Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Filipino's must leave Bahrain


MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines on Tuesday advised its 31,000 citizens in Bahrain to leave the Gulf state after troops from neighboring countries moved in to help the ruling monarchy quell anti-government protests.

"We are urging 31,000 Filipinos to restrict movements to only those absolutely essential and to voluntarily depart the country," Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis told reporters.

He said embassy staff in Manama had been in contact with Filipino community leaders there and briefed them on contingency plans.

"We are hopeful the political situation will stabilise, but precautionary measures are in place," he said.

Armed forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rolled into Bahrain on Monday to help the government there deal with pro-democracy protesters.

An estimated nine million Filipinos work abroad, and their dollar remittances have traditionally fuelled the local economy.

Many of these workers are in the Middle East.

Last week, the government also told its 1,400 citizens in Yemen to leave over rising political violence there.

More than half of the 26,000 Filipinos in Libya were also evacuated last month, with the rest opting to stay, officials said.


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