Britain, Nigeria to repatriate S.Leoneans from Libya

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The governments of Britain and Nigeria have offered to help repatriate Sierra Leoneans stranded in strife-torn Libya, Foreign Minister Joseph Dauda told reporters Friday.

"Both governments said they will assist in the repatriation process and already 120 Sierra Leoneans are at our embassy in Tripoli awaiting evacuation," he said, without specifying when the evacuation would take place.

The Sierra Leone government has indicated some 4,000 of its citizens reside in Libya.

Human rights groups have raised concerns about thousands of migrant African workers left behind in Libya, many from poor countries unable to organise their evacuation.

Rumours that Libya's leader Moamer Kadhafi has hired fighters from the south of the Sahara to quash a popular revolt against him have made hordes of Africans targets of popular anger.

"Day after day, some governments are managing to send boats to evacuate thousands of their nationals but Africans, who are the most vulnerable and destitute, are being left behind," Human Rights Watch emergency director Peter Bouckaert said at the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile some 164 Gambians arrived home in Banjul on Thursday night.

© 2011 AFP

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