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Somali evacuees arrive from Libya

Hiiraan Online
Saturday February 17, 2018

A Somali migrant falls to his knees after arriving in Mogadishu. February 17, 2018. Twitter/ Villa Somalia

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali government has welcomed nearly a dozen Somali's who have been evacuated from Libya on Saturday.

Today's returnees were welcomed at the Adan Adde Airport by Somali deputy prime minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guleed, lawmakers from the country's bicameral lawmakers and other government officials.

The repatriation comes barely three days after the delegates from Somali held talks with Libyan officials over voluntary return.

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Last week, a delegation led by the country's Special Envoy for Migrants and Children's Rights, Mariam Yasin was sent to Libya to assess means to repatriate Somali migrants in Libya.

Yassin said only 11 of the migrants they met Libya agreed to return Somalia voluntarily. Officials claim that there are between 5000 and 6000 Somali citizens still in Libya.

Those who volunatrily returned were overcome with joy upon arriving.

"I was away for over two years. I passed through Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya. I was beaten, and robbed three times," Mohamed Abdirahman Mohamud, one of the migrants, told reporters after landing.

The Somali government has started plans to repatriate its citizens from Libya last year after the president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo asked the foreign ministry to facilitate the repatriation of Somalis in Libya.

Somali deputy prime minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guleed & Special Envoy for Migrants and Children's Rights, Mariam Yasin

Subsequently, Somalia's embassy in Belgium in collaboration with IOM started voluntarily registration of the migrants in Libya.

In a statement issued December last year,  the country's ambassador to the EU Ali Saed Fiqi urged the Somali nationals to move to the areas controlled by Libyan Government.

" We call on all parents whose children stranded in Libya to inform their children to voluntarily register with IOM, the agency will help them to return to Mogadishu as Somalia's embassy in Belgium will facilitate and prepare the travel document for the returnees," said Fiqi.

Thousands of Somalis have set off for the perilous journey to Europe to seek a better life.


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