Egyptians flooding into Tunisia from Libya are now being airlifted back to Cairo. Many of them were staying at a UN relief agency camp, and are now hoping to get onto one of the 40 flights scheduled to repatriated them.
Queues for the evacuation flights at Djerba International airport are long, but many are grateful to be heading home and to their temporary Tunisian hosts.
“Thank God we’re going home. We’re also saying thank you to the Tunisian people – thanks a lot,” said one man at the airport.
Another worker was just as relieved: “Thankfully we are returning to Egypt. A big thank you to the Tunisians for all their efforts in helping us. Most importantly, a big thank you to God.”
Vietnamese workers who fled Libya are also in Tunisia, patiently waiting to be flown home. There were over 10,000 of them in Libya, mainly employed in the construction industry, but many do not feel safe now.
Dozens of flights are being organised to bring back stranded Egyptians still in Libya. Some left by sea via Malta.
Every hour, hundreds of Egyptians are leaving Djerba International Airport bound for Cairo. For many, the suffering ends here, but there are others in camp Sousse hoping they have the chance to get back to Egypt soon.
Egyptian authorities say they have already flown home 30,000 of 43,000 of their nationals who fled Libya.