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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid