Beijing: China’s Foreign Ministry says thousands of Chinese nationals have been evacuated from Libya as pro-democracy protests continue in the North African country.
More than 4,600 Chinese citizens left crisis-hit Libya on Thursday on two Greek ocean liners. The ships had been chartered by the Chinese embassy in Greece, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a foreign ministry statement on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Egypt has received over 400 Chinese nationals that left Libya by ground transportation.
Chinese companies in Libya are mostly involved in construction projects that are situated far from the capital Tripoli.
Libyan security forces have reportedly killed some 1,000 people in pro-democracy protests against the authoritarian reign of 68-year-old Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi’s regime is facing mounting international condemnations over its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators as the death toll from Libya’s revolution continues to climb.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also called on the embattled Libyan ruler to show restraint and immediately stop the violence against demonstrators.
On Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for an international probe into Libya’s violent crackdown on protesters.
“The callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protestors is unconscionable,” she said in a statement.
“The international community must unite in condemnation of such acts and make unequivocal commitments to ensure justice is rendered to the thousands of victims of this repression.”
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday that the 27-member bloc has decided to suspend talks with Libya on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement and promised to “take further measures” in response to the brutal violence against Libyan civilians.
The UN Security Council has also condemned Libya’s deadly crackdown on the pro-democracy protesters.
Meanwhile, the African Union on Wednesday strongly condemned the indiscriminate and excessive use of force by Gaddafi’s security forces against mass demonstrations.
The African body announced that it would send a mission to Libya to investigate the situation there.