14 refugees evacuated from Libya to Sweden

The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday said that 14 refugees have been evacuated from Libya to Sweden.

“A total of 14 Eritrean refugees left Tripoli Wednesday, traveling to Sweden under the resettlement program,” UNHCR tweeted, adding that “three of them will be reunited with their relatives in the host country after years of separation.”

Due to the state of insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Libya became a preferred point of departure for many illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

Shelters in Libya are currently overcrowded with thousands of immigrants rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan authorities, despite international calls to close them.

As of Feb. 6, some 1,040 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued or intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and have disembarked in Libya, an increase of 121 percent compared to the same period in 2019, the UNHCR said.