Rwanda receives tenth batch of refugees and asylum from Libya

On 19 August 2022 at 09:02

The Government of Rwanda has received the tenth batch comprised of 103 refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Libya after failure to reach Europe.

They arrived at Kigali International Airport in the evening of Thursday 18th August 2022 from where they were taken to Gashora Emergency Transit Mechanism located in Bugesera District.

Upon arrival at the airport around 8:48 p.m, the refugees and asylum seekers were received by officials from the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR.

The 10th batch is composed of 68 Eritreans, 33 Sudanese, 1 South Sudanese and 1 Ethiopian.

According to MINEMA, Gashora Emergency Transit Mechanism has been accommodating 421 refugees and asylum seekers evacuated before.

Rwanda signed agreements to host refugees stranded in Libya on 10th September 2019 with the African Union (AU) and UNHCR.

The country made the commitment to host refugees from Libya in 2017 following revelations that thousands of people from across Africa were stranded in the country after their failure to reach Europe and subjected to slavery.

Rwanda committed to receiving 500 refugees at the head first of whom a group of 66 African refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya arrived in Rwanda at the end of September 2019 in the first batch aboard the airplane of Buraq Air.

on 14th October 2021; Rwanda, the African Union and UNHCR and the UN Refugee Agency signed the First Addendum and extension to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated 10th September 2019 between Rwanda, the AU, and UNHCR establishing an Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) from the State of Libya to the Republic of Rwanda.

This addendum which took immediate effect will ensure that the established ETM in Gashora, Rwanda continues until 31st December 2023, and increases its capacity from the initial 500 to 700 persons at anyone time.

Under this agreement, the Government of Rwanda will continue to receive and provide protection to refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as others identified as particularly vulnerable and at-risk, who are currently being held in detention centres in Libya.

They will be transferred to safety in Rwanda on a voluntary basis. While some may benefit from resettlement to third countries, 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. Some may be given permission to remain in Rwanda subject to agreement by the competent authorities.

Last year, Rwanda extended agreement to continue to receive and provide protection to refugees and asylum-seekers until 2023.
The refugees and asylum seekers are from different African countries.
The tenth batch of refugees and asylum seekers from Libya arrived in Rwanda on 18th August 2022.