Six Egyptian kidnappees repatriated from Libya

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Sep 2020

The move comes as part of Egyptian General Intelligence Service's efforts to protect Egyptians in Libya and in coordination with Libyan authorities

(Photo: Al-Ahram)

Six Egyptian workers who had been kidnapped in Libya returned to Egypt on Thursday after their release, governor of Marsa Matrouh Khaled Shoaib said after receiving them at the governorate's headquarters.

The Egyptians returned home a few hours after Libyan security forces had freed them.

The move, which took place in coordination with Libyan authorities, is part of Egypt's General Intelligence Service (GIS) efforts to protect Egyptians in Libya.

Shoaib said the returnees had worked as construction workers in Libya and were detained by criminal human traffickers in Bani Walid region in southwestern Libya.

The criminals demanded a ransom of LYD 30,000 for each of the Egyptian kidnappees, according to the governor. Shoaib hailed the GIS' success to free them, shortly after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had assigned state agencies to swiftly take the necessary measures to bring them back home.

The governor affirmed that Egypt protects its citizens in the country and abroad, expressing his appreciation to the president for taking care of the workers until they arrived home. Shoaib also thanked the Libyan authorities for cooperating with the Egyptian security agencies.

Shoaib stressed Egypt has ample job opportunities that can provide workers with a decent living and preserve their dignity.

Thousands of Egyptians work in Libya, a key destination for Egyptian migrant workers from rural areas, mainly in the construction and craft industries.

The Egyptian foreign ministry has repeatedly called on all expats still living in Libya to return home.

In 2015, Islamic State militants beheaded 20 Egyptian Christians near the Libyan city of Sirte, in a video circulated by the group's propagandists. Since then, Egypt has managed to return dozens of workers who were kidnapped in the war-torn neighbouring country.

Libya, which has descended into chaos since the 2011 uprising, has been split between two rival administrations: the eastern government, represented by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Commander Khalifa Haftar; and the west is represented by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

In August, President 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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