The117 refugees from Libya landed at Kigali International Airport Sunday midnight, a majority of who are women and children from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.
Ahmed Baba Fall, UNHCR’s Country Representative, thanked Rwanda government for the willingness to receive the refugees.
“These are 117 people that have been restrained to Libya for a long time, leading a miserable life; now that they are in Rwanda their life will change for the best, and for that, we thank Rwanda government,” he said.
“They will be taken to Gashora camp where they will be assisted just as the previous group,” he added
Ahmed explained that the UNHCR had been receiving donations from different countries to support this project, where last week the European Union donated Euros 10 million and Norway donated $ 5.5 million.
Ahmed added that he hopes other countries will follow the example of Rwanda in finding solutions for the refugee problem.
Rwanda signed agreements to host refugees stranded in Libya on 10th September 2019 with the African Union (AU) and UNHCR, all 500, following revelations that thousands of people from across Africa were stranded in the country and subjected to slavery after their failure to reach Europe.
As he was officially opening the YouthConneck summit in Kigali where about 10,000 were participating, President Paul Kagame spoke about what motivated Rwanda to host the refugees.
Kagame explained that these refugees have three options whereby Europe can come and choose who they want to take, those chasing to go back home can be facilitated in an orderly manner while the third option is allowing them to stay in Rwanda if they don’t prefer any of the two options mentioned above.
“They will live like our citizens, we don’t give too much because we don’t have too much but whatever we have, we share and we live decent lives. That is the arrangement under which this thing has been done and anybody can do it, any other country can do it. We just felt we needed to exercise the possibility we had to do things decently and provide a decent life to these people,” he said.