The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has told Parliament that the government will consider evacuating the alleged 62,422 stranded Ghanaians in Libya if it is able to ascertain the correct figures as provided by the Accra Office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
According to her, there are conflicting report of the figures provided by the Offices of the IOM in Accra and that of Tripoli, Libya, making it very difficult for the government to make informed decision as to the way forward.
“The Ministry is aware that there are some stranded Ghanaians in Libya who contact the Consulate in Tripoli for assistance. However, the figure put out by the International Organization for Migration office in Accra conflicts with figures provided by the IOM in Tripoli to both our Consulate in Tripoli and Mission in Valletta. This, coupled with the highly volatile conditions in Libya had made it very difficult to obtain credible information on the actual number of Ghanaian nationals in that country. This is because Libya today has vast areas of its territory that are in the hands of rival militia group operating outside the control of the internationally recognized interim government of National Accord which is based in Tripoli”, she noted.
Nevertheless, she said despite the challenges the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration through its Missions in Valletta, Malta, Tripoli, Libya and Niamey, Niger, are facing, they are deploying all available resources to offer assistance to stranded Ghanaians in the North African country and will consider evacuating same once their real numbers are established.
She made this observation, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, when responding to a question posed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Dr. Clement A. Apaak.
The Builsa South lawmaker has sought to find out from the Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway if the Ministry is aware of reports by the IOM that 62,422 Ghanaians are stranded in Libya and what the Ministry is doing to assist the stranded Ghanaians.
Commenting further, she said her outfit in collaboration with the IOM, has been able to repatriate about 200 Ghanaians to Ghana since April 2018.
That notwithstanding, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration have since April 2018 opened a consulate in Tripoli with experienced officers together with another Consulate opened in Niamey, Niger in May 2018 to offer assistance to Ghanaians who require such services.