Frontex suspends migrant flights back to Ebola-hit Nigeria

Passengers, wearing protective face masks and hand gloves push trolleys upon arrival at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos on August 11, 2014 (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Warsaw (AFP) - EU border agency Frontex said Monday it had suspended flights taking migrants back to Nigeria, one of the west African countries hit by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.

"We have decided to indefinitely suspend those flights that we coordinate", and co-finance, to Nigeria, Frontex spokeswoman Ewa Moncure told AFP.

The Warsaw-based agency only handles around two percent of all flights carrying migrants who have crossed into the European Union back home. The EU countries in question handle the rest.

Last year, 160,000 such migrants were sent back to their home countries, mainly to Albania, India, Pakistan and Russia.

"Certain countries, notably Austria, have taken a similar decision" to suspend flights to countries affected by the deadly Ebola virus, Moncure said.

The current Ebola outbreak, the worst since the virus first appeared in 1976, has claimed 1,145 lives including four in Nigeria.