244 Lebanese evacuated from Ivory Coast arrive in Beirut

A MEA flight from Accra landed in Beirut Sunday morning with 244 Lebanese expatriates fleeing the Ivory Coast on board

Yesterday another MEA plane landed with 277 Lebanese expatriates on board

An air bridge has been set up to allow Lebanese citizens to return to Beirut, according to the French foreign ministry, which is coordinating it. Around 70,000 people from Lebanon are thought to live in Ivory Coast. They will be repatriated via Accra, the capital of neighboring Ghana.

A fleet of medium-sized planes will fly Lebanese citizens from Abidjan airport, which is now controlled by French troops, to Accra, where they will be transferred to Lebanese airliners.

The Lebanese expatriates in Côte d’Ivoire reportedly came under threat after Lebanon’s ambassador Ali Ajami meddled in the internal affairs of the country by attending the swearing-in ceremony of Laurent Gbagbo, the controversial strongman who has refused to step down despite rival Alassane Ouattara being internationally recognized as having won the country’s elections.

Ajami is reportedly very closely associated with Hezbollah