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More than 25,000 Nigerians held as slaves in Libya: Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigerian authorities said there are more than 25,000 of their citizens held in slave and sex camps in Libya, according to the country’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said on Tuesday.

Julie Okah-Donli, the Director General of NAPTIP, said about 5,000 of the victims have been repatriated home to Nigeria with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union.

Okah-Donli said the recent trend, which marked the resurgence of the slave trade, was more alarming and required more attention in the world, but failed to cast blame on the reasons why thousands of Nigerians would leave their homeland to travel to Libya.

“Nigeria would consistently put the issue of human trafficking at the center of global discourse at various international fora and that the country would work to strengthen national response to irregular migration,” Okah-Donli added.

Some in mid-December, the Nigerian authorities said it had recognized 2,778 of its citizens suffering in detention camps in Libya.

The Buhari’s administration promised to make the repatriation of its citizens a continuous exercise, as the embassy in Libya will continue to engage the Libyan government and other stakeholders in addressing the predicament of Nigerian migrants in that country

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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