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Many Africans Remain Trapped in Beirut


As the fighting persists between Israel and Hezbollah, Lebanon and innocent civilians are still caught in the middle while the UN tries to broker a ceasefire. Some Africans trapped in Lebanon were able to escape, but many more remain trapped. Saide Chaar escaped the civil war in his native Liberia and has since lived in Lebanon. From Beirut he told VOA English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga that all attempts to get help for evacuation have failed. He said many of them have asked western Embassies and international organizations for help.

“We are just waiting to see what will happen next; we are all afraid. Nigerians, Ethiopians, Ghanaians – all are still here not knowing what to do.”

Saide Chaar said Liberians are more affected since Liberia is emerging from a brutal civil war and the newly elected government lacks the resources to help.

“Few Africans have left the country. Other African countries were able to evacuate their citizens but Liberians have no one to turn to. Even the Americans have abandoned us.”

He mentioned Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia as some of the African countries that have evacuated their citizens, at least from the capital, Beirut.

Chaar said food is running out and there is no hope.

“We are just praying, things are very expensive, we do not have money for food, clothes, and by the grace of God we are eating less than we used to eat before.”

He said there is no safe place in Lebanon right now.

“We left west Beirut and came to the east, thinking it is was safer, but yesterday there were some bombardments next to my house and all my windows are broken. We are 26 of us in the house we have nowhere to go.”

Chaar said all they can do now is wait for a cease-fire. He said they are still appealing for help from international organizations and their government so they can leave the country.

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