The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR - released its periodical update as of Nov 11, 2019. According to the report, there are 45,215 registered asylum seekers and refugees in Libya. 2,351 individuals are currently in UN recognised detention centres in country.
Since the evacuation process from Libya began in 2017, 4,252 people have been evacuated to Niger, Italy and Roumania. Niger is hosting 2,913 refugees, Italy 808 and Roumania 531. 870 evacuees from Libya remain in Niger, among them 135 unaccompanied children. Since September 2019, an additional 189 have been transferred to Rwanda. Through these countries, asylum seekers either remain or are resettled in 14 cooperating countries in Europe and North America. Over 6,000 individuals have submitted requests for resettlement since 2017. An additional 5,484 have found other solutions, including returning to countries of origin, obtaining humanitarian visas and family reunification.
The Times of Malta reported Sunday about a secret deal reached between Malta and the Tripoli based GNA government regarding refugee and migrant cooperation. According to the deal, as detailed in the paper, Maltese authorities will notify the Libyan coast guard as migrant boats head from Libyan territory to nearby Malta, with the aim of intercepting them before they enter Maltese waters.
The deal, however, appears to take things further, at times encouraging Libya to go beyond its maritime border into a grey "search and rescue" zone" which is under Maltese control. One such incident took place on October 18, which the UN is investigating.
Maltese officials rejected responding to this particular agreement, but noted that such areas are not part of the sovereign territory of a country, and that foreign ships "have every right to investigate any illegal activity departing from their coast."
Since Libya and Italy signed their cooperation agreement, the number of ships leaving Libya for Italy has dropped significantly, with an increase in the number of migrants ending up in nearby Malta. It seems the much smaller island nation is keen to put a stop to the flow of people to its shores. Some see the recent Libyan GNA seizure of counterfeit currency, produced by Russia and intended for Haftar, as a sign of this very cooperation.
Nearly 200 Egyptians illegally in Libya were deported back to Egypt. Immigration officials in Benghazi, which is controlled by the eastern Tobruk government, announced Saturday it was deporting the illegal immigrants, who had no official documents and infections diseases, back to Egypt, according to Chinese media reports. There are reported to be over 600,000 illegal migrants in Libya, with around 6000 of them being held inf official and unofficial detention centres.
Italy is set to renew its current cooperation with the Tripoli UN recognised government under which the Libyan coast guard intercepts migrant ships and returns them to Libyan detention and relocation centres. The deal was first reached in February 2017 in an attempt to slow the flow of illegal migrants and asylum seekers to Italy, one of the closest points for Africans trying to reach Europe.
The deal was set to expire November 2, 2019 and will be renewed automatically, unless one of the parties decides to end their cooperation. Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio told parliament that it would be "unwise for Italy to break off its agreement." and that "it is undeniable that it has reduced the number of arrivals and deaths at sea."
Some in Italy sought to amend the agreement to improve the humanitarian situation for those migrants returned to Libya, especially the resettlement programs.