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30.08.2004 General News

196 Ghanaian deportees arrive from Libya

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Accra, Aug. 30, GNA - One hundred and ninety-six Ghanaian deportees including a woman arrived in Accra from Libya on Monday aboard two chartered planes.

The deportees aged between 20 and 50 years were mostly artisans. One hundred forty-five of them gave themselves up to Libyan security agencies while the remaining were arrested and deported.

The deportees were handed over to officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) who would screen them and give them stipends to enable them travel to their various homes.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ghana's Ambassador to Libya, Mr George Kumi deplored the hazardous manner in which Ghanaians travelled by road through the Sahara Desert to Libya en-route to Europe.

He said most of the stories of torture and seizure of their properties which the deportees claimed to have experienced were far from the truth, stressing that "there is documentary evidence of luggage of deportees accompanying them anytime they are brought back home."

Ambassador Kumi noted that the lifestyles of the deportees were "nothing to write home about", adding that most of them were engaged in prostitution, illegal distilling of alcohol and other criminal activities.

He said about 3,000 Ghanaians in Libya were expected to be brought home.

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