Morocco will repatriate 800 migrants from Libya in three different operations.
Rabat will repatriate a total of 800 migrants who were attempting to reach Europe and remained stranded in Libya in three different operations, a Moroccan government official responsible for migration affairs has said. Most of them are undocumented.
The last migrants are expected to land at the airport of Casablanca in the coming days, the official said. Once they arrive, they will be accompanied to their country of origin after being visited by medical personnel.
Almost all the migrants wanted to reach Europe, and in particular Italy, through Libya. They instead became victims of human traffickers and were detained at migrant centers in Libya.
A reported 338 migrants will travel to Morocco with two flights operated by Libyan company Afriqiya. A reported 435 others previously held in Zuwarah, in north-east Libya, were flown back to Morocco in two previous operations.
CNN report sparked international outcry
The repatriations were accelerated by a report aired in November by CNN that showed men being sold off at an auction for 1,200 Libyan dinars, or a little over 800 euros. The story sparked an international outcry.
Repatriation operations were complicated by the fact that Rabat's embassy in Tripoli was closed in 2015. With the upcoming arrivals, all Moroccans involved in the story will be repatriated.