President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday 11th March, 2011 ordered the beefing-up of Ghana’s Mission in Tripoli, Libya to assist Ghana’s mission in the on-going evacuation of Ghanaians from Libya.
A statement from the Ministry of Information and signed by Deputy Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa stated that following the directive, a special team of seven made up of medics, a diplomat, military movement experts and a journalist have been sent to augment the staff at the Mission. The team arrived in Tripoli on Friday night.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa explained that the directive became necessary as a result of the overwhelming pressure on the staff since the rescue exercise began.
The statement indicated that adding todays’s batch, so far, 5,755 Ghanaians have been brought home but the daily evacuation exercise would have to continue as there are many thousands of Ghanaians waiting to be airlifted.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa stressed that “these efforts should establish beyond doubt, the commitment of the president to come to the aid of stranded Ghanaians in Libya and urged that they stay calm and remain very hopeful.”
This is the second team Government has had to send outside since the evacuation effort began. The first team also numbering seven was sent to mount a temporary post in Salum at the Libya Tunisia border whiles this team is to support the Tripoli Mission directly.
It is believed that some extra 5,000 Ghanaians at various points in Libya and neighbouring countries are awaiting evacuation.
The statement concluded that “the Government of Ghana remains absolutely committed in taking Ghanaians from harm’s way and that though the evacuation exercise has come at tremendous unbudgeted cost, we remain focused on the rescue effort until the last Ghanaian is brought back home safely.”