Tension at Immigration Detention Centre in south Cyprus as Nigerians sets tents on fire over deportation

There was tension at the Menoyia Immigration Detention Centre in Larnaca south Cyprus on Monday evening when some Nigerian nationals set tents on fire in protest against the authorities for not informing them of their exact deportation date.

According to report by Greek Cypriot police, this prompted a response by the Fire Brigade which extinguished the fire before it spread to more tents.

The group of migrants, reportedly from Nigeria, are awaiting flights back to their country as part of their voluntary return in the “next few days” but were seemingly not provided with exact details as to when the flights were scheduled for.

But tension arose when they insisted on being told their exact return flights.

Two tents were set on fire and part of the barrier was damaged, according to reports.

Firefighters arrived at the scene on Monday night, when the incident broke out, as did additional police officers. Firefighters managed to prevent the flames from spreading any further.

Four people were arrested in connection with the incident.

The Limnes centre in the Larnaca district, has received major funding over the past few years to ease the burden on the overloaded Pournara centre.

Elsewhere, the government has sought to significantly increase the rate of returns amongst failed asylum seekers and irregular migrants.

In June, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said the goal is to “minimise flows and maximise returns”.

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