Published: September 11, 2019
Hundreds of African refugees trapped in “dire” Libyan detention centres will be evacuated to Rwanda in an agreement signed between the United Nations, the African Union and the Rwandan government.
The first cohort of 500 refugees, including children, will be voluntarily evacuated to the African country over the coming days – from here they will either be allowed to stay, be permanently resettled in other countries or will be helped to return home.
Around 4,500 migrants and refugees from countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Eritrea, are being held in appalling conditions in detention centres in Libya.
Libya has become a focal point for Africans fleeing war and poverty, some of whom have ended up in the north African country after being picked up attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
The Libyan coastguard has been funded by the European Union to stop migrants and refugees ending up on European shores and as a result the number of migrants arriving in Europe has fallen dramatically over recent years. Just over 140,000 people landed in Europe last year compared to a high of more than a million during the 2015 migrant crisis. source