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Friday, 07 August 2020

Egypt urges citizens in Libya to avoid areas of conflict after abuse of workers

23 Egyptian workers were repatriated after being detained by militias allied with the internationally recognised government in Libya

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Jun 2020
Egyptian workers arriving from Libya
Egyptian workers abused in Libya arrive in Egypt on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (Photo: Egyptian state TV)
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Egypt has urged its citizens in Libya to avoid areas of conflict and exercise the highest degree of caution after 23 Egyptian workers were repatriated after being detained and abused by militias allied to the internationally recognised government in Libya.

In press statements on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said the call comes amid increased activity by armed groups in several regions of the country.

This week, a video circulated on social media in recent days showed militias loyal to Libya’s UN-supported Government of National Accord (GNA) abusing a group of Egyptians in the western city of Tarhuna.

The controversial video showed the workers forced to stand on one leg with their hands raised, with the men appearing to repeat, on an unidentified man’s order, expletives against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Libya's eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.

The Libyan government said it had arrested the culprits behind the detention and mistreatment of the nationals, and the workers arrived back in Egypt on Wednesday.

Egypt, along with the UAE and Russia, backs Haftar, who has been fighting the forces of the UN-backed government, which is also backed by Turkey.

Earlier this month, El-Sisi announced a peace initiative to end the civil war in Libya, proposing a ceasefire and an elected leadership council.

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