At least 97 Somali migrants being held in detention camps in Libya were returned to the country’s capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.
Senior Somali government officials, including Foreign Minister Abdi Said Muse, welcomed the returnees at Aden Adde International Airport.
“We welcome 97 of our citizens at Aden Adde International Airport this morning as the federal government worked to secure their release,” said Muse on Twitter, adding that the country’s federal government has been “working to repatriate Somali citizens who have suffered in foreign countries.”
The Somali government, in coordination with UN international Migration Agency (IOM), secured the release of its 97 nationals, including five women, according to local media.
One of the returnees who spoke to Anadolu Agency said Somalis in Libya were facing “horrific” conditions and urged young people to stop migrating and instead invest in their country.
“Today, we have realized that we have our dignity only when we live in our country. I can’t say more because I am emotional,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Their repatriation comes less than a month after Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed met with the Libyan leader at the Turkiye-Africa conference in Istanbul.