Number of stranded Ghanaians in Libya still unknown – Foreign Ministry

Shirley Ayokor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs has indicated that her outfit does not know the exact number of Ghanaians stranded in Libya.

She however assured that they are doing everything possible through Ghana’s Missions in Valletta, Malta, Tripoli and Niamey to locate and assist them.

“The Ministry is aware that there are some stranded Ghanaians in Libya who have contacted the Consulate in Tripoli for assistance.”

She added that the figure put out by the International Organization for Migration office in Accra was inconsistent with that provided by the IOM in Tripoli, to “both our Consulate in Tripoli and Mission in Valletta”.

“This, coupled with the highly volatile situation in Libya has made it very difficult to obtain information on the actual number of Ghanaian nationals in that country. Libya, today, has vast areas of its territory in the hands of rival militia groups operating outside the control of the internationally recognised interim government of national accord.”

The Minister made these declarations while answering a question on the Libyan situation on the floor of Parliament.

She said the government would consider evacuating the reported 62,422 stranded Ghanaians in Libya if it was able to ascertain the correct figure as provided by the Accra Office of the IOM.

Dr Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, had sought to find out if her Ministry was aware of reports by IOM that 62,422 Ghanaians were stranded in Libya.

Ms Botchwey said the conflicting figures provided by the Offices of the IOM in Accra and that of Tripoli, was making it difficult for the government to make informed decision on the way forward

Since June 2017, a total of 706 Ghanaians (661 men, 45 women) in Libya have been assisted to return home voluntarily with the majority of the returnees, 70 per cent, being returned from various detention centres in Libya.

The Minister, however, said the Ministry and IOM had jointly repatriated about 200 Ghanaians to Ghana since April 2018.

The Ministry had also opened a consulate in Tripoli and another in Niamey to aid Ghanaians who required such service.

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