Rwanda, UN and African Union agree on evacuating refugees from Libya
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Rwanda, UN and African Union agree on evacuating refugees from Libya

The government of Rwanda, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the African Union on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a transit mechanism for evacuating refugees out of Libya.

According to a joint statement Tuesday, around 4,700 people are currently being held in detention centers in Libya and urgently need to be transferred to safety and to be provided with protection, lifesaving assistance and durable solutions.

Under the agreement, refugees and asylum-seekers who are currently being held in detention centers in Libya will be transferred to and be provided protection by the government of Rwanda on a voluntary basis.

Evacuation flights will be carried out in cooperation with Rwandan and Libyan authorities. The African Union will provide assistance with evacuations, strategic political support with training and coordination, and help to mobilize resources. UNHCR will provide protection services and necessary humanitarian assistance including food, water, accommodation, education and healthcare.

Evacuees will either be resettled to third countries, be helped to return to countries where asylum had previously been granted, be helped to return to their home countries if it is safe to do so, or be given permission to remain in Rwanda subject to agreement by the competent authorities.