Royal Navy evacuates UK citizens from Libya

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Royal Navy ship, HMS Enterprise, docked at Tripoli, Libya yesterday morning to help evacuate UK citizens from the country affected by increasing violence. This follows the advice of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for all UK citizens to leave the country by commercial means, and announcement the embassy in Tripoli would be suspending operations today.

File photo of HMS Enterprise.
Image: Sounddezign.

The UK Goverment said the move was prompted by the increasing fighting in Tripoli and throughout the country, which started in the wake of the death of former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi in October 2011 but has worsened recently. A new government led by Ali Zeidan was sworn in in November 2012 but instability has continued in the country, with Ali Zeidan himself kidnapped by militiamen for a time in October of last year. The violence has increased in recent months after the government refused to disband itself at the end of its mandate in February. Islamist and anti-Islamist supporters of the revolution against Colonel Gaddafi are clashing, with rival agendas for the future of their country.

The FCO stated spaces for assisted departure for Britons on HMS Enterprise is limited, and would be prioritised. The Telegraph reports the British ambassador, Michael Aron, and essential personnel are to remain briefly to further assist Britons leaving the country, after the evacuation of non-essential staff on July 27 resulted in an attempted car-jacking, before being completed successfully.

HMS Enterprise is reportedly transporting its passengers to Malta, where the UK High Commissioner described preparations to receive those Britons arriving from Libya.