Manila Asks France to Evacuate Filipinos from Ivory Coast

Article excerpt

MANILA (AFP) The Philippines has asked France to evacuate the 103 Filipinos trapped in civil unrest in Ivory Coast, the foreign department here said Friday.

The Filipinos, who include United Nations staff, residents and temporary workers, have relocated to a safe area under guard by UN and French forces, the department said in a statement.

The Filipino ambassador in nearby Nigeria, Masarang Umpa, has "made representations with the French Embassy in Nigeria to include Filipinos in the event that French nationals are evacuated from Cote dIvorie to safe countries nearby, possibly to Ghana," it said.

Thousands of expatriates from France, the United States, Canada, Australia and other European nations have left Ivory Coast amid an upsurge in violence and anti-French riots that have left at least 64 people dead.

Assistance to Filipinos

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo yesterday issued instructions to the Philippine Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria to extend all possible assistance to the Filipinos who are caught in the civil disturbance in Cote d Ivorie (Ivory Coast).

The Philippine Embassy in Abuja has jurisdiction over Cote d Ivoire.

Pursuant to the instructions of Romulo, Ambassador Masarang Umpa has established constant contact with the more than 100 Filipinos in Abidjan, capital of Cote d Ivorie, and received information that all residents including the Filipinos have been staying indoors.

He then advised the Filipinos to coordinate with the UN Peacekeeping and Monitoring Team in Abidjan and be in constant link with the Filipinos in the UN Team for their safety and preparedness of whatever emergency situation may arise. …