SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

March 14, 2011

Migrant workers fleeing Libya vow not to return

(Continued)

SHOUSHA CAMP, Tunisia —

En route to Tunisia, Libyan security forces took his remaining $1,200.

Gadhafi, in power since 1969, has in the past used foreign workers for his political objectives.

He has alternately championed pan-Arabism and pan-Africanism, opening and closing Libya to workers from those areas in line with Libya's orientation at the time. Different groups of workers could suddenly find themselves targeted for deportation, such as thousands of Sudanese expelled in the mid-1990s.

A turning point came in 2003 when Libya accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner that killed 270 people, mostly Americans, over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libya's change of heart led to a lifting of the sanctions, and in following years, the country moved toward normalizing its relations with the West.

Emerging from its isolation, Libya was eager to build its infrastructure and started bringing in more foreign workers since it didn't have the needed manpower, said Laurence Hart of the International Organization for Migration.

Hart said that before the fighting, his agency had been trying to work with the Libyan authorities to set up some rules and rights for the foreign workers. While the response was often slow, government officials showed some openness, he said. Some workers were treated well, and others were not, he added.

About half a million foreign workers are still in Libya, a country of 6.5 million, Hart estimated.

It's not clear if any will eventually return.

Adjei, the construction worker from Ghana, said he would try to build a life in his country, despite the economic difficulties. "I'm very tired of hustling in someone else's country. I just want to go home and have some peace," he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The World

AP Video
Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Israeli Aircraft Hits Dozens of Gaza Targets Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Today in History for July 22nd Raw: Black Boxes of Downed Jetliner Turned Over UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike Raw: Gaza City Shelling Attack Today in History for July 21st Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up Deadliest Day Yet of Israel-Gaza Fighting
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open