Flights Carrying Egyptians Fleeing Libya Conclude

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Flights between Egypt and Tunisia carrying Egyptians fleeing Libya concluded on Sunday, Egypt’s civil aviation minister stated.

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

The flights were stopped after the dwindling of numbers of Egyptians returning home. On Sunday, two flights landed in Egypt returning around 500 Egyptians.

Minister Hossam Kamal said that in 11 days around 12,000 Egyptians have been brought back home via regular flights to and from Tunisia, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Forty-six Egyptian planes were utilised to transport the passengers from Tunisia’s Djerba and Gebes airports.

Kamal praised the Tunisian role in facilitating the return of the Egyptians. He also praised the role of the Libyan authorities for helping distribute Egyptian army aid to Egyptians stuck on the border between Libya and Tunisia.

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.

Source : Ahram online