Ex-Pats & The Refugees of Libya

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Whilst ordinary Libyans are murdered in the streets most Western expats have been repatriated from Libya and a few are held up within their compounds, but what we shouldn’t forget is the real refugees from this revolt, workers from the developed world.

Libya was a temporary home for workers from around the world and whereas Western governments have made some effort, even dispatching naval ships, that hasn’t always been possible for countries from the developed world.

Their workers, their citizens, are left to defend themselves, many have made it to Tunisia and are living off of the charity of the Tunisians or Libyans.

But that isn’t good enough.

The United Nations, with its wealth of experience of such crises should have seen this coming and made arrangements for those workers stuck in Libya unable to get out or fend for themselves, ABC News has more:

“The UN refugee agency says a “humanitarian emergency” is underway as the situation at Libya’s western border worsens and foreign workers continue to flee fighting within the country.

Thousands fled Libya over the weekend in a mass exodus of foreigners from the strife-torn country by air, land and sea.

The agency says almost 100,000 migrant workers, mostly from Egypt and Tunisia, have fled Libya in the past week and many remain stranded at the Libya-Tunisia border as Libyan customs officers desert their posts.

“We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency,” said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

As night fell and the line of cars, trucks and buses ferrying refugees further into Tunisia thinned out, one Tunisian official said there was still 7,000 more foreign workers at the Libyan frontier waiting to get across.

When they do, they will join the chaotic scenes as mostly Egyptian men sleep in clumps on roads or on open land in frigid conditions. “

Western countries are always very concerned, or like to be seen as if they are, about their own citizens, but rarely seem to think of what will happen to “other” ex-pats, from developing countries, so in the end colonial thinking is still very much alive and well in the 21st century, but not in the way that most people would imagine.

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