The first batch, containing 17 Sierra Leoneans repatriated from the United Arab Emirates, UAE, to Sierra Leone have commended Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay, for his exemplary leadership in bringing them back home.

The Sierra Leone Embassy in UAE, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, IOM, is facilitating the voluntary repatriation of a total 58 Sierra Leoneans from the UAE to Sierra Leone.

Speaking on arrival at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi, Victoria Marrah, one of the returnees, said that they were thankful to Ambassador Sesay for his fatherly role in their return process. She said they had been stranded in Dubai for a very long time, jobless and homeless.

“We thank Ambassador Sesay for his open-door policy to us. He has been very accommodating to us and we appreciate his role in all of these. He has demonstrated to be a true patriot. Without him, this will not have been a reality,” she said.

Speaking from the UAE, Ambassador Sesay, said that the 58 Sierra Leoneans had approached the Embassy to ensure their repatriation back home.

He said that each of them was interviewed, issued consent forms which they voluntarily signed demonstrating their willingness to return home in line with IOM regulations.

The remaining set of returnees would also arrive in Sierra Leone at various scheduled dates.

It could be noted that recently, the Government of Sierra Leone has been able to repatriate its citizens abroad who express desire to be brought back home, notably among was over 100 returnees from Lebanon facilitated by President Julius Maada Bio.