Rwanda welcomes 117 more stranded African refugees from Libya

For the third time ever since Rwanda pledged to give refuge to around 500 African migrants stuck in Libya often in enslaved conditions, another group of stranded African refugees have arrived Rwanda.

This time around a group of 117 have taken refuge in Rwanda.

Local media reports that the refugees from Libya on Sunday night touched down at the Kigali International Airport.

The evacuation was carried out by Rwanda and other partners.

The migrants, mostly youth, of different African nationalities were accompanied by officers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and were welcomed by Rwandan and UN officials.

Ahmed Baba Fall, the UNCHR Country Representative told the press upon arrival of the group that they will join the others at the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) located in Bugesera District.

Fall described Rwanda’s generous support towards the struggling refugees as a show of “solidarity and responsibility-sharing” saying it was in the spirit of “creating African solutions for African problems,” according to The New Times Rwanda.

The first evacuation of 66 came on September 26 and the second evacuation of 123 arrived in October this year.

More than 600,000 refugees and migrants are currently in Libya, with about 5,000 held in GNA centers. Detainees are not technically criminals and no formal charges have been brought against them, but they were caught entering or exiting Libya without legal papers.

The European Union recently announced Rwf10bn support to African refugees in Rwanda.

Countries like Sweden and Norway have committed to take in some refugees, a process UNHCR believes could take a little longer.


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