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UNHCR evacuates asylum seekers from Libya to Rwanda

Saturday September 3, 2022

Illegal migrants in the Ganzour shelter in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. The UNHCR has updated its policy to say Libya is no longer a safe country to return people to. Photograph: Mahmud Turkia/Getty Images

Mogadishu (HOL) - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Thursday that it had evacuated over 100 asylum seekers from Libya to Rwanda.

The UNHCR announced that "more than 100 vulnerable asylum seekers have been evacuated on a flight out of Libya to Rwanda."

Thirty-eight children among the asylum seekers were from various African nations, including Somalia.

Libya became an illegal migration hotspot after the overthrow of former strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The African Union expects that more than 500,000 migrants and refugees are estimated to be trapped in the war-torn country.

The International Organization for Migration reports that 14,157 illegal immigrants have been saved at sea and sent back to Libya in 2022.

The Somali government has returned dozens of stranded citizens from Libya to Mogadishu since 2018, with the latest group arriving in January. Somali migrants who were repatriated to Mogadishu have spoken publicly about their harrowing ordeal in Libya after falling into the hands of human traffickers.


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