DFA to Filipinos in Tripoli: Evacuate or request repatriation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2020 08:23 PM

A member of the central security support force holds a weapon during the security deployment in the Tajura neighborhood, east of Tripoli, Libya on December 30, 2019. Reuters, Ismail Zitouny

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday appealed to Filipinos in Tripoli to evacuate to a safe place or request repatriation, amid intense fighting in the Libyan capital between the militia and the internationally-recognized government of the state.

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli earlier reported another 5 Filipinos were displaced by the ongoing fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) militia forces and troops of Fayez al-Serraj's Government of National Accord.

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Elmer Cato said 5 nurses fled a housing compound in Tarik Shuk District after it was struck by an artillery shell on Wednesday. 

On the same day, an artillery shell exploded just behind a clinic in Salahuddin District where eight Filipino nurses, who were rescued by the Embassy last week, were working.

DFA said more than 30 Filipinos have so far evacuated their homes since fighting reached some populated areas of Tripoli last week. Since the start of 2020, 11 Filipinos have requested assistance in getting repatriated, the department added.

Cato said around 400 Filipino nurses and other hospital workers, university professors, and oil company employees and their dependents living or working in several areas near the fighting are at risk. 

The embassy official said they should relocate as soon as possible to avoid becoming collateral damage, and that they can avail the repatriation program of the Philippine government.

Cato assured the Philippine embassy is ready to respond to Filipinos request assistance and provide temporary shelter to those who are displaced. - with a report from Reuters