8 August 2014

Sudanese in Libya Plead to Be Evacuated

Photo: Al Jazeera English
More than 50 people have been killed in fighting in Libya since Saturday night. Weeks of violence in Benghazi and the capital Tripoli have forced many foreign diplomats to leave the country. Al Jazeera's Erica Wood reports.

Khartoum — A committee calling itself representative of Sudanese stranded in Libya issued a statement today calling on the government to evacuate its citizens from areas witnessing clashes between armed groups.

A man has his wound washed after being injured during clashes at a demonstration between protesters in support of ex-rebel fighters and supporters of "Operation Dignity" led by general Khalifa Haftar, in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli August 8, 2014 (REUTERS/Hani Amara)

The statement stressed that all diplomatic missions have evacuated their citizens from Libya thanks to quick action from their governments except the Sudanese one because of its refusal to assume responsibility towards its citizens.

But Secretary-General of the commission for Sudanese working abroad Haj Majid Siwar denied that Sudanese in Libya are asking to be airlifted back home.

Last Tuesday the Sudanese cabinet declared following an extraordinary session, that the government is willing to evacuate citizens living in Libya when requested to do so.

The Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti said in a statement last week that the situation in Libya has not yet reached the stage requiring the evacuation of its citizens.

Last Friday, about 200 Sudanese gathered at the Meetiga airport demanding that they be evacuated back home.

The government also confirmed the demise of 18 Sudanese in Libya after a rocket was fired on a residence at al-Kareemiya suburb of the capital Tripoli.

The committee spokesman al-Tayeb Ahmed Ishaq disclosed that there are dozens of injured Sudanese needing medical attention.

He also noted the presence of tens of thousands of Sudanese trapped in areas of clashes in both Benghazi and Tripoli among other regions in the country that are now deserted due to the displacement of people as a result of the interruption of electricity, water services and telecommunications and closure of shops.

Ishaq warned of dire humanitarian crisis without the intervention of the United Nations and other organizations soon.

Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, Libya's fragile government is unable to impose authority on groups of former rebels who refuse to disband and are allied with competing political factions battling for post-war dominance.

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