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UN to return 8,000 refugees from Libya in 2018

Migrants can be seen at a shelter in Benghazi, Libya [European Commission DG/Flickr]
Migrants can be seen at a shelter in Benghazi, Libya [European Commission DG/Flickr]

UN refugee agency UNHCR is planning to evacuate between 5,000 and 8,000 refugees currently in Libya in 2018. Announcing plans during a press conference held at the UNHCR headquarters in Tripoli, the agency’s representative to Libya, Roberto Mignone, announced that by January, 1,000 migrants and refugees will “be evacuated to a third safe country wherecases will be processed for resettlement”.

The agency is also reportedly in talks with European states as well Canada about possible resettlement. Priority will be given to women, children, the elderly and the disabled. Around 350 people will reportedly be moved this week.

According to UNHCR figures there are 44,306 refugees and asylum seekers in Libya and 199,458 internally displaced Libyans. The organisation has been arranging weekly flights for refugees from Tripoli to the transit point, the Nigerien capital of Niamey.

Read: Refugees and migrants held captive by smugglers in Libya

Note: This page was updated at 17:32 GMT on 21 December 2017. An earlier version of the page said the UN would be sending the migrants back to their homes and not evacuating them to other states.

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