News / Middle East

Evacuating Foreigners from Libya is International Priority

Egyptians sit next to their belongings as they wait for transportation near the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir after fleeing unrest in Libya, February 28, 2011
Egyptians sit next to their belongings as they wait for transportation near the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir after fleeing unrest in Libya, February 28, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

International efforts are underway to help thousands of foreigners evacuate from Libya and provide humanitarian aid to those who have sought refuge along the country's borders.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he has approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help evacuate Egyptians who have fled to the Libyan-Tunisian border.  He also said Thursday that U.S. relief organizations are sending humanitarian teams to the border region.

The International Organization for Migration announced Thursday that it had begun its first evacuations of foreigners in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.  The group said it is giving priority to about 200 "vulnerable" foreigners -- mostly women, children and people with special medical needs.  The group said it has identified about 5,500 potential evacuees, mostly from Bangladesh, India and Sudan.

The French News Agency (AFP)) says the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) announced plans Thursday to double the capacity of a camp at Tunisia's border with Libya so that it can accommodate 20,000 refugees. The news agency quotes UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards as saying at least 8,000 foreigners crossed into Tunisia on Wednesday, mostly Bangladeshis.

India has dispatched two of its warships on a mission to evacuate citizens.  The Economic Times  says the ships will remain in the region until all of the 18,000 Indian nationals who were in Libya are evacuated.

Spain said Thursday it is sending a plane to help evacuate Egyptian refugees who are at the Libyan-Tunisian border.  A Foreign Ministry statement said the plane will also deliver humanitarian aid to the region.

A South Korean warship has picked up more than 30 Koreans and is on its way to Malta.

Also, Germany said it is sending three navy ships to move out about 4,000 foreigners who are at the Libyan-Tunisian border. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Thursday the majority of the evacuees are Egyptians.

Meanwhile, Dutch officials said "intensive" negotiations are underway with Libya to free three Dutch marines who were captured, Sunday, while taking part in evacuation efforts.

On Wednesday, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso announced that the EU will triple its aid for refugees from Libya's turmoil to about $13.8 million.  U.S. Ambassador Betty King said the United States is giving $12 million to help with evacuations.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid