Rwanda welcomes second batch of African refugees from Libya
London, Oct. 12, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A group of 123 African refugees including an eight months old baby have arrived in the Rwandan capital Kigali from Libya and have been given asylum-seeker status while their cases are assessed, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
The refugees, who are mainly from Eritrea, were taken to a transit facility in Gashora. The other refugees come from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The latest arrival takes the number of refugees taken by Rwanda to 189
Close to half of the refugees are under the age of 18 and most of them had been separated from their parents and larger family.
The UNHCR says it will provide the refugees with life-saving assistance, including food, water, medical care, psycho-social support, and accommodation.
The UNHCR says other resolutions regarding the refugees’ statuses are being explored. These include resettlement, voluntary return to countries of previous asylum, voluntary return to countries of origin where safe and integration with local Rwandan communities.
An agreement signed in early September between Rwanda, the UNHCR and the African Union saw Rwanda agree to take in 500 refugees stranded in Libya.
Later that month, 66 African refugees and asylum-seekers arrived in Kigali and were welcomed by UNHCR staff and local authorities.
Although the United Nations says about 42,000 refugees are currently in Libya, the Rwandan government said it is prepared to accommodate as many as 30,000 evacuees. However, the plan is for the programme to unfold in batches of 500 to prevent the country of 12 million from feeling overwhelmed.
The UNHCR has now helped 1,663 refugees out of Libya this year.
The UNHCR has urged for more places and faster, more flexible processes to assist refugees to move away from danger.