Flights from Tunisia continue for Egyptians fleeing Libya violence

Ahram Online, Friday 8 Aug 2014

Over 7,000 Egyptian workers have been flown home from a Tunisian airport while around 50,000 have escaped Libya via the Salloum crossing with Egypt

Egypt’s civil aviation minister has said that seven flights carrying Egyptian workers fleeing Libya will take off on Friday from Tunisia for Cairo, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

The government is currently facilitating the departure of Egyptian workers who have fled violence and a deteriorating security situation in Libya. 

Minister Hossam Kamal said that 7,748 Egyptians have been transported back to Egypt as of Thursday night, during the nine days of plane flights between Tunisia and Egypt.

Last week, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry travelled to Tunisia to check on the repatriation flights at Djerba airport.

The governor of Matrouh governorate in Egypt, which borders Libya, said last week that nearly 50,000 Egyptians – almost 4,000 per day – have arrived at the Salloum border crossing in the last month.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that between 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya up until the ongoing unrest that began following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The number of Egyptian expats has dwindled since, although it is not clear how many Egyptians remain in the country.

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 has left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.


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