About 58 Sierra Leonean labour workers are to come home through a repatriation process from the United Arab Emirates, thanks to concerted collaboration by both the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sierra Leone Embassy in that country. All 58 Sierra Leoneans are to be voluntarily repatriated to Sierra Leone after expressing a desire to be taken back home due to loss of jobs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The first batch of 17 departed Dubai on Sunday 27 September, with the remaining set to arrive in Sierra Leone at various scheduled dates.
Commenting on the process, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay said the stranded Sierra Leoneans approached the Embassy to facilitate their repatriation back home. He said that each of them was interviewed and issued a consent form in line with IOM regulations, which they voluntarily signed demonstrating their willingness to return home.
The Ambassador referred to the move as ‘a major milestone demonstrative of the New Direction’s desire to cater to everyone and to uphold the dignity of every Sierra Leonean irrespective of status.’
Credit: Mohamed L. Massaquoi
Information Attaché Designate to the UAE