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Govt to evacuate Kenyans stranded in Libya

06 November 2014, 08:09

Nairobi - The government said it is making arrangements to evacuate Kenyans who are stranded in Libya since July after the closure of its embassy in the North African nation amid heavy fighting.

Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Muburi Muita confirmed late on Tuesday that the government is liaising with international organisations and embassies to evacuate those trapped in Tripoli.

"We are not aware of the plight of 16 women who have been camping at our former embassy building and other Kenyans trapped there, but there are two others whom we assisted to get out of that country and they are on the way back home," Muita said.

He said the systems in Tripoli are not working following the closure of the airport and "the gangs are marauding all over", adding that "there are many other Kenyans trapped there".

Muita said it has been difficult to assist Kenyans out of Libya after the closure of Kenyan embassy in Tripoli four months ago but will coordinate such rescue with other friendly missions.

Some 16 Kenyans have been camping at Kenya's former embassy in Tripoli due to the ongoing fighting. The women were working in various fields in Tripoli, but left their jobs following renewed conflict there.

"We have been camping at the closed embassy building hoping to get help in vain. Please ask the government to help us," one of the women reportedly said.

Also read: Libya struggles with militias

She said one of the women gave birth last week and is living in deplorable condition at the building formerly used as the Kenyan embassy. The women fear for their lives due to increasing insecurity posed by armed militia groups in Tripoli.

But Muita said the government was looking for any flights departing from Tripoli to get the women out of the conflict-ridded Libya.

"We are doing everything possible to get them out. We will put them on any available flights leaving," Muita said.

The ongoing violence has forced several countries to evacuate their diplomatic staff and citizens.

The recent conflict in Libya between Islamist armed groups and pro-secular militias has been unprecedented in its gravity, which forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

 - Xinhua

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