First group of refugees trapped in Libya arrive in Rwanda


The first group of African refugees trapped in Libyan detention centres arrived in Rwanda late on Thursday.

Rwanda accepted 66 Africans who attempted to reach Europe, only to be caught by Libyan security forces and detained in the country under horrific conditions. In total, the East African nation has agreed to take in 500 people held in Libya and confirmed that any refugees who wish to stay in the country will be granted asylum.

Rwanda steps up to accept detained refugees

The topic of refugees has become divisive among governments and international organisations in recent with a number of European powers, in particular, taking an increasingly strict stance against African refugees attempting to reach the mainland.

A controversial deal struck between the European Union (EU) and Libya has resulted in an unknown number of refugees and asulymn seekers being sent to Libya who are then detained in facilities where human rights violations are known to take place – including rape, torture and overcrowding.

Rights groups have called for the EU to demand such facilities are shut down and work harder to ensure refugees are taken care of, even if this means they’re not accepted in European nations.

At least 6,000 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and other African nations are known to remain in Libyan detention facilities but the real figure could be much higher.

Featured image: Von Irish Defence Forces –, CC BY 2.0,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.