The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday that it evacuated 135 “vulnerable” refugees and asylum seekers from Libya to Niger.
“Amid an increasingly volatile security situation in Tripoli, UNHCR successfully evacuated 135 people out of Libya to Niger on Tuesday night,” the UN Refugee Agency said in a statement.
Many of the evacuated refugees had been held in detention centers for several months, and suffered malnutrition and health problems, according to the statement.
Roberto Mignone, UNHCR chief of mission in Libya, described the evacuations as “a lifeline resettlement” for refugees trapped in Libya.
“Refugees and migrants in detention centers often suffer squalid conditions and are at risk of being sold to traffickers and smugglers,” he said.
Also on Tuesday night, 85 other refugees from Syria, Sudan and Eritrea left Tripoli on two flights for Romania’s western city of Timisoara, with the help of the International Organization for Migration, UNHCR said.
They will be transferred to Norway weeks later, the UN agency added.
Since December 2017, UNHCR has successfully evacuated 1,997 refugees from Libya.