Kuwaiti security forces dispersed what they described as a riot by stranded Egyptians unable to return home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kuwait , Kuwait
06 May 2020, 12:00 AM
31 May 2020, 12:00 AM
Kuwaiti police broke up a riot by Egyptian workers seeking repatriation who were being held in shelters dedicated for those in violation of the Gulf Arab state’s residency laws, the Ministry of Interior said on Monday (May 4).
The development was the first reported sign of unrest from the region’s vast population of foreign workers who have lost their jobs over the crisis.
Online videos purported to show Kuwaiti police firing teargas at the demonstrators overnight, who earlier chanted: “Where is our embassy?”
Security forces intervened to halt "riots and chaos" at a housing area for foreign workers, detaining an unspecified number of people, according to the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
On Sunday, KUNA quoted Egyptian ambassador to Kuwait Tareq al-Qooni as saying that Egyptians at a camp for immigration offenders will be repatriated starting "this week".
"The first flights will be for women and children who are kept in special housing units," Mr Qooni reportedly said.
Representatives of the Egyptian embassy in Kuwait went to the shelter and reassured workers that repatriation flights would begin this week, the statement said. The Egyptian embassy also apologized for the riots, it added.