TRIPOLI, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday said 226 illegal migrants were voluntarily deported from Libya to their countries of origin.
"This week, IOM assisted 226 stranded migrants in Libya to voluntarily return home to Burkina Faso, the Gambia, and Ghana. All were medically screened prior to departure and underwent PCR tests in compliance with mobility restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19," IOM said in a statement.
The Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, run by IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homeland.
Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores.
According to IOM, more than 18,000 illegal immigrants have been rescued at sea and returned to Libya so far in 2021.