By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – Abdelkarim Benatiq, the Minister Delegate in charge of Moroccans Living Abroad (MRE) and ImmigrationaAffairs, received on Tuesday, November 28 the families of Moroccan migrants detained in Libya who protested outside the ministry headquarters.
After they protested on Monday morning in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Affairs, they moved to the ministry of Benatiq, calling on the authorities to help their detained relatives return home as soon as possible.
The families, who came from several Moroccan cities, lambasted the “slowness” of authorities, demanding the release of their loved ones.
After receiving the demonstrators, Benatiq reassured the families that the ministry is making all possible efforts, in coordination with other governmental departments, to carry out this operation and ensure the repatriation of these Moroccans to their country.
The committee in charge of Moroccans repatriation is composed of a delegation from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Moroccans Living Abroad as well as from the Directorate General of Studies and Documentation (DGED).
A government source told Morocco World News that authorities started their repatriation procedures before the widespread of videos on social media, in which Moroccan migrants called for help to put an end to their detention and mistreatment in Libya. However, the delay in repatriating the migrants stemmed from security concerns.
“Technical and logistical problems hinder the identification of Moroccans detained in Libya. Moroccan authorities also fear infiltration of jihadists and radicals on Moroccan territory,” the government source said.
The large group of Moroccans are currently stranded in Libya after their attempts to cross the Mediterranean to Europe failed. They found themselves the subject of human trafficking by smugglers before being detained by Libyan forces in Tripoli and the center of Zouara near the Tunisian border.