Almost 50,000 Egyptians fled Libya through Matrouh border in last month

Ahram Online, Monday 4 Aug 2014

Nearly 4,000 Egyptians per day have arrived at the Salloum border crossing in northwest Egypt as the security situation in neighbouring Libya worsens

Egyptians fleeing Libya through the Salloum border crossing (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Nearly 50,000 Egyptians – almost 4,000 per day – have arrived at Matrouh governorate's Salloum border crossing with conflict-stricken Libya in the last month, Matrouh's governor told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The figures were announced by Governor Badr Tantawy El-Ghandour during a visit to the border crossing.

Egypt has organised almost daily flights from Tunisia's Djerba airport to repatriate Egyptians who had been living in Libya.

Egypt's Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry headed to the Tunisian capital Tunis on Monday to meet with Prime Minster Mahdy Gomaa and discuss the situation of Egyptians fleeing Libya via Tunisia and the facilities provided to facilitate their return home.

The security situation in Libya has worsened notably in the last few weeks as rival militias battle for control. Fighting at the capital's international airport left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya until the country became racked with chaos, which began after the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Gaddafi in 2011. The number of Egyptian expats has decreased since, although it is not clear how many Egyptians remain in the country.


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