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Libya deports more than 200 African migrants

Libya deports more than 200 African migrants


Libya has deported more than 200 African migrants to their countries of origin.

The latest act comes as the war-torn country struggles with curbing illegal migration across its borders.

Mainly African nationals, the migrants use Libya hoping to reach various destinations in Europe.

More than 16,000 people have made the crossing from North Africa to Italy in the first three months of 2016.

The number of new arrivals is expected to climb further.

“We are deporting 204 migrants of various African nationalities including Mali, Niger, from Gambia, Eritrea and Ivory Coast,” said Hosni Jumaa Ayyad, a spokesperson for Libya’s illegal migration task force.

“Of course the deportations are done in cooperation with their embassies in Tripoli,” he added.

The deportation came as the United Nations refugee agency announced the possible drowning of up to 500 migrants in the Mediterranean last week.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have reached Italy in recent years looking for a better life in the West.

“I came here in search of money,” Omar, one of the migrants being deported on Wednesday, said.

Libya has become a major route for traffickers taking advantage of the chaos to transport people to Europe.

It is believed that Libya is facing the worst migration crisis in Africa since World War Two.