128 refugees evacuated from Libya to Niger

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Migrants are rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard in Tripoli, Libya, Nov. 29, 2019. The Libyan Coast Guard on Friday rescued more than 200 migrants off the country's western coast, the International Organization for Migration in Libya (IOM Libya) said. Libya has become a preferred departure point for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)
Migrants are rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard in Tripoli, Libya, Nov. 29, 2019. The Libyan Coast Guard on Friday rescued more than 200 migrants off the country's western coast, the International Organization for Migration in Libya (IOM Libya) said. Libya has become a preferred departure point for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said it evacuated 128 refugees from Libya to Niger.

“In the 1st evacuation of the year, Sudanese, Somali and Eritrean refugees were transported today from Libya to Niger to UNHCR’s transit center in Niamey,” UNHCR said.

“Refugees living in urban areas and others recently released from detention were part of this group,” UNHCR added.

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe, due to the state of insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the overthrow of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Immigrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of immigrants either rescued from the sea or arrested by Libyan security forces, despite international calls for closing those centers.

According to the UNHCR, there are currently some 1,000 refugees and asylum-seekers held in official detention centers in Libya.

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