54 rescued from Libya: MoFA

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 15, 2014-

At least 54 Nepalis who were stranded in crisis-ridden Libya have been rescued on Thursday and some among them have already been repatriated, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Friday.

These Nepalis were rescued and sent back with the help of the Indian Embassy in Tripoli and International Office of Migration ( IOM), informed the ministry.

They have left for Nepal on Thursday on board the Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines, and a group has left on Friday afternoon too, MoFA added.

Out of 126 Nepali workers hired by a South Korean company and awaiting repatriation, 54 have already left for Nepal by this weekend and the rest  will also arrive here soon, Prakash Subedi, Joint Secretary at MoFA said during a regular press briefing on Friday.

“These Nepali nationals have taken the Tunisian route to return to Nepal. Other nine Nepalis who are jobless in Libya and 15 others stranded in Tripoli and Benghazi are also awaiting repatriation,” he said, adding that efforts are underway to bring them back home at the soonest. According to MoFA spokesperson Khaganath Adhikari, altogether 190 Nepali nationals have established contacts with Nepali Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and it is learnt from various sources that another group of 30 Nepali nationals in Zawara, Libya and working in local petroleum pumps need to be evacuated.

Nepali nationals have been found going to Libya via Delhi route despite Nepal government’s ban on Nepalis to travel to the troubled Northern African country for employment.

“Traveling to Iraq and Libya is prohibited for Nepali nationals,” said Acting Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, “in case there is a need to travel to these countries, we have been advising our citizens to inform the nearby Nepali embassies and also provide their details which would make us easy to evacuate them during crisis. But many Nepalis do not heed our advise.”

“We do not have any medium to contact the Nepali workers in Libya, but after reaching out to the Indian Embassy in Libya and International Office of Migration ( IOM), we have started collecting information about Nepalis working there,” said Subedi.

Published: 16-08-2014 09:23

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