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France to take in refugees rescued from Libya by UN

After experiencing appalling living conditions at camps in the north African country

AFP | PTI  |  Paris 

France to take in refugees rescued from Libya by UN

will be the first to welcome African evacuated from to NIger by the United Nations refugee agency, French officials announced today.

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


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

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

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 (340 euros).

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 human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

Pascal Brice, the director general of OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of and Stateless Persons) told AFP that 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

"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 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 who were already living in Niger will also be taken in by

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

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

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 20 2017. 19:40 IST
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