Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/25 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/23 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/24 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/23 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/25 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/24 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Africa

Burkina Faso migrants flee violence-racked Libya

media Migrants returning home from Libya to Burkina Faso (file photo) IOM Tripoli 2016

Hundreds of Burkinabé migrants who have been living in Libya for decades are returning home, fleeing the desperate humanitarian situation that has been exacerbated by the conflict. Last Thursday the International Office of Migration (IOM) evacuated 117 people. Since December over 500 migrants have gone back to Burkina Faso.

Dene Moussa, a 35-year old Burkinabé migrant, recently returned home on a charter flight from Tripoli provided by the International Office of Migration (IOM).

A trader by profession, he told RFI that he decided to go back because he was disappointed with Libya.

"I didn't like the road I'd taken to go to Libya. I was arrested several times and even spent 18 days in one detention centre with only bread and water for food," he said.

Moussa is one of several migrants choosing to return to Burkina Faso voluntarily. In the past three months, the country has registered an uptick of more than 500 returnees.

"For the people evacuated or returned this year, many of them had a stable job but because of the current security situation many of them lost their job and they had no means to go back home, so they asked for the IOM's assitance," Othman Belbeisi, head of the IOM's office in Libya, told RFI.

Most migrants like Moussa were lured to Libya by the prospect of economic opportunity. But their dreams of prosperity were dashed when the country fell apart following the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

With the eruption of fighting between rival militias, migrants have increasingly become pawns in a game of power and wealth played by Libya's different stakeholders.

“They are at the hands of criminal networks who use them to finance their military activities," Karim Nataba, a Libyan blogger and writer told RFI, as more human trafficking abuses are reported.

"Migrants are badly treated by human traffickers who use them as a simple money making tool. But the situation is also delicate for African migrants especially, because many are considered as mercenaries by both camps in the fighting,” he added.

The numerous militias that control Libyan territory are widely believed to be involved in the human traffic business, using it as a springboard to increase their political standing and as an excuse to "arrest" illegal migrants, or sometimes just black people.

Belbeisi, however deplores the fact that many of these migrants are falling through the cracks.

"If you are a displaced national, you can find a family member, any local council or goverment to support you, but as a migrant you are not considered a priority," he points out.

This makes the prospect of returning home a sweeter experience. When migrants do return, they are met by officials of the IOM in their destination country and given a small grant to rebuild their lives from scratch.

Funding for the IOM's voluntary return programme is supported by the European Union and governments like Italy's. But more help is needed, reckons Abdel Rahmane Diop, IOM chief coordinator in Ouagadougo.

"So far we have been able to help only 56 out of 312 migrants, we need to mobilise more resources to help more migrants return from Libya," he said.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.