Among the masses of foreign workers trapped in Libya and desperate to leave, perhaps no one group is in worse shape than migrants from Bangladesh who reportedly comprise the largest number of foreigners ensnared in the crisis and unable to flee.
Many Bangladeshis remain stuck in Tripoli and other cities, but cannot leave due to the extremely volatile situation between pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces; while others have struggled to cross into neighboring Tunisia.
Tens of thousands have already crossed into Tunisia, while many more wait to enter the country, which is unable to cope with the massive influx. Many are fearful of an imminent humanitarian disaster at the border.
An official The International Committee of the Red Cross has reportedly complained that no representative of Bangladesh’s government is at the border to help the refugees fleeing Libya.
The media in Bangladesh have warned that their countrymen in Libya are vulnerable to violence and hunger.
The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi paper, said that government authorities in Dhaka have no plan to evacuate their citizens people from Libya.
The Bangladeshis trapped in the Libyan capital could face a disastrous situation, as rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces fight around Tripoli, The Daily Star said, citing that about 15,000 Bangladeshi workers lived in Tripoli, with another 45,000 scattered around Libya.
Around 3,000 Bangladeshi nationals remain stranded on Libya's border with Tunisia, with another 3,500 stranded on Libya's borders with Egypt and Niger, said Bangladeshi newspaper New Age, adding that Bangladeshis in Libyan cities, including Tripoli are worried about their safety.
A Bangladeshi man who recently returned from Libya told New Age: Most of the people do not know where they would go and what they would eat in the coming days.
Meanwhile, relatives in Bangladesh have staged protests near the airport in Dhaka, asking the government to help bring back their loved ones from Libya.
Libya has originally recruited Bangladeshi workers a few years ago to labor in its infrastructure development program.