By Papisdaff Abdullah.
The Government of Ghana has disclosed that several Ghanaian migrants are currently stranded in the troubled Libya and are bent on returning home.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry says the exact number of such migrants are difficult to ascertain given the conflict in the North African country.
In an address to the legislature following a question from Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak, the Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey challenged figures put out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) regarding the number of stranded Ghanaian migrants in Libya.
“Mr. Speaker, the ministry is aware that there are some stranded Ghanaians in Libya who contact the consulate in Tripoli for assistance, however, the figure put out by IOM in Accra conflicts with figures provided by IOM in Tripoli.
“This, coupled with the highly volatile situation in Libya has made it very difficult to obtain information of the actual number of Ghanaian nationals in that country. This is because Libya today has varse areas of its territory in the hands of rival militia groups operating outside the control of internationally recognised interim governments of national accord,” Mrs. Ayorkor Botchwey told Parliament.
The minister, announced however that there is a “sizeable number of Ghanaians who live and work in Libya”.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix in March this year revealed that 62,422 Ghanaians were identified in different cities and detention centres in Libya.
That number, it said, ranks Ghanaians in Libya fifth after Egyptian, Nigerien, Chadian and Sudanese nationals out of 38 different nationalities in that country.
Since June 2017, a total of 706 (661 men, 45 women) Ghanaians stranded 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, while the rest are from the cities.