Group of 11 Taiwanese citizens returns home from Libya after 2-day journey


TAIPEI — A group of 11 Taiwanese expatriates returned home from strife-torn Libya Saturday after a trip that took two days and two nights. The members of the group all became very emotional upon arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport as they were greeted by their relatives. “It’s great to be home,” said an employee of the state-owned petroleum company CPC Corp. upon arrival. Tu Chih-yung, a section chief at Taiwan’s representative office in Libya who accompanied the group home, said they had arrived in Tunis, the capital of neighboring Tunisia, Thursday night after 10 hours on the road. “We went through more than 30 checkpoints along the way … Fortunately, we managed to arrive in Tunis safely and, with the help a travel agency, we took a flight home via Frankfurt, Germany,” Tu recounted. The group included four CPC staff members and one of their dependents. They said that when they left Tripoli, the Libyan capital, it was overshadowed by violence, with many police stations being set alight by protesters. Asked whether they had any photos or videos of the unrest in the North African country, the CPC workers said the memory chips in their devices had been confiscated by Libyan officers at the checkpoints. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), there are still four Taiwanese nationals in Libya who insisted on remaining there to take care of their businesses and employees. “The ministry respects their wishes and will continue to keep in touch with them,” a MOFA official said. The ministry also decided to temporarily evacuate three people from its representative office in Libya and to allow one to stay behind. The three staff members are scheduled to return home via Tunis Sunday morning. Taiwanese nationals should contact the representative offices in Jordan and France in case of emergency, the ministry said.