British nationals evacuated from Libya

28th Feb 2011

The British Foreign Office has stated the vast majority of British nationals who want to leave Libya have now done so.

Commercial flights are still in operation, with government charters and military evacuations also contributing to the evacuation.

In dramatic scenes, three British military transport planes evacuated 150 civilians from sites in the Libyan desert on Sunday, defence secretary Liam Fox said.

They included people from Britain and other countries who had been stranded in Libya following the uprising.

“Three Royal Air Force C130 Hercules aircraft have successfully evacuated around a further 150 civilians from multiple locations in the eastern Libyan desert,” Dr Fox explained.

A number of other nations have also been evacuating foreigners by air and sea.

On Sunday a Greek ship carrying hundreds of migrants - mainly from Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain - docked at the port of Piraeus near Athens.

However, up to 100,000 migrants - many from Egypt - are still stranded on the Libyan border with Tunisian with a thousand new arrivals every hour, UN officials say.

Tunisian officials are struggling to cope with the influx, according to the United Nations, with the country having undergone its own revolution – with a popular uprising overthrowing former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali - just weeks ago.

Many more evacuees are still at Tripoli International Airport, with food and water supplies limited.

The British Embassy in Tripoli has suspended operations, with the Turkish embassy taking over its responsibilities.


Inside Libya an uneasy stalemate appears to have settled.

Forces loyal to leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi are still in control of the capital Tripoli, while rebel forces control much of the east of the country.

The United Nations is meeting to discuss further sanctions against the country as the humanitarian crisis deteriorates.

The UN Security Council has already unanimously backed an arms embargo and asset freeze on senior Libyan government officials.

It also voted to refer Col Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Thousands are now thought to have died during two weeks of protests, with the threat of civil war now in evidence.


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