Rabat - Undocumented Moroccan migrants stranded in Libya have begun a hunger strike to protest delays in their repatriation to Morocco.
Rabat – Undocumented Moroccan migrants stranded in Libya have begun a hunger strike to protest delays in their repatriation to Morocco.
Husni Abu-Ayana, head of the information office of Tripoli’s “anti-illegal immigration” department told Chinese news outlet Xinhua, that the repatriation was scheduled before Ramadan, but “was delayed.”
Ayana said that a delegation from the Moroccan embassy visited the migrants in April to register their information.
The Libyan official added that 60 detained migrants are carrying out a hunger strike in protest.
A massive number of sub-Saharan and North African migrants have found themselves stranded in detention centers across Libya after attempting to illegally cross over the Mediterranean to Europe.
The number of irregular migrants in Libya reached 700,000 by the end of 2017.
Several videos of Moroccan migrants went viral in 2017 and early 2018. In the videos, the migrants cried for help to end their detention in Libya and urged Moroccan authorities to bring them back home.
Dozens of families of Moroccan migrants missing or detained in Libya protested in late November in Rabat, calling for authorities to repatriate their relatives, whose number was estimated to be between 200 and 700.
The Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad announced in December that it would repatriate 235 Moroccan migrants.
This is the second repatriation operation that Moroccan authorities have conducted, after one in August which brought back about 200 citizens in two private aircraft.
Info Migrants reported in January 2018 that Morocco will repatriate 800 migrants home in three different operations.
“A reported 338 migrants will travel to Morocco with two flights operated by Libyan company Afriqiyah,” the source said.