The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) evacuated on Thursday a group of 79 asylum-seekers from Libya to Rwanda for the first time in nearly a year.
The evacuated group included men, women, and children from Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia. Most were living in Tripoli, but others had previously been held in detention, some for several years, according to the UN organization.
"Life-saving flights from Libya to Rwanda had been on hold for nearly a year because of COVID-19-related worldwide border closures and movement restrictions," a statement by the UNHCR explained.
The Commission thanked the Libyan authorities for their cooperation in facilitating the procedures that led to this long-awaited trip.
With this latest evacuation, an estimated 581 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers have been taken out of Libya this year, including 221 via resettlement, according to the UNHCR.