KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said that about 200 Nepali workers are stranded in Libya which is mired in internal conflict. The workers are either being returned or rescued from the North African country, with the help of their employers and International Organisation for Migration.
Prakash Subedi, West Asia Division head at MoFA, said in a press briefing, that at least 190 Nepalis working in different parts of Libya have come to government’s contact so far. Among them, 126 used to work in a South Korean company Dosan, far from Tripoli, the capital city of Libya.
Nevertheless, 54 of them have reached Tunis of neighbouring Tunisia, and from there to Kathmandu via Turkish Airlines and Emirates flights yesterday and today, according to Subedi.
Besides, a group of 30 Nepalis working at a petroleum company nearby Tripoli have contacted the Embassy of Nepal in Egypt. The Egypt mission which also looks after Libya is making efforts to ensure Nepalis’ safe return.
Subedi added that 10 Nepalis working in Benghazi and 15 working near Tripoli have approached the Nepali mission in Egypt. According to Subedi, the government has also approached the Embassy of India in Tripoli to seek help. The government had rescued some 3,200 Nepali workers from Libya following political upheavals in North African and the Middle East in 2011.
Meanwhile, MoFA Joint Secretary Arjun Kant Mainali, who returned home from 45-day-long rescue mission in Iraq, said at least five rescued Nepalis refused to return home and shifted to safer locations in Iraq.
In the press briefing, he claimed that there were no Nepalis currently working in unsafe zones in Iraq after his mission rescued some 22 Nepalis — 13 returned home. Mainali said that 10,000 Nepalis are currently working in Iraq.
According to him, the government spent around $25,000 (approx Rs 2.4 million) during his mission in Iraq.
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