Nearly 30 African refugees relocated from Rwanda to Sweden

Twenty-eight asylum-seekers from Libya who were hosted in Rwanda’s emergency transit mechanism in Bugesera District, Gashora Transit Centre, were on Monday night resettled to Sweden, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda confirmed in a statement.

It is expected that five more refugees will also fly to Canada today, according to this UN agency.

The move is in line with an agreement signed last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between the Government, the African Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Following the pact, Rwanda set up a transit mechanism to host up to 500 refugees from Libya at a time.

According to the agreement, the mechanism is established to temporarily host evacuees for their stay in Rwanda, while durable solutions, including repatriation and resettlement, are being identified.

“Today the first large group of refugees hosted in Rwanda’s ETM center has been resettled to Sweden (28),” UNHCR Rwanda tweeted on Monday night.

“Thank you Sweden and Canada for your generosity to provide renewed hopes for a new start for refugees evacuated from Libya,” the Agency added.

Sweden had also previously received 7 refugees from Rwanda.

Recently, Norway pledged to take in up to 500 African refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya, who are hosted in Rwanda’s transit mechanism.

Current statistics show that Rwanda hosts 271 refugees from Libya, and they are of different nationalities, mainly the Horn of African countries of Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea.

According to officials, the resettlement will make it possible for Rwanda to take in more refugees through the transit mechanism as is intended.

Rwanda made the commitment to host the African refugees trapped in Libya after their desperate journeys were cut short when European nations stepped up migrant controls.

Persons eligible to benefit from the centre include refugees recognized by UNHCR Libya, asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR Libya, children and youth at risk registered as refugees as well as spouses and children of asylum-seekers and refugees.

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