Rwanda, UNHCR and AU Sign MoU to Evacuate Refugees from Libya

Addis Ababa Rwanda, the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and African Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a transit mechanism to evacuate refugees and asylum seekers out of Libya.

Under the agreement signed in Addis Ababa today, Rwanda will receive and provide protection for refugees and asylum seekers as well as others identified as particularly vulnerable and at risk and currently being held in detention in Libya.

A first group of 500 persons in need of international protection will be evacuated this week.

According to the MoU, the group is principally made up of people originating from the Horn of Africa, and includes children and youth at risk.

After their arrival, UNHCR will continue to pursue solutions for those evacuated, it was learned. Some may benefit from resettlement to third countries, and others will be helped to return to countries where asylum had previously been granted, or to return to their home countries if it is safe to do so, the agreement stated.

Evacuation flights are expected to begin in the coming weeks, and will be carried out in cooperation with Rwandan and Libyan authorities.

The African Union will provide assistance with evacuations, mobilize resources, and provide strategic political support with training and coordination.

The UNHCR will provide protection services and necessary humanitarian assistances, including food, water, accommodation, education and healthcare.

Some 4,700 persons of concern are currently estimated to be held in dire conditions inside detention centers in Libya.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency