The Rwandan government will today sign an agreement to host 500 refugees from Libya.
The deal will be signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between the Rwandan government, the African Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
This follows a commitment by Rwanda in 2017 to host African refugees trapped in Libya, as European nations stepped up migrant controls.
The Memorandum of Understanding will, among other objectives, establish the working terms and conditions for an Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Rwanda.
The mechanism will serve as a safe pathway for refugees, asylum-seekers and other persons in need of protection who are currently trapped in Libya or face serious protection risks.
On arrival, the refugees will be accommodated in Gashora Reception Centre in Bugesera District.
The Centre will be managed by the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management in coordination with UNHCR which will fully fund the operations of the ETM.
Persons eligible to benefit from the centre include refugees recognised 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.
Today’s signing follows a months’ long process after the Government’s commitment in November 2017.
The United Nations estimates that almost 5,000 refugees are in detention in Libya, about 70 per cent of whom are refugees and asylum seekers, with most of them having been subjected to different forms of abuse.
Rwanda is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees mainly from DR Congo and Burundi.