CAIRO: The last of the Egyptians stuck on the Libyan-Tunisian borders will be transported to their homeland Sunday, Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal announced in a Saturday statement.
“So far, a total of 11,500 Egyptians returned via an air bridge established by the Aviation Ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EgyptAir Company,” Kamal said and that Gabes and Jerba Tunisian airports were used to transfer the stranded Egyptians.
Kamal said the evacuation process took place under the supervision of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab: “There was coordination and constant contact with the Foreign Ministry to bring Egyptians fleeing unrest in Libya home. The last two planes are scheduled to take off early Sunday to bring home the last 200 Egyptians stuck at Ras Jadir border point between Libya and Tunisia.”
Kamal further praised the efforts exerted by Tunisian authorities as well as the Libyan authorities stationed at the border crossing for helping the stranded Egyptians there.
A Youtube video of members of the Egyptian community in Libya called on President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to help them return to Egypt, which was posted online Last week and went viral on Twitter.
“We spent our worst days on the Libyan-Tunisian border. Our money was stolen and we had to struggle to find food or even water,” an Egyptian who returned said in the video.
Libya is experiencing fierce battles between rival militias, namely between troops affiliated with the government and insurgent militias claiming to be revolutionaries.
Oil-rich Libya is one of the most Arab countries hosting Egyptian manpower. A group of Egyptians attempted to storm across the border with Libya on Aug. 1 after a long wait at the Ras Jadir crossing but Tunisian guards shot into the air and fired tear gas bombs to stop them, according to Reuters.
On July 31, Libyan guards killed two Egyptians on the Libyan side of the borders as they tried to cross into Tunisia.