Over 53,000 Ghanaian illegal migrants still in Libya – Report

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 279A report from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has revealed that about 53, 200 illegal Ghanaian migrants are still in Libya.

This revelation comes months after some 127 Ghanaian detainees were rescued from Libya, following reports that Africans there had been subjected to inhumane treatment after giving away their life’s earnings, to make the torturous journeys through the Sahara, hoping to make it big in Europe.

‘Staggering statistics’

The IOM’s report also ranked Ghana as one of the countries with the highest number of illegal migrants in Libya.

Out of the 12 countries ranked, Ghana came 5th with a total of 31, 251 migrants in Libya, followed by Nigeria which had a total of 29,605 migrants, and Mali with 24, 105 migrants.

Niger topped the list of countries with 78,723 migrants followed by Egypt, which had a total of 78,616 migrants in Libya.

The trend of illegal migration according to some experts, is increasingly becoming a national security concern in Ghana hence the need for firm acts to address it.Reports have indicated that, since 2014, more than 400,000 African migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

The IOM’s report also indicated that, about 15,000 deaths had been recorded globally since 2014 as a result of illegal migration.

However in 2016, the number reduced to 5,143, and further decreased to 3,116 in 2017.

Despite these staggering figures, the IOM has indicated that, the actual number of deaths recorded through illegal migration far exceeds reported figures.

In a bid to address the problem, the Project Manager at IOM’s Indonesia Branch, Paul Dillon, indicated at a media workshop in Accra, that the Organisation has been working in tandem with other stakeholders to roll out policies that will permanently address the problem.

Under its action programme called the “joint response”, the IOM seeks to :

• Evacuate detention centres

• Bring migrants to safety

• Offer alternatives to irregular migration

• Reintegrate returnees back home

• Include communities of origin

‘Reversing illegal migration’

President Nana Akufo-Addo had vowed to reverse the trend of illegal migration by Ghanaians, by building a sound economy with opportunities for all.

In an address at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, the President stated that it was inappropriate for any Ghanaian to go through the life threatening ordeal of an immigrant.

“There have always been adventurous Ghanaians who would go out and try their luck in other parts of the world but the periods of economic collapse turned our country into places of wholesale emigration,” the President noted.

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana