COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Norway says it will take 600 asylum seekers recently evacuated to Rwanda from Libyan detention centers as the Scandinavian country wants to stop the sometimes deadly smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.
“For me it is important to send a signal that we will not back smuggling routes and cynical backers, but instead bring in people with protection needs in organized form,” Justice and Immigration Minister Joaran Kallmyr said in a statement emailed Thursday to The Associated Press.
As part of an agreement signed between Rwanda, the African Union and the United Nations refugee agency in September, the East African country hosts a camp for people who have been evacuated from often chaotic, overcrowded detention centers in Libya.
Some 800 are currently staying at an emergency transit center in Rwanda's Bugesera district.
So far Norway and Sweden have offered to take some of them, according to Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, who said Wednesday that Sweden has already taken in seven.