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 Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday said it resettled 28 Rwandan refugees from Libya to Sweden.

“Today, a first group of 28 refugees, hosted at the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Rwanda, have departed to Sweden under the resettlement program,” UNHCR said in a statement, adding that 5 more refugees will leave Libya on Thursday to Canada.

“All these refugees were previously in Libya, most of them detained in Libyan detention centers for years for trying to cross to Europe seeking safety,” the statement said, praising Sweden and Canada for “their generosity in providing renewed hopes for a new start for refugees evacuated from Libya.”

The Commission encouraged other countries to come up with additional resettlement slots and further durable solutions to evacuate refugees trapped in Libya.

Amid the state of insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for many illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

Shelters in Libya are currently overcrowded with thousands of immigrants rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan authorities, despite international calls to close them.

“We call for the orderly release of all refugees, asylum seekers from indefinite detention in Libya,” UNHCR said. Enditem

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