News / Middle East

    Libya Violence Forces Countries to Evacuate Workers, Nationals

    Fighters from the Benghazi Shura Council, which includes former rebels and militants from al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sharia, gesture on top of a tank next to the camp of the special forces in Benghazi, Libya, July 30, 2014.
    Fighters from the Benghazi Shura Council, which includes former rebels and militants from al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sharia, gesture on top of a tank next to the camp of the special forces in Benghazi, Libya, July 30, 2014.
    VOA News

    Continued fighting between rival militia factions in Libya has prompted several countries to evacuate workers and urge nationals to leave the country.

    On Wednesday, China evacuated several hundred workers from Libya and is taking them by ship to Malta, the head of the Malta Civil Service, Mario Cutajar, said.

    Cutajar said the Maltese government was arranging temporary accommodations for the workers and was preparing for the eventuality of a bigger evacuation from the North African country if the unrest there continues to grow.

    Cutajar is heading a crisis center to cater for the fallout from the unrest in Libya.

    Also, China has urged all its nationals to leave Libya.

    About 1,000 Chinese citizens have left since May, but about 1,100 remain, China's state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing Chinese Embassy official Yan Jianqun.

    Many Chinese have also driven out to Tunisia, Yan said.

    French evacuates nationals

    Earlier on Wednesday, French nationals were evacuated from Tripoli, as well, amid concerns over increased violence in the country. 

    Video released by the French government showed people getting into boats before boarding French frigate the Montcalm at sea.

    The evacuation came after heavy gunfire between warring militias prevented firefighters from battling a massive inferno in Libya's capital on Tuesday. 

    The fighting has taken place despite calls for a cease-fire to end the worst violence in the capital since the country's 2011 civil war.

    Meanwhile, the Philippines renewed calls for thousands of its nationals to leave Libya on Thursday after a Filipina nurse was abducted and gang-raped on Wednesday, and a Filipino construction worker was beheaded earlier in July.

    The foreign department said all 13,000 Filipinos there were to be repatriated as clashes between rival militias threaten to tear the country apart three years after Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled.

    The department said a consular team has stayed behind in Tripoli despite the precarious security situation to coordinate the evacuation of Filipinos by land to Tunisia and Egypt where they will eventually be flown home.

    It has also barred its nationals from traveling to Libya.

    On Wednesday, the Philippines also said it had chartered a ship to take up to 1,000 Filipinos to Malta.

    Spain, U.S.

    On Tuesday, a Spanish military plane had evacuated 60 people from Libya, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

    On Monday, the United States said its ambassador to Libya, who was evacuated on Saturday, would be based temporarily in Malta.

    The island played a pivotal role in the evacuation of thousands of workers during the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, when countries including China, the Philippines and India chartered ships to transport workers there before they returned to their home countries.

    A British warship also used Malta as a base for crossings to Libya to evacuate Europeans.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 31, 2014 11:02 AM
    The West instigated the trouble in the islamist countries in what it called the Arab Spring. The west agreed with the perpetrators of that evil and tactfully and tacitly endorsed a change of government by mob action, bringing on hooligans and disproportionately showing them the limelight in taste of power. It was good for the West to establish no fly zone to unseat enemy regimes, and France was on ground quick enough to clean up the function.

    Soon after, Benghazi has become another Swath Valley in Pakistan where the Taliban has headquartered its fighters with which it destabilizes the region. Benghazi has become another terrorist headquarters which wants to remove every gain of democratic processes and return the region to centuries of stone age underdevelopment. With al qaida in the Maghreb, Benghazi has become an intuition for terrorism in Africa helping splinter groups like Al Shabab in Somalia and boko haram in Nigeria to grow into regional monsters that may become difficult to contain.

    by: Sam from: Accra
    July 31, 2014 6:43 AM
    I thought they eliminated Gaddafi to take the Libyan oil? Why are they now leaving? Thy should stay and drill out all the oil.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora