Twenty more Bangladeshi migrants, who had been stranded in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast of Zargis for some three weeks, returned home yesterday afternoon.
“They arrived in the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:10pm and are going through the immigration,” said Tanvir Hossain, assistant director of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) posted at the airport.
With this, the total number of returnees from that group of migrants stands at 52. At least 17 returned home on June 21 and 15 others on June 25.
Those who returned on June 25 afternoon, however, were still at the airport’s immigration.
Bangladesh government, in cooperation with IOM, is working to repatriate them. Most of them are from Madaripur, Shariatpur, Brahmanbaria, Sylhet and Moulvibazar.
Twelve other migrants are staying at a shelter of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tunis, capital of Tunisia.
On June 18, Bangladesh Ambassador to Libya Sheikh Sekander Ali had travelled to Tunisia and journeyed to the stranded migrant boat, which had 75 migrants, including the 64 Bangladeshis, to convince them to return home.
Earlier, the Bangladeshis while stranded at the sea refused to return home or even to Tunisia, but wanted to go to Europe.
Since the civil war began in Libya after the fall of the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the North African country has become a major route of human trafficking or smuggling to Europe.