UN says 159 illegal immigrants evacuated from Libya to Niger
“Detained for months in Libya, yesterday night, these young Eritrean asylum seekers boarded a plane for the first time, to find safety in Niger,” UNHCR said in a statement.
The asylum seekers were transported to the commission’s Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli earlier this week, where they were provided with food, sanitation, psychosocial support, and healthcare, according to the statement.
A total of 3,175 refugees were evacuated from Libya to Niger, Italy and Romania, said the UN Refugee Agency.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of illegal immigrants rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.