Rwanda signs MoU to host asylum seekers stranded in Libya

By IGIHE
On 10 September 2019 at 12:41

The Government of Rwanda, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Rwanda for refugees and asylum-seekers stranded in Libya.

The agreements signed in Addis Ababa, at the headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia will see Rwanda hosting 500 refugees. Rwanda was represented by its ambassador to AU, Hope Tumukunde during the signing of the agreement.

It was also witnessed by Amira Elfadil Mohammed, the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the Africa Union Commission and Cosmas Chanda, UNHCR Representative to the AU.

The refugees are expected in Rwanda in few coming days and installed in a transit camp in Gashora of Bugesera district.

The Centre will be managed by the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management in coordination with UNHCR which will fully fund the operations of the ETM.

Persons eligible to benefit from the center include refugees recognized by UNHCR Libya, asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR Libya, children and youth at risk registered as refugees as well as spouses and children of asylum-seekers and refugees.

The Government made the commitment to host African refugees in 2017 following damning revelations that thousands of people from across Africa were stranded in Libya after their failed bid to reach Europe while many of them were being subjected to slavery.

Reports indicated that the refugees, most of them from West African countries, were openly being sold in modern-day slave markets in Libya.

At the time, Rwanda made the commitment to provide support in returning migrants stranded in Libya.

According to the United Nation’s reports, 5000 migrants are trapped in Libya where 70% of them are refugees and displaced people.

UNHCR reports indicate that Rwanda accommodates over 140,000 refugees of whom the majority is from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are others from Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Tchad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea and Haiti among others.

Rwanda made the commitment to provide support in returning migrants stranded in Libya.
The agreements signed in Addis Ababa, at the headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia will see Rwanda hosting 500 refugees.

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