Friday 23 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
Seven migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have been found dead in an abandoned refrigerator truck near the Libyan capital, a senior official in the fight against illegal immigration told AFP Monday. "There were 35 illegal migrants on board, but seven of them had already died, and the 28 survivors have received medical treatment and are in good health," Adel Mostafa said. He added that the dead migrants, who were found on Sunday, had almost certainly asphyxiated. The official said he did not know what had prompted the smuggler to abandon the vehicle and the people inside it. Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are driven through southern Libya in trucks to the northern coast where they later attempt the perilous Mediterranean crossing...
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
From Jason Pack, Washington, DC, US. Sir, The very premise of Francisco Rodriguez’s beyondbrics article “Don’t let Venezuela become the next Libya” (June 1) completely misunderstands the problem of post-conflict transitions in weak states and draws a false comparison with Libya. He states: “Perhaps nowhere is their failure most evident than in Libya, which descended into full-fledged anarchy after the collapse of its all-powerful petrostate.” Furthermore, he warns about the return of authoritarianism to Libya. This is not a realistic possibility. Libya was never a real state. It lacked institutions or centralisation under President Muammer Gaddafi. Mr Rodriguez counsels a negotiated transition in Venezuela to preserve the country’s supposedly functioning institutions. This would not have worked in Libya during the...
(BBC News Africa 06/06/17)
Kidnapping has become a growing problem in Libya, where three governments and several militia are vying for power. The BBC's North Africa correspondent Rana Jawad has been talking to people personally affected. "My father was kidnapped yesterday." Not quite the text message you expect to get from a close friend on a Friday morning. I called to confirm that it was not a cruel auto-correction and rushed over to her place. She looked remarkably composed but exhausted. Here, in the comfort and safety of neighbouring Tunisia, the insecurities engulfing Libya seem like a galaxy away. She gets another call, and another, about a dozen in less than an hour. She stands, frowning, and clutching the phone, trying to make sense...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(AFP (eng) 06/03/17)
Forces loyal to east Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said on Saturday they had taken an air base in the south, boosting their presence in the vast Libyan desert. Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army seized Al-Jufra base 500 kilometres (300 miles) south of Tripoli, LNA spokesman Khalifa al-Abidi said. The base had been occupied by the Benghazi Defence Brigades coalition, a rival to Haftar's forces that includes Islamists driven out of Libya's second city. Abidi said the LNA also took the nearby towns of Houn and Soukna where they found ammunition depots and vehicles. There was no immediate information about casualties. Haftar's forces now control all the major cities and military bases in the desert south of the North African country...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/03/17)
Forces loyal to Libya's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Friday that they had moved into strategic oasis towns in the central desert region of Jufra, clashing with rival factions after conducting heavy air strikes in the area overnight. The LNA is pushing to expand its presence in central and southern Libya, where it has been vying for control with forces linked to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and other opponents. A military escalation puts at risk international efforts to unify political and armed camps based in the east and west of Libya, which have continued to vie for power despite a U.N.-mediated transition plan struck in late 2015. The clashes on Friday were between local forces loyal to...
(AFP (eng) 06/02/17)
Tunisian security forces on Saturday rescued 126 sub-Saharan migrants including seven pregnant women who had been trying to reach Europe from Libya, a Red Crescent official said. Fishermen had alerted the authorities to the presence of a vessel in distress off Ben Guerdane in southern Tunisia near the border with Libya, Dr Mongi Slim told AFP. Among the migrants were 48 women, seven of them pregnant, and three children. Those rescued were mainly from Nigeria, Mali and Gambia, and had set off from Libya, he added. They were taken to the Tunisian port of Zarzis to be given first aid before
(AFP (eng) 06/02/17)
Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government on Thursday took control of Tripoli International Airport, which was largely destroyed in 2014, after the withdrawal of rival militias from the site. "This is the beginning of the reconstruction of state of institutions" and the return to rule of law, said General Najmi al-Nakoua, leader of the newly formed presidential guard. The airport, located south of Tripoli, was badly damaged during fierce fighting in mid-2014, after which the Fajr Libya coalition of militias seized the capital and installed a government. Flights in and out of Tripoli have been operating through Mitiga airport
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
A force operating under Libya's U.N.-brokered government said on Thursday it was securing Tripoli's main airport, which has been closed since it was badly damaged in fighting in 2014 and which was controlled by a rival faction until last week. The Presidential Guard formed by the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) was able to access Tripoli International Airport after loosely aligned armed groups gained ground in heavy fighting in the capital last Friday. The GNA has struggled to impose its authority since arriving in Tripoli in March last year and to rein in militias that still hold sway on the ground. It has been rejected by factions in eastern Libya loyal
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Libyan presidential guards said on Thursday that the UN-backed government has assumed control of Tripoli international airport. "Competent authorities have taken control of Tripoli international airport, with no influence or control of any outlaw group," Najmi Nakoo, commander of the presidential guards, said at a press conference. Nakoo also said the government forces recaptured on Wednesday some military camps and sites in southern Tripoli previously controlled by rival armed groups. On May 27, violent clashes erupted in southern Tripoli between militias allied with the UN-backed government and a militia loyal to the deposed government of Khalifa al-Ghawil, which according to the health ministry killed more than 55 and injured at least 100 others. Libya has remained in chaos since the...
(Premium Times 06/02/17)
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, on Thursday said it is too early to determine when production caps should be imposed on Nigeria and Libya. The OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo, said this on Thursday at an economic forum in Russia’s St Petersburg. Nigeria and Libya had earlier been exempted from an OPEC and non-OPEC producing members’ agreement to extend the crude oil production cut by another nine months to allow further rebalancing of the market. The decision took place in May after the 2nd ministerial meeting of the two groups at the headquarters of OPEC in Vienna, Austria. The President of the OPEC Conference and minister of energy of Saudi Arabia, Khalid Al- Falih, had said that the extension...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(Xinhuanet 06/01/17)
Libyan UN-backed Prime Minister Faiz Sarraj met on Wednesday with a delegation of the African Union High Level Committee on Libya, and discussed the crisis under the political agreement. The AU delegation was composed of foreign ministers of Congo, Guinea, Niger, Mauritania and AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ismail al-Sharqawi. The delegation stressed AU's support for the government of national accord, and praised Serraj's efforts to achieve national reconciliation between rival political parties. According to the delegation, the meeting aims to involve all parties into the political process and help bring different views together. Serraj praised the importance of AU's support to Libya's security, saying the solution needs "an end to foreign interference supporting a particular party, which has further...
(The Independent 06/01/17)
Researchers say EU is disregarding international law and human rights. A new report has accused the EU of disregarding human rights and international law in its desperation to slow refugee boat crossings across the Mediterranean Sea. The bloc has pledged tens of millions of euros in funding for authorities in Libya, despite the country’s ongoing civil war and allegations of torture, rape and killings earning it the moniker “hell on Earth” among migrants. Research by the US-based Refugees International (RI) group warned that the EU’s push to prevent boats leaving the Libyan coast – now the main departure point towards Europe – could fuel horrific abuses. “The fate of people who are seeking international protection is effectively absent from the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/01/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was quick to launch air strikes on militants in Libya in response to a deadly attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt - but the attacks do not seem to be targeting those responsible. The response was popular with many Egyptians. The country's state-owned and private news media celebrated it as swift justice, but the president has been vague about exactly who he is attacking. The strikes have been directed at Islamist groups other than Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for Friday's massacre of dozens in the southern province of Minya, and seem to be intended to shore up Sisi's allies in eastern Libya. "The attacks in Minya were claimed by Islamic State, and there are...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
The United Nations on Tuesday launched a $75.5-million (67.5-million-euro) appeal to tackle a swelling humanitarian and migration crisis in Libya. The UN's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the funds would go toward providing essential services for displaced people, refugees and asylum-seekers. The appeal is in partnership with the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM). "We have urgent work to do in Libya and can only do it together," said UNHCR head Filippo Grandi in a statement. "We are going the extra mile in trying to make a difference for hundreds of
(Daily News Egypt 05/31/17)
The airstrikes follow Minya bus terrorist attack of which IS claimed responsibility. Egypt’s delegate to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) notified on Saturday the council that Egypt’s airstrikes on Libya targeted terrorist groups and described the attack as the right of the country for self defence which the UN charters stipulate, according to a press statement. Egypt has reportedly carried out airstrikes on the city of Derna in eastern Libya on 27 May, following the shooting of Coptic Christians in Minya in Upper Egypt, which resulted in the death of 28 civilians.
(The Independent 05/31/17)
War-torn North African country is under renewed scrutiny following Manchester bombing. The UK “could have done more” to stop the chaos and bloodshed in Libya that followed Western intervention, a Foreign Office minister has admitted. Tobias Ellwood defended RAF air strikes against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, ordered by David Cameron, saying there was a “duty to protect” civilians during the North African country’s 2011 revolution. The UK’s role in Libya – where Manchester bomber Salman Abedi had strong links – has come under renewed scrutiny since the attack, which killed 22 people. Since the revolution, the country has descended into a state of semi-anarchy with power divided between rival governments and arms factions including Isis. The unstable situation has also allowed...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...

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