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164 Gambians evacuated from Libya

Mar 11, 2011, 11:41 AM | Article By: Momodou Faal

A total of 164 Gambians yesterday landed at the Banjul International Airport evacuated from violence-rocked Libya.

The terrified looking Gambians arrived in Banjul thanks to a special chartered flight sent by the Gambia government to evacuate Gambians in Libya, according to reports.

The move came following the earlier evacuation of 12 other Gambians in Libya amidst the increasing uprising in the North African country.

They were received on arrival at the Banjul International Airport by the minister of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Gambians abroad, Dr Momodou Tangara, Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dr Njogu L. Bah, and other senior government officials.

Confirming this development to this paper, the Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Immigration Department, Assistant Superintendent of Immigration Ba Essa Jawara, said the move followed a directive issued by President Yahya Jammeh for the immediate evacuation of Gambians trapped in Libya.

According to him, President Jammeh was very keen on the safe return of all Gambians in Libya.

"On their arrival, five of them were sick, but were taken care of by health officials at the airport. The rescue team from the Gambia government has also departed Banjul with the same chartered flight to Libya in order to bring the rest of Gambians trapped in Tripoli," Jawara added.

He told The Point that, since violence erupted in Libya, the Gambia government has been working tirelessly in order to bring Gambians home safely.

The mass uprising in North Africa and the Middle East region, the latest of which is in Libya, is part of a series of revolts that have raced like a wild fire across the Arab world since December, toppling the long-time rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, and threatening entrenched dynasties from Bahrain to Yemen.