2,000 Lebanese Flee Abidjan While Many of Them Cannot Afford to Leave


The Lebanese Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Ali Ajami assured that the Lebanese expatriates in the African country are safe and they are not being targeted in the violence.

He told As Safir in remarks published on Friday: “The situation is difficult and worrying, but it is not as dramatic as the media is making it seem.”

About 2,000 Lebanese have returned to Lebanon from the Ivory Coast out of some 80,000 to 100,000 expatriates in the country, he said.

In addition, more than 60 percent of Lebanese in the Ivory Coast do not want to leave the country even if the situation deteriorates, the ambassador revealed.

Ajami explained that some of them cannot even afford the cost of the ticket back to Beirut or even afford to live in their home country, and the Lebanese government has not taken any measures to cover the expenses of those unable to return.

Middle East Airlines has however reduced the price of its tickets from the Ivory Coast to Lebanon and increased its flights from the country, he said.