News / Africa

UN Evacuates Staff From Egypt

UN soldiers escort UN staff based in Egypt after they arrive in Cyprus' Larnaca airport, February 3, 2011.
UN soldiers escort UN staff based in Egypt after they arrive in Cyprus' Larnaca airport, February 3, 2011.

As the security situation in Egypt worsens, the United Nations has begun to withdraw its staff from Egypt, with around 600 personnel and their families being evacuated to Cyprus.

Those being evacuated represent U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Spokesman Rolando Gomez sai  staff and their families had been given the option to fly either to Cyprus or Dubai.

"The U.N. in Cyprus has made arrangements to receive a number of U.N. staff and their family members who are based in Egypt, who will be temporarily relocated to Cyprus," he said. "We have made preparations for up to four U.N. chartered flights to land at the Larnaca airport.

The first flight to Larnaca from Cairo arrived mid-afternoon Thursday, despite some calls from within Egypt for the United Nations to keep its presence there.  However, the increasingly volatile situation led U.N. decision-makers to call for a pullout of “less essential” personnel.

A number of U.N. staff members are remaining behind in Egypt to carry out essential tasks, so this isn’t a full evacuation - it is a relocation of a number of staff who will be received by the UNFICYP (United Nations Force in Cyprus) members at the airport.

In a separate development, the United States says more than 1,900 Americans have been evacuated since Monday, with additional flights planned.

For those that had spent days of uncertainty at Cairo airport, the relief at finally touching down at so-called “safe haven” airports such as Cyprus is evident - and everyone has a different story to tell.

Reports suggest that around 5,200 passengers of various nationalities were at Cairo airport on Thursday, waiting for commercial or government-chartered flights.

An estimated 50,000 Americans live and work in Egypt, many of whom have been calling their embassy requesting assistance to leave.

The unrest is also harming the lucrative tourism industry, which attracts more than 10 million visitors a year and up to $11 billion in revenues.

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

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid