| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
At least 97 migrants were missing after their boat sank on Thursday off the Libyan coast, a navy spokesman said. Survivors said the missing include 15 women and five children, General Ayoub Qassem told AFP. He said the Libyan coastguard had rescued a further 23 migrants of various African nationalities just under 10 kilometres (6 miles) off the coast of Tripoli. The boat's hull was completely destroyed and the survivors, all men, were found clinging to a flotation device, he said. Those who had disappeared were "probably dead", but bad weather had so far prevented the recovery of their bodies, Qassem added. An AFP photographer said survivors had been given food and medical care at Tripoli port before being transferred...
(Sputnik 04/13/17)
According to the Libyan National Army Commander, the issue of establishment of the Russian military base in Libya is not being discussed. The issue of establishment of the Russian military base in Libya is not being discussed, Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar told Sputnik Thursday. "This issue has not been discussed at all. I do not think that Russia has the desire or the need to establish a military base in Libya. Russia has a giant fleet in the Mediterranean, which allows to do without land bases in this region. In any case, the creation of a military base is a matter shaped by local, regional and international conditions. I do not think that such conditions exist now," Haftar...
(Financial Times 04/13/17)
G7 foreign ministers are set to underline their backing for the UN-sponsored government in Libya headed by prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj, easing concerns about a major shift in US policy with regard to the North African country. According to a section of the communiqué being discussed in Lucca, Italy, and seen by the Financial Times, the G7′s top diplomats will express “strong support” for Mr Sarraj’s government and “firm opposition to any attempt to disrupt the stabilisation process”. Italian officials had been concerned that the Trump administration might perform a U-turn on Libya policy, shifting its support to the anti-Islamist military leader Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Moscow and controls the eastern part of the country. This in turn...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Close to 100 migrants were feared missing after their boat sank off the Libyan coast near Tripoli on Thursday, a coastguard official said. Coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said 23 migrants were rescued from the craft off Gargaresh, a western suburb of Tripoli. Survivors said the inflatable boat had set off with about 120 people on board. "Some 97 are still missing, including 15 women and children," Qassem said. "What happened is that the base of the boat got wrecked and the boat had sunk." Libya is the main departure point for migrants hoping to reach Europe by sea, and more than 150,000 have made the crossing from Libya to Italy in each of the past three years. Smugglers put most...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/11/17)
Production at Libya's Sharara oilfield has been halted after an unknown group blocked a pipeline just one week after a previous shutdown, a Libyan oil source and a field engineer told Reuters on Monday. Sharara's production had recovered to 213,000 barrels per day (bpd) by Sunday, when the latest stoppage began. The new blockade led the North African country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) to declare force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya export terminal, the oil source said. Libya's national production has more than doubled since last year after a blockade at major eastern oil ports ended, but the oil sector has continued to suffer from frequent disruptions due to armed conflict, political rivalry and local protests...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(AFP (eng) 04/06/17)
Forces loyal to Libya's eastern authorities Thursday battled to seize a southern air base, spokesmen for the forces said, as a rival unity government condemned the attack on its forces. "The fighting has not stopped since yesterday" around the Tamenhant air base, said Mohammed Ghoneim, a spokesman for the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army. Another spokesman for the LNA, which is loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, said it had begun an offensive to retake the base in the suburbs of the southern city of Sebha. The LNA carried out air strikes on the base on Wednesday, Ahmad al-Mesmari said, without mentioning casualties. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which Haftar has refused to recognise
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
East Libyan forces said on Wednesday they had carried out air strikes and a ground attack on an air base controlled by rivals from the western city of Misrata, prompting a pledge of retaliation from the government in Tripoli. Tamanhent air base, near the city of Sabha, is on a frontline between loose armed alliances based in eastern and western Libya that have been vying for power in an on-off conflict since 2014. The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has been gaining ground in recent months and had committed to pursuing opponents in the desert region north and east of Sabha after losing and recapturing two key oil
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
Four suspected migrant smugglers were killed in an exchange of fire with the Libyan coastguard off western Libya on Thursday, spokesman Ayoub Qassem said. Qassem said the clash started when the coastguards tried to apprehend heavily armed gunmen whose boat was located near a migrant vessel close to the city of Zawiya, about 45 km (28 miles) west of Tripoli. "The coastguard boat detected the gunmen's boat by radar during a patrol," Qassem told Reuters. "The gunmen were asked to stop but they refused to follow the rules, which means most likely they were smugglers of illegal migrants. They opened fire at the patrol. The coastguards fired back too." Two of the suspected smugglers were arrested and one was missing,...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/06/17)
Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December. The group, all but two of whom are women and children, escaped from Sirte, a former Islamic State stronghold in central Libya, while forces from the nearby city of Misrata battled to oust the militants late last year. Some of the women were on their way to Europe when Islamic State fighters kidnapped and held them as sex slaves. After they escaped from Sirte, they were investigated for possible ties to the group and held for several months in a Misrata prison. Reuters has documented...
(Libya Herald 04/05/17)
The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egypt’s petroleum projects construction company Petrojet are looking to reactivate their presence on Libya. Both had meetings today to that effect with Presidency Council deputy leader Ahmed Maetig as well as with Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the National Oil Corporation. In a statement following his meeting with the visiting heads of both EGPC and Petrojet, Maetig stressed the importance of economic cooperation with Egypt. It was also agreed to form a joint team from the National Oil Corporation and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation which would study possible projects.
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
AFP's photographer in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, Abdullah Doma, was released Monday after two days of detention, but his identity papers were confiscated and his situation remains highly uncertain. Benghazi is controlled by the military authorities of Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya who contests the legitimacy of the Government of National Accord which is based in the capital Tripoli and is backed by the international community. AFP management welcomed Doma's release but called on the authorities concerned to bring an end to the harassment of the photographer.
(Bloomberg 04/04/17)
Oil’s rally above $50 a barrel is running out of steam after Libyan production returns, bringing the focus back to OPEC. Futures in New York extended losses after dropping 0.7 percent on Monday, following a 5.5 percent jump last week. While OPEC output fell by 200,000 barrels a day in March, the decline was helped by cuts in Nigeria and Libya that are exempt from its production-curb deal to shrink a global glut, a Bloomberg News survey shows. Libya was said to resume pumping at its biggest field after about a week of disruption that had helped boost prices. Oil’s climb last week, its most since December, was also aided after Kuwait and other producers from the Organization of Petroleum...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
The Italian government said Sunday that dozens of rival tribes in southern Libya had agreed to cooperate on securing the country's borders in an effort to curb the influx of migrants trying to reach Europe. Italy's interior ministry said the 60 tribal leaders -- notably the Tuareg of the southwest, the Toubou of the southeast, and the Arab tribe of Awlad Suleiman -- had reached the 12-point deal after 72 hours of secret talks in Rome. A representative from Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, which is based in Tripoli and controls western Libya, was also present. "A Libyan border patrol unit will be operational to monitor Libya's southern border of 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles)," Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti...
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
Libya’s crude production rebounded to about 660,000 barrels a day as the OPEC nation’s biggest oil field resumed output after about a week of disruption. Force majeure on the Zawiya export terminal was lifted after pumping resumed Sunday at Sharara, the nation’s biggest oil field, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp., said Monday by phone. Libya’s overall production is 660,000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. Libya’s output had dropped to about 500,000 barrels a day last week when production was halted at Sharara, according to the same person. Libya, with Africa’s largest oil reserves, is struggling to...

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