Days after violence erupted in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said an entire contingent of CRPF personnel were evacuated from the region as the situation in Tripoli has worsened.
Swaraj mentioned that the evacuation was carried out by the Indian Embassy in Tunisia and appreciated the ‘excellent work’ done by them. Clashes between the rebel and pro-government forces have been reported from several parts of Tripoli.
“Indian Embassy in Tunisia has evacuated the entire contingent of 15 CRPF personnel yesterday itself. I appreciate the excellent work by the Indian Embassy in Tunisia. #Libya,” she tweeted.
The situation in Libya has suddenly worsened. There is fighting in Tripoli. Indian Embassy in Tunisia @IndiainTunisia has evacuated the entire contingent of 15 CRPF personnel yesterday itself. I appreciate the excellent work by Indian Embassy in Tunisia. #Libya
— Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) April 7, 2019
The Indian ambassador in Tunisia has the concurrent charge of Libya as well and the CPRF contingent was deployed as part of a peace-keeping force in Tripoli, the minister added in a subsequent tweet.
The minister also shared contact details for Indian citizens who are in distress in Tripoli. She wrote, “All Indians in distress in Tripoli may please contact Mr.Mehtab on +218916320278 or Mr.Mustafa on +218924201771 or +218912146640.”
In Libya, there is a UN-backed internationally recognised government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. The country has been struggling to counter civil unrest since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
According to reports, Libyan Army Commander Khalifa Hafter ordered his forces Thursday to take over Tripoli, which triggered an escalation in political tension in the country.
Sarraj — in a televised interview Saturday — said his government had offered concessions to Hafter “to avoid bloodshed and to end divisions”. “We were stabbed in the back,” he said, adding that his forces would confront Hafter’s troops with “force and determination.”
Dozens of armed vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns gathered in Tajura, in the suburbs east of the capital. The residents of Tripoli have expressed concern that large-scale fighting could break out and have begun stocking up on food and petrol, according to a report by AFP.