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IOM facilitates return of 129 Sudanese from Libya

A RSF member stands guard near illegal migrants caught in a remote desert area en route to Libya, on January 8, 2017 (Photo Reuters)

August 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations migration agency (IOM) facilitated the return of 129 Sudanese under a joint action with the European Union, said a statement released in Khartoum.

In a statement dated on 8th August 2018, but seen by Sudan Tribune on 16 August, IOM said it worked with the Libyan and Sudanese authorities to facilitate the voluntary return of the Sudanese migrants via an IOM charter flight.

"The migrants were welcomed at Khartoum International airport by the Secretariat for Sudanese Working Abroad (SSWA) and IOM," said the statement.

IOM stressed that the return which is conducted under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration "uses an integrated approach to reintegration that addresses returnees’ economic, social and psychosocial needs".

Last April several Sudanese deported from EU countries told the New York Times that they had been tortured on their return to Sudan.

"One man was a Darfuri political dissident deported in late 2017 from France to Khartoum, where he said he was detained on arrival by N.I.S.S. agents," said the newspaper adding that the Sudanese officials denied the claim.

However, IOM-Sudan said they will continue to follow the returnees and provide them with medical or psychosocial assistance.

"Returnees will undergo basic entrepreneurship training before receiving individual in-kind economic reintegration assistance," further said the statement, before to emphasize that community projects will be implemented in those localities with larger numbers of returnees.

"The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, with a budget of EUR 25 million for the Horn of Africa, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries".