Norway to take in 600 rescued migrants from Rwanda
London, Jan. 9, 2020 (AltAfrica)– Norway says it will take 600 asylum-seekers recently evacuated to Rwanda from Libyan detention centers as the Scandinavian country wants to stop the sometimes deadly smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.
Rwanda’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, a sign some European nations are willing to welcome migrants despite rising populist sentiment.
Sweden has already taken in seven migrants, The New Times, a pro-Rwandan government newspaper, quotes Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta as saying.
Rwanda signed an agreement last year with the UN refugee agency and the African Union to resettle migrants who had become trapped in dangerous conditions in Libya while trying to reach Europe.
Norwegian Justice Minister Joeran Kallmyr was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying Norway would take in an additional 100 of the migrants by the end of the year.
“It’s important to me to show that we don’t support cynical people smugglers, and instead bring in people who need protection in an organised manner. A transit camp like the one in Rwanda will contribute to that effort,” Mr Kallmyr said.
The rescued migrants are staying at Gashora transit centre, about 55km (34 miles) south of the capital, Kigali. They are mainly Eritrean and Somali nationals.
Since the 2015 massive influx of migrants to Europe authorities, especially the European Union, have been trying to stop refugees and other migrants from crossing the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe. Thousands of people have died at sea. Many set off from Libya’s coast