Eritrean refugees flown to Niger from Libya

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A group of 159 Eritrean refugees were flow from Libyan capital Tripoli to Niger for resettlement, the United Nations said.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said the refugees were rescued from detention centres seen as “extremely over-crowded and lacking basic standards”.

Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe, often on inflatable boats provided by smugglers.

Those returned to Libya after being picked up by the coast guard are often abused, including forced labour and torture, as they pass through smuggling networks and armed groups, according to the UN.

“In Libya, 6,205 migrants and refugees are still detained with 4,327 of concern to UNHCR,” the agency said. From Niger the refugees will be resettled into different countries.