A MEA flight from Accra landed in Beirut carrying on board 277 Lebanese expatriates fleeing the Ivory Coast.
In a related development the Lebanese Foreign Ministry delegation arrived in Abidjan to arrange for evacuating the Lebanese expatriates from the Ivory Coast to Accra and then to Beirut.
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 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.