Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nigerian government evacuates 50 Nigerians from Syria

Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Monday said about 50 Nigerians had so far been evacuated from Syria following the ongoing crises in the country.

Ashiru said in Abuja that the evacuees complied with government’s directive to leave Syria and he advised others to vacate the Middle East nation.

“We have evacuated quite a lot of Nigerians from Syria, it was not an airlift exercise like we did in the case of Libya because they are very few.

“From the report I got, those moved so far are less than 50, long before the situation deteriorated we advised them to move.

“Some have decided to stay behind but it is their choice.’’

The minister also said that the families of the Charge d’Affairs and officials at the embassy had been relocated to the neighbouring nation of Lebanon “and they are very safe there.’’

It will be recalled that the Syrian conflict began on March 15, 2011 with public demonstrations as part of the wider Arab spring and developed into a nationwide uprising.

Nigeria and Syria established diplomatic ties in 1961.

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