Dozens Of Migrants Arrested In East Libya And Face Deportation



Image / (Reuters). 

Authorities in eastern Libya said on Thursday they had arrested and would deport 81 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia who had escaped from smugglers after failing to reach Europe.

The migrants were reported to authorities by an imam at a mosque on the coast to the south of the Libyan city of Benghazi, officials said.

“They were arrested in the Zueitina area at a camp of illegal migrants,” said Ahmed al-Arifi, an official from the department for countering illegal migration in the eastern city of Benghazi. “They were arrested for deportation back to their countries.”

According the Statement - One of the Eritrean migrants, speaking at a detention center in Benghazi, said he had arrived in Libya in March last year from Sudan, after paying $4,000 for the journey.

He was taken across the Sahara desert to the western Libyan smuggling hub of Sabratha, and waited there with other migrants for about four months before being told the sea route had been closed.

Armed groups began preventing boat departures in Sabratha in July, and a major smuggling group was pushed out of the city in September.

The Eritrean said he had then crossed back through the town of Bani Walid to Ajdabiya in the east, close to Zueitina. Smugglers had demanded another $2,000 for the trip to Europe, but he was unable to pay and fled mistreatment at their hands.

”I wanted to go to Italy to work but unfortunately it wasn’t possible,“ he said. ”We suffer from severe poverty in our country and there’s a dictatorial system.


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