Bahrainis told to leave Egypt amid chaos
Manama, July 4, 2013
Bahrainis have been asked to leave Egypt amid high political drama the escalating situation on the streets, said a senior government official.
The situation was not volatile, but Bahrainis were being urged to leave as a precautionary measure, Bahrain's Ambassador to Egypt Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Around 900 people have already flown home and diplomats are working round-the-clock to ensure the safety of those who are still in the country,
Egypt's military last night replaced President Mohamed Mursi with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, suspended the Constitution and called for early presidential election.
Army chief Abdel-Fattah Al Sissi, in a televised address to the nation, said a government of technocrats will be appointed to run the country during a transition period.
Earlier, up to 25 million people took to the streets for the fourth day running yesterday demanding Mursi's removal.
The military earlier gave him 48 hours to resolve the crisis or face being forced out of office.
Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Bahrain Embassy in Cairo had been contacting Bahraini citizens living in Egypt urging them to catch the next plane out.
Two planes carrying more than 60 students left for Bahrain yesterday and more are expected to arrive today.
"We are responding to the event as they unfold and in the last 24 hours the situation has changed dramatically," Shaikh Rashid told the GDN from Cairo.
"This is being done as a precautionary measure. We don't want families to panic or worry as the security situation in the main cities, where most of the protests are taking place, is fine and there is very little reported violence.
"We have been sending students back to Bahrain for the past two weeks as most of their exams have finished but starting from Tuesday we are trying to push the process faster to make sure every Bahraini is safe."
Special flights could be laid on if the situation deteriorates, but officials say the 10 weekly Gulf Air and EgyptAir flights to Bahrain are enough to handle the load.
Shaikh Rashid said around 1,000 Bahrainis were in Egypt before the protests started and only around 10 per cent remain.
The embassy has compiled a list of the remaining Bahrainis to warn them to stay indoors for their own safety.
"We are trying to get people out but if they have not finished their studies or for some reason have to stay we ask them to stay in their homes," said Shaikh Rashid.
"We have a list of all the Bahrainis and we are working on getting contact information for all of them to warn them to stay in their homes for the next 24 hours as the situation progresses.
Shaikh Rashid earlier denied claims posted on social media websites alleging Bahrainis had been killed in Cairo.
The Foreign Ministry yesterday confirmed Bahrainis had already begun to arrive home in droves.
"At around 1pm yesterday the Bahrain Embassy loaded some Bahrainis on to planes and they have already arrived in Bahrain safely," said a spokeswoman.
The Bahraini Embassy will be open 24 hours a day for emergencies and three hotlines are available on 00201111119200, 00201129004009 or 0020227350642. – TradeArabia News Service