African migrants stranded in Tunisia to return homeListen /
Eighty-seven migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa who tried to use a smuggler to get to Italy have asked the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help them return home.
The agency says the migrants, who were left stranded on the Tunisian coast on Sunday, were part of a group of 154 mainly Sub-Saharan Africans who wanted to go to Italy.
Most of the migrants told IOM that they had lived in Libya for some time before paying the smuggler, reportedly a Tunisian, to take them to Italy.
Christopher Lom is IOM spokesperson in Geneva.
"They left Libya on an unseaworthy boat destined for Italy. The smuggler dumped them in Tunisia. Of these 154, 87 have now asked IOM for air tickets to return home. Most of them are Nigerians but there are also nationals from The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco and Bangladesh. Out of the same boat load there are also another 34 Eritreans and 16 Malians who have asked for asylum in Tunisia."