TRIPOLI, A group of illegal Moroccan immigrants in the Libyan capital Tripoli called on their country's authorities to arrange for their return home, the Libyan Anti-illegal Immigration Department said.

"Illegal Moroccan immigrants appealed to the Moroccan authorities to repatriate them to their country, as other illegal migrants of Arab, African and Asian nationalities did," the department said in a statement.

"These Moroccan migrants were rescued by the Coast Guard and Port Security at sea, as they were on a rubber boat on their way to European shores. They have been in Tarig al-Sekka reception center in Tripoli for about six months," the department said.

Later in May, dozens of illegal Moroccan immigrants started an open hunger strike in Tripoli to protest their delayed repatriation by their country's authorities.

Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.

Source: NAM News Network