Refugees from Somalia, Syria and Eritrea board a bus at UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli. UNHCR photo
African refugees being held in squalid conditions in detention in Libya will be evacuated to Rwanda under an agreement reached with Kigali and the African Union, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.
A first group of 500 refugees from the Horn of Africa will be evacuated in coming weeks out of 4,700 now estimated to be in custody in Libya, under a new “transit mechanism” partly funded the European Union (EU), UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said.
“It is a lifeline,” Baloch told a Geneva briefing.
The UN said on Friday it had evacuated 163 refugees from war-ravaged Libya to neighbouring Niger, but more than 3,000 others were still trapped in detention centres affected by clashes.
The death of several migrants, mostly from Bangladesh, when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea after it left Libya hoping to reach Europe, brings to the fore the continuing plight of migrants.
Overall, just over half of the deaths this year — 259 — were caused by drowning, such as through shipwrecks in the Caribbean or failed river crossings. About 65 were from highway crashes, and around 20 each on railroad routes, from dehydration or exposure, violence including homicide, and sickness or lack of medical care.
Gulf visitors are highly valuable to the UK economy, with over 790,000 Gulf visitors spending £2 billion during their stays in the UK last year.
The Togliatti-Odesa pipeline transporting toxic ammonia was destroyed in a blast.
The UAE expressed its sincere condolences and sympathy to the government and people of the French Republic and to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.