First Group of 66 African Refugees From Libya Arrive in Rwanda

First Group of 66 African Refugees From Libya Arrive in Rwanda

Some of the 66 refugees departing from the Gathering & Departure Facility in Tripoli to Misrata airport to Rwanda

66 African refugees arrived in Kigali, Rwanda from Libya. They are the first to benefit from the Emergency Transit Mechanism set up by the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the African Union.

The group which landed at Kigali international airport included a baby born in Libyan detention just two months ago. In total, 26 of the evacuees were refugee children, nearly all of them unaccompanied, without a family member or parent.

“Just landed!” the United Nations refugee agency wrote on its Twitter account. “…Rwanda will provide much-needed safety for refugees stranded in Libya for years.” 

According to UNHCR, “The entire group has been granted asylum-seeker status, pending an assessment of their refugee claim by UNHCR. They have the same rights as other refugees in Rwanda, including access to education and healthcare, and freedom of movement and to work.

All evacuees will be invited to attend language and vocational training classes to help them integrate with local communities during their time in Rwanda.”

UNHCR estimates that US$10 million will be spent on initial investments and to run the Emergency Transit Mechanism between Libya and Rwanda through the end of the year.