416 Refugees in Tunisia’s Shousha camp have been notified of their acceptance for resettlement to the USA.
UNHCR External Communications Officer Rocco Nuri captured the moment when this refugee found out the news:
Early last year, the Arab Spring reached Libya. Since February 2011, more than 900,000 people left the country. Most were third-country nationals, but more than 660,000 Libyans have also fled. Of this number, more than 200,000 third-country nationals entered Tunisia from Libya. In addition, an estimated 200,000 people have been internally displaced.
While most were able to return home with assistance from their own governments, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or IOM, over 3,700 people (originating mainly from war-torn countries) requested asylum. Because of Tunisia’s limited absorption capacity, coupled with the refusal of most refugees in the transit-camp to remain in Tunisia, UNHCR is submitting as many cases as possible for resettlement to the United States and other countries around the world.
With the evolution of the situation in Libya, many Libyans have started to return home from Tunisia. However, almost all non-Libyans, in particular those from sub-Saharan Africa, remain in UNHCR’s transit camp in southern Tunisia. This is because many sub-Saharan Africans were accused of working as mercenaries when the civil war broke out in Libya.
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