UNHCR laments over limited evacuation centres for asylum seekers in Libya

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UNHCR logo
UNHCR logo

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday expressed concern about the limited evacuation places for asylum-seekers and refugees from Libya to third countries.

“While UNHCR strives to help and facilitate durable solutions for as many refugees and asylum-seekers at heightened risks as possible, unfortunately, evacuation places are limited and are determined by receiving third countries,” UNHCR said in a statement.

“UNHCR is extremely worried and concerned about these limited options and is endlessly advocating with destination countries to increase quotas and to speed up the processing as well as ensure a swift departure,” the statement said.

UNHCR thanked those countries offering durable solutions to refugees, including Rwanda and Niger for hosting Emergency Transit Mechanisms, and for the support of the Libyan authorities to facilitate departures.

Due to the insecurity and chaos in Libya since the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, many migrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores from Libya.

So far this year, UNHCR evacuated a total of 644 asylum-seekers and refugees from Libya to third countries.

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