Amidst ongoing clashes in Tripoli, the UN refugee agency UNHCR moved 131 refugees out of Libya to its Emergency Transit Mechanism in Niger, where the refugees will receive humanitarian assistance.
The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR announced Thursday that it moved 131 refugees from Libya to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger, which is run by the UNHCR.
In a statement, the UNHCR said the refugees were from Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan and that 65 of them were minors. It added that some of those in the group were held in notoriously harsh detention centers for more than one year.
Prior to departure, the refugees were being hosted in UNHCR's Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli after they had been released from different detention centers across the country.
"We cannot underestimate just how important these life-saving evacuations are," said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR Chief of Mission for Libya in the statement. "On World Refugee Day (Thursday), for the first time in a long time, these refugees will be able to sleep at night knowing they and their families are out of harm's way."
The UNHCR said it has helped move 1,297 refugees in vulnerable positions out of war-torn Libya so far in 2019. Of the nearly 1,300 that were saved, 711 were sent to Niger, 295 went to Italy and 291 were resettled elsewhere in Europe as well as Canada.
The UNHCR added that those who were moved from Libya to Niger will receive humanitarian assistance while the ETM determines their future options, which includes resettlement.