News / Middle East

In Libya, Mass Evacuation of Foreigners Continues

Passengers arrive after being evacuated from Tripoli in crisis-hit Libya at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport, north of Paris France, February 23, 2011
Passengers arrive after being evacuated from Tripoli in crisis-hit Libya at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport, north of Paris France, February 23, 2011

A massive evacuation of foreigners from Libya is underway by air, sea, and land.

Tens of thousands of foreigners in Libya are boarding planes, ships and, in some cases, overcrowded vans in an effort to flee the chaos that has erupted from opposition protests and a government crackdown.

Two Turkish vessels picked up 3,000 Turks from the eastern Libyan port of Benghazi Wednesday, as part of what Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the biggest evacuation operation in Turkey's history.  Benghazi's airport has been shut down for several days, forcing nations to evacuate their citizens by sea.  About 25,000 Turks resided in Libya, which had been part of the Ottoman Empire.  

Chinese state media say Beijing also is organizing an air, sea and land operation to evacuate up to 33,000 Chinese citizens from Libya.  The operation involves chartered aircraft, Chinese commercial ships, fishing boats and buses. Greek news agencies say the Greek government will help China to transport as many as 13,000 Chinese to the Mediterranean island of Crete.

South Asian nations also prepared evacuation plans for tens of thousands of their citizens working in Libya, many as low-paid laborers on construction sites.

Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes says Dhaka is considering all options for repatriating up to 60,000 Bangladeshis from Libya. The impoverished South Asian nation has been in contact with international organizations to seek their assistance with evacuation plans.

India is preparing for a massive evacuation of its estimated 18,000 citizens in Libya.  Indian officials say they are using ships and also working to have citizens cross into Egypt.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department says a ferry that can carry about 600 people arrived at a port in Tripoli Wednesday to carry U.S. citizens and some foreigners to Malta.

Britain said it was deploying Royal Navy warship HMS Cumberland off the Libyan coast to help with a possible sea-borne evacuation of British citizens stuck in the country.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is taking steps to evacuate his country's stranded citizens from Tripoli and Benghazi. Several hundred Nigerians are estimated to be in Libya.

The Philippines offered to pay for flights to evacuate some of its 26,000 Libya-based citizens, while South Korea urged its workers to leave after looters attacked several South Korean-operated construction sites in the North African country.

Reuters says several thousand people have streamed across the Ras Jdir crossing between Libya and Tunisia on Wednesday.   The International Organization for Migration says Tunisian nationals, along with Lebanese, Turkish, Syrians and Germans have crossed into the country.

Several nations also sent military and civilian planes to Tripoli or were preparing to do so in coordination with Libyan authorities. Those nations include Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands, Russia, Serbia and Spain. Passengers who arrived in European cities reported chaotic scenes at Tripoli's airport.

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

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid