Assisted Voluntary Return: 113 Senegalese Migrants Stranded in Niger to Return to Senegal
A Senegalese migrant registers during a voluntary return operation organized by IOM Senegal. Photo: IOM Senegal

Dakar – Since 9 September 2022, the International Organization for Migration mission in Senegal has been coordinating with the Senegalese authorities, namely the Senegalese embassy in Niger, to ensure the voluntary return of 113 Senegalese migrants. These migrants are accommodated and cared for in the migrant transit centre of the IOM mission in Agadez.

Since 2016, voluntary return and voluntary humanitarian return have been an important protection measure and one of the most appropriate options for vulnerable and stranded migrants wishing to return to their country of origin but lacking the means to do so. These voluntary and humanitarian return operations are sometimes delayed for several reasons. Airlines postpone flight dates and claim technical reasons.

In some cases, government-specific administrative procedures require the postponement of voluntary return dates for migrants. This indicates that the organization of returns depends on the go-ahead of the countries of origin, destination, and the countries through which the flight passes. It should also be noted that the response time of each government varies, as do the procedures. The airline in charge of the return of these 113 Senegalese migrants postponed its flight for technical reasons. Subsequently, due to the administrative procedures for obtaining authorization to fly over the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the airline’s take-off date was changed.

However, IOM liaised with the consular offices and authorization from the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was obtained. IOM Senegal’s migrant protection teams and the Directorate General in charge of Senegalese Abroad (DGASE) made the necessary arrangements to welcome these 113 Senegalese migrants.

The protection of stranded and vulnerable migrants as well as provision of assisted voluntary return and sustainable reintegration are provided under the EU-funded “Migrant Protection, Assisted Voluntary Return and Sustainable Reintegration in Sub-Saharan Africa” programme (Protection des migrants, aide au retour volontaire et réintégration durable en Afrique subsaharienne) implemented by IOM. Thanks to this initiative, Senegalese migrants will receive all necessary arrival and reintegration assistance.

For more information, please contact Adama DIA, Communications Unit, IOM Senegal Country Office: