France to take in 25 African migrants evacuated from Libya, to be given refugee status by January

France will be the first to welcome African refugees evacuated from Libya to Niger by the United Nations refugee agency

AFP November 20, 2017 12:04:13 IST
France to take in 25 African migrants evacuated from Libya, to be given refugee status by January

Paris: France will be the first to welcome African refugees evacuated from Libya to Niger by the United Nations refugee agency, French officials announced Monday.

After experiencing appalling living conditions at camps in the north African country, the refugees were taken to Niger on 11 November by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where they have been looked after.

The 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese - including 15 women and four children - should reach France "at the latest in January," the interior ministry said.

Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse at the hands of traffickers and others.

France to take in 25 African migrants evacuated from Libya to be given refugee status by January

Representational image. Reuters

US television network CNN aired footage last week of an apparent live auction where black men are presented to buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

And the European Union's policy of helping Libyan authorities intercept migrants crossing the Mediterranean and returning them to "horrific" detention has been branded "inhuman" by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

Pascal Brice, the director general of OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) told AFP that France will take in the migrants following a visit to Niger's capital Niamey.

He said the migrants - who were selected because they need protection - will be given refugee status "very quickly" when they arrive in France.

"It is above all a way of saving people who have come out of a hell, with torture, rape and abduction of children," Brice said, adding the refugees were "almost all victims of sexual violence".

"The challenge now is that other countries, Europeans, Americans, Canadians, join this process," said Brice.

A further 47 refugees who were already living in Niger will also be taken in by France.

Alessandra Morelli, head of UNHCR in Niamey, said "we have done miracles" following the evacuation.

Although the figure of 25 refugees is tiny when compared to the 44,000 registered by UNHCR in Libya, Morelli said "we are convinced that there will be other operations".

Updated Date:

also read

UNGA chief says world at 'turning point' as it faces COVID-19, fragility, conflict and climate change
World

UNGA chief says world at 'turning point' as it faces COVID-19, fragility, conflict and climate change

Shahid, in his address to the opening of the 76th General Debate, said that challenges of climate change and the pandemic keep people awake at night and fuel a collective anxiety and worry that things are progressively getting worse.

India hits out at Pak, OIC for raising Kashmir issue at UN Human Rights Council
India

India hits out at Pak, OIC for raising Kashmir issue at UN Human Rights Council

Exercising India's rights to respond to comments made by Pakistan and the OIC on Kashmir, Badhe said it does not need lessons from a "failed state" like Pakistan which is the "epicentre of terrorism and worst abuser of human rights".

NHRC seeks action taken report from Assam DGP on fake encounters within a month
India

NHRC seeks action taken report from Assam DGP on fake encounters within a month

The Commission, in an email sent to the DGP, also sought to know if he has received any notice, order, etc. on the same issue from the state human rights commission