Some 130 Ghanaian nationals in Libya are currently stranded in that country.
Many of them have been wandering for several months in desperate attempts to return to Ghana. They however cannot afford the cost of flying back to Ghana. International Airlines have halted operations in Libya due to security concerns.
Many Ghanaians and nationals of other African countries are trapped in some major Libyan cities including Tripoli, Musrata, Saba, Benghazy, Sabalata, Zawia and Zintan.
Speaking to some of the Ghanaians on phone from Libya, the migrants explained that they have shied away from returning on foot due to the dangers associated with it. They say they have contributed about 2000 Cedis each but sadly, the money remains inadequate for their travel expenses.
“We have registered with a Ghanaian Philanthropist who is working hard to repatriate us back home but the expenses are too high. He is stuck at the moment and most of us can’t afford the whole cost of the air flight so we need the support of the Ghana government and even the Africa Union to return home. Some other Ghanaians have taken advantage of the situation to dupe us. We want to return home and contribute our quota to the development of our country because we have had enough experience” one of the stranded Ghanaians; Mr. Osei Kwabena revealed.
Mr. Seth Asamoah, the philanthropist who has vowed to repatriate the passengers home, explained that he would need an additional amount of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) to support the available funds accrued from their contributions. He however bemoaned the security and health conditions of the travelers saying it was getting worse every single day.
Recounting his experience as a philanthropist, Mr. Seth Asamoah intimated that the last time he sent similar Ghanaians home from Libya under similar circumstances, he incurred serious losses because their contributions were too small to fund their flight fares. He disclosed that he had to admit some of the travelers at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital because most of them needed serious medical attention.
He fears they might be killed if allowed to walk back to Ghana. “I have spoken to the Ghana Embassy here in Tripoli but the consulate was re-opened recently so they have their own challenges. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can mitigate right now to help reduce the cost associated with travelling especially with regards to landing permit fees”.
Mr. Seth Asamoah who has spent a number of years in Libya further appealed to the Africa Union to endeavour to periodically monitor the African nationals in Libya and other North African countries since most of the migrants need urgent repatriation to their various countries. He insisted that apart from Ghanaians who are stranded in Libya, other nationals from Nigeria, Niger, Togo and Mali are all pleading for support to go to their various homes.
He however, commended the people of Libya for their amiable hospitality adding that he has never been assaulted or cheated by a Libyan. He however revealed that some Ghanaians are taking advantage of the situation.
“Some miscreants who have no means to assist someone on travelling issues are charging some fees to send some of these stranded Ghanaians back home. Many out of these 130 passengers have been duped.
What do you think about this piece? Share your comment in the comment thread and share the story using the social media buttons above. You may reach the editor on 0249579664. Thank you.