Rwanda to Welcome First Group of African Refugees from Libya

Migrants sit inside the Ganzour shelter after being transferred from the airport road due to fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 5, 2018. NGOs say migrants in Libya are suffering. Rwanda has rekindled hope for those willing to be resettled. PHOTO | AFP

September 26, 2019//-A group of 75 African refugees and asylum-seekers is expected to be airlifted from Libya to Rwanda on Thursday, a UN official said, the first of what could be thousands relocated under a new programme.

Earlier this month, Rwanda signed a deal with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR agreeing to take in African refugees and asylum-seekers stranded in Libya.

The Rwandan government has said it is prepared to accommodate as many as 30,000 evacuees, although the plan is for the programme to unfold in batches of 500 to prevent the country of 12 million from feeling overwhelmed.

“The first evacuation flight from Libya to Rwanda is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday), arriving at night in Kigali,” the UN official told AFP Wednesday via email.

“This first flight under the recently set-up Emergency Transit Mechanism is planned to have 75 people of concern (refugees or asylum seekers) on board.”

The official added that a subsequent flight carrying 125 people is planned for “between 10-12 October”.


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