Saturday, June 15, 2024

Govt contacts ICRC, IOM to help stranded Bangladeshis in Libya

The government has contacted with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) to take measures to protect and evacuate, if necessary, Bangladesh nationals stranded in politically volatile Libya, a senior foreign ministry official on Wednesday said.
‘I have contacted the Libyan Red Crescent Society for ensuring safety and security of stranded Bangladesh nationals,’ Bangladesh ambassador to Libya ABM Nuruzzaman told New Age over phone on Wednesday.
He said Bangladesh nationals working for South Korean companies in the trouble-torn Libyan port city of Bengazi are likely to be evacuated to Egyptian border to ensure their safety amid chaotic situation in Libya.
Zaman said he also requested the officials of Korean companies Daewoo Hyundai and Dong Ah to evacuate Bangladesh nationals stranded at their factories in Libya. ‘The Daewoo official said Bangladeshis, along with other workers, are likely to be evacuated from Bengazi to Egyptian border,’ he said. 
A camp has been set up in Bengazi, which is about 1,000 kilometres away from Tripoli, and ‘we are advising Bangladesh nationals to go there’, he said.
Moazzem Hossain, who works for a Chinese company in Tripoli, said there was no electricity for last couple of nights and the stock of food at their shelter was declining as they could not go to markets for last couple of days due to curfew and insecurity. ‘Tripoli is gradually becoming unliveable,’ he said.   
At least 50,000 Bangladesh nationals have been currently working in Libya, the government on Tuesday said.
At least 233 people were killed in the political upsurge in Libya, according to international news agencies.
However, there was no Bangladesh national among them, the ambassador said.
In Dhaka, the government ‘has started communications’ with the IOM and requested the organisation to ‘exchange information’ about Bangladesh nationals in Libya, an IOM spokesman told New Age on Wednesday afternoon.
Foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes held a meeting with the IOM’s Regional Representative for South Asia Rabab Fatima at the foreign ministry on Wednesday.
The IOM ‘has been observing’ the situation in Libya, the spokesman said. ‘If the government requests for any support for Bangladesh nationals stranded in Libya, the IOM “will consider” to take measures in consultation with its headquarter.’
Several governments have asked IOM for assistance to evacuate their nationals from Libya. With the situation in Libya itself extremely difficult, IOM is looking for alternative routes for evacuations, according to an IOM release on February 23 from its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland.
The IOM has already opened a migrant reception centre at Tunisia’s border (with Libya) where migrants of various nationalities have begun to cross into Tunisia in efforts to escape the violence and to get back to their home countries.
Additional IOM staff will be deployed to the border area to help migrants arriving from Libya.
Jerome Fontana, an ICRC official in Dhaka, told New Age on Wednesday that the ICRC ‘is collaborating’ with Bangladesh to evacuate stranded Bangladeshi nationals.
The ICRC ‘stands ready’ to respond to any urgent humanitarian needs, according to an ICRC release issued from its Geneva headquarter on Tuesday.

 

Courtesy of New Age

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