Over 16,000 Ghanaians evacuated from Libya so far

Mohammad Mumuni - Minister, Foreign Affairs

Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Tuesday said about 16,822 Ghanaians have been evacuated from Libya in excess of the anticipated 10,000.

He said 1,455 evacuees from the Libyan-Egyptian border were airlifted through Cairo, 8,505 from the Libyan-Tunisian border through Djerba and 6,862 from Tripoli.

In addition, 129 returned to Ghana by road.

Speaking at a meet-the-press briefing in Accra on the evacuation exercise, Alhaji Mumuni said the evacuees included 132 women, 96 children, two mentally-ill men, more than 90 freed prisoners and eight on death row.

He pointed out that no major casualties were recorded during the exercise except an amputee and another evacuee who arrived at Ghana’s northern border with gunshot wounds.

Alhaji Mumuni said government was negotiating with the European Union and humanitarian agencies for assistance to re-integrate the evacuees into the society.

He announced that an inventory of the skills of the evacuees was being compiled by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to integrate them in productive sectors of the economy.

Alhaji Mumuni said government had benefited from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) during the evacuation exercise from Djerba and Cairo.

He said the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees collaborated with IOM in evacuating Ghanaians in Libya to the various points of embarkation to be airlifted.

Alhaji Mumuni said an arrangement was underway to evacuate an estimated 900 Ghanaian nationals stranded in Misurata and Sirte to Zarzis in Tunisia for onward airlifting to Ghana.

He noted that an Evacuation Task Force had been established to address the infiltration into Ghana of contraband material and transmission of communicable diseases.

It comprised representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Information, National Security Council, NADMO, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces and Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority.

Alhaji Mumuni said the Task Force facilitated the investigation of individuals suspected of fraud, assault and causing damage to property at the Ghana Mission in Tripoli.

He said the Evacuation Task Force was operating from Accra International Conference Centre and had designated some telephone lines to receive calls from concerned relatives for relay to Libya.

They are 0302-787373, 0302-684887, 0302-227201, 0279-430330, 0299005097 and 0299005101.

“As much as government is committed to bringing Ghanaians home safely, it would ensure that the rule of law is respected in all dealings,” he added.

Source: GNA

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