The government is yet to take a plan for the evacuating Bangladeshis still in Libya where the situation is getting bad to worse by the day with the rebels seeking change fighting fiercely against the supporters of the 42-year old ruling regime.
‘We still have no evacuation plan to bring back all the Bangladesh citizens from Libya,’ the foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes told a news briefing on Thursday.
He said that out of 60,000 Bangladeshis working in Libya, a little over 10,000 who crossed into neighbouring countries, had been repatriated by the International Organisation for Migration and other organisations.
The remaining Bangladeshis stayed back in Libya.
‘We are just repatriating those already relocated to Greece, Egypt and Tunisia with the help of international organisations,’ he said.
He said, ‘The government still does not find it necessary to evacuate Bangladesh nationals in Libya.’
He said that most Bangladeshis in Libya were either relocated to safer places in that trouble-torn country or to the neighbouring countries having common borders.
He said that it was not necessary at this moment for Bangladesh government to evacuate them.
The foreign secretary, however, admitted the fact that the situation in Libya was grave and the government had already voiced concerns over it.
He said that Biman Bangladesh Airlines would from March 13 operate sorties to bring back Bangladeshis stranded on the Egyptian side of border with Libya.
Asked whether there were any Bangladeshi among 30,000 foreigners detained by either the rebels or government forces in Libya as the international media reported, he said he had no report to confirm this.
He said that the government would try to verify whether or not the reports had any objective basis.
The civil aviation secretary, Shafique Alam Mehdi, present at the briefing, said that Biman would operate sorties from March 13 to bring back the Bangladeshis, now in Egypt after leaving Libya.
He said that starting the flights awaits clearance from the Egyptian authorities.
He said that Biman would operate five flights a week using DC-10 and Airbus to bring the Bangladeshis back from Alexandria, on return flights from London and Jeddah.
He said a four-member taskforce led by an additional foreign secretary would coordinate the repatriation flights of Biman.
He said that the expatriates’ welfare ministry would share the cost of repatriation with Biman.
The foreign secretary said that it could take more than a week for Biman and international organisations to bring home all the 19,000 Bangladeshis stranded in countries bordering Libya.
The bodies of three Bangladeshis, who had died jumping from a ship into the sea on way to Greece, were flown back to Dhaka from Greece early Thursday, he said.
He said that 11 more Bangladeshis, who had jumped from the ship on way to Greece from Libya, were missing.
He said that but for the 11, all the 3,000 Bangladeshis who had arrived in Greece from Libya, have been brought back to Bangladesh by international organisations, mainly by the International Organisation for Migration.
He said that so far 10,598 Bangladeshis had been brought back from neighbouring countries they had crossed into from Libya.
He said that according to government estimates, they were among around 60,000 Bangladeshis who had gone to Libya on employment.
Courtesy of New Age