, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – The Foreign Affairs Ministry says it will evacuate 16 Kenyan women who have been stranded at the former Kenyan embassy in Libya for the past two weeks.
Director of Diaspora Affairs Ambassador Muburi Muita told Capital FM News that they had not been contacted by the women, but pledged to pursue the matter.
Muita said they had already evacuated two other women through Khartoum, where they are expected on Wednesday.
“We are not aware of those 16 but there are two others whom we assisted to get out of that country and they are on the way (back home),” Muita said.
He explained that since the closure of the Kenyan Embassy in July, it has been difficult to assist Kenyans out of the war-ravaged country but will coordinate such rescue with other friendly missions.
“It can be a very frustrating situation when you are in a foreign country and unable to get government representatives from your country to help,” he said, “so we deeply understand what they are undergoing and will do everything possible to assist them once we are in contact with them.”
The plight of the 16 Kenyan women, including one who gave birth last week was highlighted by Capital FM News on Tuesday morning.
The women had been working in various fields in Tripoli but left their jobs following renewed conflict there, and have been unable to get out of the country due to insecurity posed by armed militia groups in Tripoli.
The Kenyan mission in Tripoli was closed in July following approval of the Cabinet, which cited the continued political instability in the country since, the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.
Muita has in the meantime, advised any Kenyan stranded in Libya to try and cross over to neighbouring countries, where they can easily get help through Kenyan missions.
The Kenyan women have however told Capital FM News it is dangerous getting out of Libya on their own due to road blocks erected by several rival militia groups.
It has been difficult for them to also get out through the international airport in Tripoli which was destroyed and planes set ablaze during intense fighting two months ago.
Muita however says they can use other airports which are still operational in the country.
“We understand the challenges they are facing but if they got to neighbouring countries using those other airports, it will be much easier for us to help them, but in the meantime, we will try our best through friendly missions still operating in Libya,” he said.