The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is facilitating the repatriation of 180 stranded Sierra Leoneans from various detention centres in the State of Libya to Sierra Leone following consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the IOM Head of Mission in Sierra Leone.
According to the Head of Chancery of the Republic of Sierra Leone in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Mohamed A. Hashim, the first batch of 180 deportees from various detention centers in the State of Libya, have been traced and screened by the Sierra Leone Embassy staff and IOM and have been to be certified Sierra Leoneans. On the issue of security, he said, Interpol will further screen the returnees.
According to IOM officials in Sierra Leone, the special chartered flight will arrive on the Tuesday 21st November, 2017 at 18:30pm at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi.
The Director General and Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Khadijatu Bassir, Senior officials of the Ministry, together with officials from IOM, social service providers, the security sector led by ONS will be at the airport to receive and screen the 180 returnees from Libya.
It could be recalled that hundreds of Sierra Leoneans left the shores of this country heading to Europe and other parts of the Globe in search of greener pastures through several illegal and risky travelling channels – land and sea. In the process some lost their lives while others got stranded in other countries.
Following several distress calls and media publications on the predicament of our compatriots who find themselves in this ugly situation, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation engaged some members of the Diplomatic Community to assist Sierra Leonean citizens that are stranded in other countries including Libya. It is against this backdrop that the Ministry engaged IOM to assist destitute Sierra Leoneans in Libya.