A group of 130 refugees and asylum seekers from Libya arrived in Rwanda on the night of Tuesday, December 29, becoming the fifth batch from the Northern African country to be temporarily hosted in Rwanda. The asylum seekers will eventually be resettled in other countries, according to an existing arrangement.

According to UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), the global refugee body, the group is composed of 67 Eritreans, 48 Sudanese, 12 Somalians, two Nigerians, and one Ethiopian. Visibly, the majority of the latest arrivals are youth, and a few couples who were with their little children.

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport on Tuesday night, they were tested for Covid-19 and later accompanied to La Palisse Hotel Nyamata in Bugesera district from where they will wait for their results. They will then proceed to the Gashora Emergency Transit Mechanism located in the same district, where they will be accommodated.

Since 2019, Rwanda has been receiving refugees and asylum seekers who were evacuated from Libya, after being stranded there, some for years. The move is in line with the framework established through a tripartite agreement between the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR, and the African Union.

Under the agreement, Rwanda made a commitment to host African refugees trapped in Libya after their desperate efforts to make it to European countries were cut short.

In total, 515 refugees and asylum seekers have so far been evacuated to Rwanda and of these, over 200 got resettled in other countries – mainly in Europe. According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, 131 were resettled in Sweden, 23 in Canada, 46 in Norway, and 5 in France.