By Peter Kum and Aurore Bonny
Some 250 vulnerable Cameroonian migrants have been repatriated from Libya following a video footage that showed the sale of migrants in the war-torn country, official sources told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
"Their repatriation was carried out thanks to the efforts of the Cameroonian government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)," Foreign Minister Mbella Mbella Lejeune said.
He said the IOM's plane carrying the 250 migrants arrived in Yaounde’s Nsimalen International Airport on Tuesday night.
A source at the Libyan Embassy in Yaounde also confirmed that the migrants were all from Libya.
Lejeune said the returnees would receive a small amount of money to help them reach their respective families.
He added that this massive repatriation was motivated by the recent reports showing the sale of migrants in Libya.
"We are currently working with our embassy in Libya to identify Cameroonians in the country," Lejeune said.
IOM project manager Robert Evina told reporters in Yaounde that they were not aware of slavery in Libya.
"But our colleagues based in Tunisia revealed to us the difficult conditions of Sub-Saharans in the country," he said.
On Nov. 14, CNN aired a video footage showing African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya for the sum of $400.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced the incident in a statement on Monday.
"I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter," he said.
''Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity," Guterres said.
In June this year, the UN Migration Agency said it had launched an online consular service for stranded migrants in Libya hoping to return to their respective countries.