The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed that 168 Ghanaians have been detained in various detention centres in Libya.
According to the Ministry, the Ghanaians, kept at Tajoora, Trek Al Sika and Trek Matar detention centres were however not part of the ongoing slave trade in Libya but “had rather been arrested on illegal immigration charges and were already being held in the camps.”
This was discovered when the Ministry in collaboration with Ghana’s Mission in Malta, with concurrent accreditation from Libya, paid a consular visit to the three detention centers following disturbing reports that illegal migrants were being sold as slaves in the North African country.
The 168 detained Ghanaians, according to the Ministry, were immediately issued with the necessary travel documents to facilitate their repatriation to Ghana on a chartered flight with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
“It is hoped that the returnees will take advantage of the opportunities being provided by government to reintegrate properly and contribute to national development,” a statement from the Ministry added.
Libya is the main transit hub for illegal immigrants and refugees seeking to reach Europe.