AU to step up illegal migrant transfer from Libya to Rwanda

Tunisian As-Sabah News reported on Friday that the African Union is moving thousands of illegal migrants seeking asylum in Libya to Rwanda under an agreement signed by the union, Rwanda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Under the agreement signed on September 10, 2019, the UN seeks to move illegal migrants and refugees living in dire conditions in Libya’s detention centers to a location offering better livelihood. UNHCR provides support to more than 55,000 migrants in Libya, including 4,700 people who are “in urgent need of transportation for their safety,” according to a statement by the African Union.

The first phase of the resettlement of illegal migrants and refugees from Libya to Rwanda involves the resettlement of 500 people, including children and adolescents, from the Horn of Africa.

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Upon arrival in Rwanda, UNHCR will find a way for them to stay safely in Rwanda or resettle them in another country if the authorities agree. Repatriation is possible as long as the safety of the person being repatriated is not compromised.

There were no obstacles for the gigantic task. The African Union notes that only 190 people have been deported from Libya to Rwanda in two phases in the past three years since the signing of the tripartite agreement between UNHCR and Rwanda.

Meanwhile, since 2017, UNHCR has evacuated more than 4,400 people from Libya to other countries, including 2,900 through an emergency transport facility in Niger and 425 to European countries through an emergency transportation center in Romania.

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