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Bring our people back home!

Bring our people back home!

Since the rebellion against Colonel Muammah Gadaffi’s regime broke out in Libya during the last week of February this year, there has been frantic effort by other countries across the glove to swiftly evacuate their nationals from that war-troubled region.

At the outset of the crisis, plane loads of stranded immigrants were being ferried out of Libya to safer countries that share borders with that country for onward flights to their place of origin.

In Sierra Leone, much has not been heard of the condition of our people who hitherto resided in Libya following the outbreak of the rebel war which started more than a month ago. All that we have been hearing from authorities here was that our nationals were safe and that plans were underway to evacuate them.

But how pretty sure are we that our compatriots were without difficulties in the heat of bombings and air raids in that war troubled zone?

When the Nigerian government flew home its nations early in the month, they brought with them nationals from other counties in the sub-region. Sadly though, no Sierra Leonean was among the evacuees.

What is baffling to many here at home is the apparent lack of information about the exact number of Sierra Leoneans living and working in Libya prior to the rebellion.

This is where the Foreign Affairs ministry of this country has failed in its assignment; for how could a government lack strategic information about its people in a foreign land, if that government has not been so insensitive to the condition of its people in those countries?

We expected that apart from putting in place measures to ensure the safe landing of our nationals back home, we should have known by now the number of Sierra Leoneans residing in that country, and where possible detailed information regarding their occupation, family background, etc.

In the absence of such vital information regarding the status of our people in Libya, we strongly urge the government to take urgent action to bring back our people.

Guns do not understand the language of tribe, or colour, or sex. War is war, and Sierra Leoneans are no strangers to brutal conflict.

Even if the government says Sierra Leoneans are safe in Libya when they do not have any reliable means to verify that, it is better for our people to be safe in their motherland than in a place where their safety remains uncertain.

It is never too late.

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