Help readied for Vietnamese citizens in Ivory Coast: FM spokeswoman

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Vietnamese diplomatic agencies around the Ivory Coast stand ready to help Vietnamese citizens residing in the African country racked by unrest when needed, foreign ministry's spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said Thursday.

 

Nga said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered the Vietnamese embassy in Morocco to ascertain the number of Vietnamese nationals as well as their living conditions in the country that is said to be on the brink of a civil war.

 

Thanh Nien reporters found that many Vietnamese residing in Ivory Coast mainly run restaurants and photography shops, while most laborers are former crew members of foreign fishing boats.

 

A reader in the southern province of Soc Trang said his elder sister and ten other Vietnamese citizens were hiding in a restaurant in Abidjan City, where the unrest is most intense.

 

Many other readers reported similar situations involving their loved ones.

 

Le Van Thanh, deputy chief of Overseas Labor Management under the labor ministry, said they have never granted licenses to any local laborer to work in the Ivory Coast, and so far no companies or individuals have registered for sending laborers to the country.

 

"We only know of laborers [who are sent overseas] legally, so we cannot know the number of Vietnamese laborers in the Ivory Coast," Thanh said.

 

But, the labor ministry is responsible for securing the safety of all Vietnamese workers in all countries, he added.

 

The French embassy in Abidjan told Thanh Nien Thursday that Vietnamese people in the Iovry Coast can contact the UN force in the country as well as Opération Licorne (Operation Unicorn), a French peacekeeping force, for help.

 

Vietnam evacuated more than 10,000 workers from Libya recently after the country was hit by anti-government demonstrations and a government crackdown.

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