Libya to deport 600 undocumented Egyptian migrants
Libya has started deporting about 600 undocumented Egyptian migrants to their country, an official of the Tripoli-based government told AFP on Monday.
The Directorate of Combatting Illegal Migration began "today the expulsion of 600 Egyptian nationals who entered illegally" into Libya, Mohamad Bardaa, deputy for security affairs at the DCIM, told AFP.
The migrants were being driven back to the Egyptian border on buses, crossing territory controlled by a rival administration in the east.
Many Egyptians pass through Libya in attempts to reach Europe, but thousands more have lived there for years, many working in agriculture, construction and other sectors, particularly around of the capital.
After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya was divided between rival authorities based in the east and the west.
Until recently, United Nations agencies were responsible for repatriating refugees and migrants in Libya.
But after a recent agreement between Libya's two administrations, the DCIM, which is affiliated with the western government's interior ministry, was put in charge of deportations.
The North African country has also became a hub for tens of thousands of migrants seeking to reach Europe by sea every year.
In June, Libyan media had broadcast unverified footage showing nearly 1,000 Egyptians guarded by soldiers and forced to reach the Egyptian border on foot.
According to the UN International Organisation for Migration, more than 700,000 migrants were present on Libyan territory between May and June of this year.