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200 migrants bused in convoys to Libyan border crossings

Migrants from various nationalities queue inside the building housing the Anti-Illegal Migration Agency in Libya's capital Tripoli, before being expelled, on Nov 24, 2022.   -  
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MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP or licensors


Libya on Thursday (Nov. 24) expelled more than 200 migrants who'd entered its terrtory illegaly.

The men, dressed in differing tracksuits to identify their nationalities, were handed biscuits, milk and bottles of water by police by police in Tripoli, before being driven to border crossings with their home country.

Embassy staff from the migrants' home nations watched the process. The group of returnees included "105 Egyptians, 101 Chadians and 20 Sudanese".

Libya is a much travelled by route for people fleeing conflict and poverty across the continent, seeking refuge across the Mediterranean in Europe.

Most enter via the country's vast southern borders in the Sahara desert.

The United Nations previously handled the repatriations, but a deal between Libyan authorities in the west, east and south has enabled the Interior Ministry's agency tackling illegal migration to work across the country.

Police spokesman General Ahmad Abu Kraa said holding centres for detained migrants had become "overwhelmed, which is creating a lot of problems".

NGOs regularly criticize Libya and its European partern fighting illegal migration for the treatment migrants go through in detention camps and on their journey.

Authorities and armed groups operating under state auspices have repeatedly been accused of torture, rape and other abuses.

Libya remains violently fragmented and facing multiple crises following a 2011 NATO-backed intervention that overthrew dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Tensions between rival administrations in August spilled over into deadly gun battles between their militias that left more than 30 people dead in Tripoli.

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