African Union (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira El Fadil has said the AU has facilitated the return home of 48,000 African migrants stranded in war-torn Libya.
“The AU has recently managed in collaboration with the UN migration agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Libyan government to return home 48,000 African migrants back to their countries of origin,” El Fadil said late Sunday on the sidelines of the 33rd ordinary session of the assembly of AU heads of state and government in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Another 5,000 African refugees that were previously living in Libya are being resettled to third destinations including Rwanda in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), she said.
In September 2019, Rwanda, the UNHCR and the AU signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a transit mechanism for evacuating refugees and asylum-seekers out of Libya.
According to the memo, Rwanda will receive and provide protection to around 3,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and others identified as particularly vulnerable and at-risk who are being held in detention centers in Libya; they will be transferred to safety in Rwanda on a voluntary basis.
According to AU estimates, another 7,000 African migrants are stranded in Libya, El Fadil said. “We will continue the repatriation of migrants from Libya together with partners like IOM.”
Insecurity and chaos have been rampant in Libya following the 2011 downfall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi. Enditem