UNHCR: Over 42,000 Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Libya

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On Saturday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said there are 42,210 registered refugees and asylum-seekers currently in Libya.

So far in 2021, a total of 20,799 refugees and immigrants have been rescued at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard, UNHCR said.

“The number of people returned to Libya in July 2021 has more than tripled compared to the same period last year, which may be attributed to the periodic easing of movement restrictions for COVID-19, as well as calmer sea conditions,” UNHCR explained.

Libya has been merged in insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2011. It made the North African country a preferred point of departure for migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centres.

Years of armed conflict forced many Libyans to flee their homes to other cities and towns of the country. There are currently 223,949 internally displaced Libyans, according to the UNHCR.