It marked the beginning of repatriation operations, in line with the announcement made Tuesday at the council of ministers’ meeting by the Foreign Affairs minister, Ibrahim Yacoubou.

The returnees were welcomed by Home Affairs minister Bazoum Mohamed, who announced that arrangements were made to transport each of them to their home.

The government of Niger has mobilized aircraft with the assistance of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), to repatriate Nigeriens stranded in Libya, he added.

Following reports that sub-Saharan African migrants sold at “slave market” auctions in Libya, Mohamed told the country’s lawmakers that Nigeriens wishing to return home can be repatriated.

More than a million Nigeriens live in Libya, where they are mainly seasonal workers, according to Yacoubou.