so far been repatriated in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration.
Earlier this month, U.S. television network CNN reported that many African migrants in Libya had been captured by local criminal gangs and sold into slavery in lawless regions near Tripoli.
Libya denied being responsible for the alleged slavery, instead calling on countries and international bodies to enforce all the protocols on migration and human trafficking.
It also pledged to probe the incident and punish the culprits.