| Africatime
Sunday 22 January 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/21/17)
Egypt is working to organise direct talks between the leaders of rival Libyan authorities contesting the war-torn country, its foreign minister said Saturday after hosting a regional meeting. The UN-backed government in Tripoli has struggled to impose its authority contested by a rival administration in the east of the country. "A political solution is the only way to resolve the crisis in Libya," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday before going into a meeting with foreign ministers from Libya's neighbouring countries. Following the meeting, attended by ministers from Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Niger, as well as UN envoy Martin Kobler, Shoukry announced plans to hold the direct negotiations.
(The New York Times 01/21/17)
Before ceding power, the Obama administration quietly removed a former extremist stronghold in Libya from a list of combat zones where United States counterterrorism drone strikes are authorized without obeying special rules intended to prevent civilian deaths, officials said on Friday. The change means that as Donald J. Trump’s presidency begins, the United States is targeting Islamist militants in three known “areas of active hostilities,” where strict guidelines to protect civilians do not apply: Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. For much of 2016, there was a fourth: The region around Surt, Libya. It is not clear whether Mr. Trump will keep those civilian-protection rules — called the “Presidential Policy Guidance,”
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
A car bomb exploded Friday near a mosque in Libya's second city of Benghazi, wounding 12 people including a former interior minister, medical and security sources said. Ashour Shwayel, who served as interior minister in the government of former prime minister Ali Zeidan, and his son were seriously hurt in the blast, said the spokeswoman of Al-Jala hospital, Fadia al-Barghati. A security source said the blast was caused by an explosive device placed inside a car parked near Abu Houraira...
(The Wall Street Journal 01/20/17)
Strikes outside Sirte mark widening of U.S. campaign. American B-2 bombers and drones struck Islamic State training camps and other targets in Libya on Wednesday evening, killing dozens of militants, according to Pentagon officials, in a broadening of the U.S. war against the extremist group in northern Africa. Two training camps approximately 30 miles southwest of the city of Sirte were hit in the operation, Pentagon officials said. Non-U.S. forces on the ground were assessing the impact of the strikes, but Defense Secretary Ash Carter said according to initial estimates more than 80 Islamic State militants were
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Two U.S. B-2 warplanes carried out airstrikes on Wednesday night on camps of IS in the outskirts of Libya's Sirte, killing at least 80 militants, said a statement by the Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook. "In conjunction with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes Wednesday night destroying two IS camps, 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte," the statement said. "The IS terrorists targeted included individuals who fled to the remote desert camps from Sirte in order...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Libya's unity government chief Fayez al-Sarraj called off taking part in the World Economic Forum in Davos because of worsening power cuts at home, his spokesman said Thursday. Total blackouts have struck the south and west of the North African country twice this week because of production shortages and a spike in demand due to a cold snap. The power cuts, which can last 24 hours, also disrupt water supplies and mobile phone and internet connections, highlighting the failure of...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
American B-2 stealth bombers and armed drones have attacked two Islamic State military camps in Libya, killing "dozens" of jihadists near their former bastion of Sirte, an official said Thursday. The strike late Wednesday came a month after the United States officially wrapped up military operations in and around Sirte, where it had conducted nearly 500 strikes to help the Libyan unity government expel jihadists from the coastal city. The fighters "were seen immediately beforehand carrying weapons, wearing tactical vests, carrying mortars and standing in formation," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that no civilians were thought to have been killed and no women or children were present.
(Libya Herald 01/19/17)
The UN-brokered Libya Dialogue which was expected to meet in Tunis today, Wednesday, has now been postponed until Sunday. It is the second time in a week the meeting has been put off. The group had intended to meet last week in Ghadames but that did not happen – mainly because of the Presidency Council and others were opposed to the Dialogue team discussing and possibly approving changes to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). In the event, it was proposed that the meeting take place today and tomorrow. However, it appears that the opposition did not calm. Demands for a delay have continued.
(Libya Herald 01/19/17)
UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler’s has once more been denied access to Libya, this time in Tobruk. The pilots of his UN aircraft from Tunis were today told they were not authorised to land. A frustrated Kobler wrote on social media: “Without access [to] our Libyan partners we cannot assist. Access is particularly necessary for UN colleagues working on humanitarian and development files. How can we help the Libyan people in the east?” Instead of Tobruk, Kobler flew on to Rome...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
Tunisian and Libyan parties on Tuesday struck a deal to resume vital trade through the Ras Jedir crosspoint after a week of unrest, a source close to the negotiations said. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agreement was reached at a fresh talks between the two sides. Lawmaker Ahmed Laamari, who took part in earlier negotiations on the issue, said separately that the deal should come into force on Sunday. The terms of the accord were...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Emboldened by its success in Syria, Russia is turning its eyes to chaos-ridden Libya with support for a military strongman whose forces oppose the internationally backed government. Experts say Moscow is looking to gain a foothold in the North African nation with its backing for Marshal Khalifa Haftar, based in Libya's east and one of the country's most powerful figures since the ouster and killing of Moamer Kadhafi. Russia has been cultivating Haftar as an ally, with the military chief...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Two rebel groups driven out of Darfur by a Sudanese military offensive now operate mostly in Libya and South Sudan but hope to return to fight again, a UN report said Monday. Sudan meanwhile is breaking out of international isolation -- the Obama administration eased its sanctions on Friday -- giving the Khartoum government "more leeway to pursue a Darfur deal on its own terms," said the report by a panel of experts. The conflict in the vast desert region...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Forces loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Monday retook a district in Libya's Benghazi from jihadists after fighting that killed nine soldiers in two days, a military source said. "We now control the district of Abu Sneib" in the southwest of the city, said a commanding officer in the army headed by Haftar, who backs the parliament in the country's east. "Our forces now completely surround the Qanfuda area" nearby, the same source said. The source said 52 troops had died in fighting since January 1 in and around Benghazi. Haftar has managed to retake a large part of the eastern coastal city from jihadists
(Reuters (Eng) 01/14/17)
Libya's U.N.-backed government has not accepted proposals by Rome aimed at cutting migrant flows to Italy and the two sides are "far apart" on the issue, Malta's foreign minister said on Friday. George Vella, whose government holds the rotating chair of European Union ministerial councils, said he would brief his EU counterparts in Brussels on Monday on a long conversation he held on Thursday on behalf of the Union with the foreign minister of Libya's embattled, U.N.-backed premier, Fayez Seraj...
(Middle East Monitor 01/14/17)
National Salvation government forces have seized at least three ministries in Libya’s capital, following the current UN-backed government’s year-long failure to bring stability and order back to the war-torn country. The leader of the group, Khalifa Ghwell, confirmed that his forces seized control of the ministries of defence, labour and the “martyrs and the wounded” ministry, which looks after the families of the aforementioned. He also declared himself “Prime Minister of Libya”. Ghwell’s group was formed by the outgoing parliament...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Gunmen on Thursday tried but failed to seize three government ministries in the Libyan capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the UN-backed Government of National Accord said. Ashraf al-Thulthi said "outlaws" who back the former self-proclaimed "Government of National Salvation" of Khalifa Ghweil opposed to the GNA clashed with loyalist forces and were forced to retreat. They had tried to take control of a vacant defence ministry building as well as the labour ministry and the ministry in charge of the affairs of martyrs and missing people, he added. Ghweil has refused to recognise the authority of the GNA since it was

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