TRIPOLI, The Libyan authorities announced that 72 illegal migrants from Mali and Sierra Leone have been voluntarily deported to their own countries, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"Sixty-three illegal migrants, including women and children from Mali, were able to return home, within the voluntary return program of the organization in Libya," the anti-illegal immigration department said in a statement, adding that nine immigrants from Sierra Leone were also voluntarily repatriated.

The return was done through two flights from Tripoli's M'etiga international airport.

Immigration reception centers in Libya are overcrowded with illegal migrants rescued at sea or arrested.

The IOM provides the migrants with the opportunity to return to their countries of origin voluntarily under its voluntary return program.

The IOM said that 20,000 illegal migrants were able to return to their countries of origin from Libya in 2017.

Source: Nam News Network