| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
Libya’s crude output dropped 11 percent as clashes among rival armed groups over the last 10 days led to the closing of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number of fields to halt production. Output fell by about 80,000 barrels a day to 620, 000 barrels since fighting among armed groups broke out on March 3, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of permission to speak to media. Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, remain closed, according to the person. Crude production halted at Waha Oil. Co., which pumps crude to Es Sider. Waha is a joint...
(Al-Monitor 03/13/17)
Russia seizes opportunity in Libya. Vasily Kuznetsov explains the evolution of Russia’s approach to the Middle East in terms of both its “blunt pragmatism” and, since 2011, defining itself “as an alternative project rather than part of the West … premised on Russian historical experience.” Kuznetsov writes that this alternative project has extended to support for Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Libya. In backing Hifter, Moscow is seeking to shift its relations with Cairo from “mutual affinity into a solid alliance.” Despite Hifter’s limitations, other armed groups in Libya are “unreliable and weak.” Nonetheless, Kuznetsov notes, “This does not imply that Russia intends to ignore other Libyan actors. Amid the lack of developed institutions and overmilitarized society, the establishment of a...
(The Guardian 03/13/17)
Pentagon says Russia has intervened to support opponents of the western-backed government. A fierce battle for control of Libya’s oil ports is raging this weekend as worried American officials claim that Russia is trying to “do a Syria” in the country, supporting the eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar in an attempt to control its main source of wealth. The fighting between Haftar’s forces and militias from western Libya is focused on Sidra, Libya’s biggest oil port, and nearby Ras Lanuf, its key refinery. Together they form the gateway to the vast Oil Crescent, a series of oilfields stretching hundreds of miles through the Sahara containing Africa’s largest reserves. Haftar’s forces have launched airstrikes against militias around the oil ports themselves, with...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
An oil tanker that was scheduled to load crude at Libya’s Es Sider port changed its course to a different terminal in the west of the country as clashes in the eastern region keep the main export terminals out of service. Waha Oil Co. halted production due to the conflict. The tanker Overseas Redwood, originally due to load 630,000 barrels of crude at Es Sider on Thursday, will arrive instead at the port of Zawiya, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information
(Los Angeles Times 03/10/17)
Suobhe Altmmo had fled to Libya in 2012 hoping for a better life. He and his wife and children settled in the coastal town of Zawiya, where he planned to work as an electrician. But soon the country was engulfed in anarchy, and outsiders became targets of violence. It was too dangerous to send the children to school or even leave the house. Libya was overrun with “uneducated militiamen with nothing to do,” said Altmmo, who is 35. It seemed no better than his native Syria, where he had spent four years as a political prisoner. And so he fled again, crowding on to a ramshackle, wooden boat with hopes of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. He, his wife...
(The Guardian 03/10/17)
Government watchdog says £10m has been allocated to Libya without studying the human rights implications. British-funded refugee camps in Libya are implementing the indiscriminate and indefinite detention of asylum seekers in the conflict-riven country, the UK government’s official aid watchdog has warned. In a report published on Friday, the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact expresses concern that UK aid to Libya risks causing unintended harm to migrants and could prevent them from reaching a place of safety. It also criticises ministers for apparently decided on the funding plan without studying the human rights implications in a country struggling to contain its long-running civil war. “In Libya, where the operating environment severely constrains choices, the UK has identified some programming...
(Liberian Observer 03/10/17)
11 Libyan navy officers and engineers as well as 8 maintenence and repair personnel were sent to Italy to receive a theoretical course for a month on the 106 Libyan boat, the chief of the coast security department, Tariq Shanbor said Thursday. He added that after the course, the Libyan trainees will be given a training program for another month to get to know how to drive the under-repair Libyan boat in Benzart port, Tunisia. "The expenses of them trainings are covered by Italy and the EU as part of the deal between Libya and Italy regarding stemming illegal immigration.
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
The House of Representatives (HoR) in the east of Libya yesterday voted to suspend its involvement in the Libya Dialogue process. The HoR also voted to reject part one of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) which names the members of the Presidency Council (PC). By doing so, the HoR will no longer recognise any member of the Presidency Council. Head of the PC Fayez Al-Sarraj, and its members Ahmed Maiteeq, Abdelsalam Kajman, Mohamed Al-Amari and Ahmed Hamza – all based in Tripoli – are likely to ignore the HoR’s move. The decision comes as Libya’s rival power bodies are moving closer to open conflict with militia groups. “The GNA unity government is not legitimate any more, as well as its...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Libya’s eastern-based parliament has called for early elections following a collapse in a United Nations-brokered peace deal with rival authorities in the capital Tripoli. An open letter was sent by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) to the country’s electoral commission on Tuesday requested the commission make “all the necessary arrangements to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections before February 2018,” owing to Libya’s ongoing “difficult situation” and “political struggle”. Earlier, the HoR voted to withdraw its support for the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government
(The Guardian 03/09/17)
Conflict sparked by Benghazi Defence Brigade’s capture from Libyan National Army of terminals at Sidra and Ras Lanuf. Ambassadors to Libya from the UK, US and France have made an appeal for calm as Libya falls back into a bloody civil war with rival sides battling for control of the hugely lucrative Libyan oil terminals. Diplomats are concerned the fighting will severely damage the coastal oil infrastructure – the economic lifeblood of the country. The fighting was sparked by the Islamist-led Benghazi Defence Brigade’s surprise capture on Friday of the oil export terminals at Sidra and Ras Lanuf. The terminals were wrested from the control of Field Marshal Khalid Haftar, the head of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), a...
(Libya Herald 03/09/17)
The Italian government is looking to seal a deal with Niger that it hopes will dramatically cut back migration from sub-Saharan Africa through Libya and from there across the Mediterranean to Italy and elsewhere in Europe. “After the deal with Libya, the Italian government is now focusing on reaching a deal with Niger – the southern neighbouring country of Libya, and the main transit country for migrants coming from the Horn of Africa,” said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano at a meeting yesterday in Turin. In fact, the overwhelming bulk of all migrants crossing the Sahara into Libya pass through Niger, with the central Nigerien town of Agadez now the main migrant portal into Libya. The Libya deal to which...
(Financial Times 03/09/17)
Exports threatened amid fears the country is sliding towards full-scale civil war. Forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed government have retaken control of two crucial oil facilities after several days of clashes that threatened to dent the Opec member’s crude exports. The Tripoli-based administration said late on Tuesday that an allied force called the Petroleum Facilities Guard was now in control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports. The Benghazi Defence Brigade, a militia, had seized the facilities on Friday but had handed them over to the faction loyal to the government. An escalating conflict over the ports has triggered concerns that recent increases in Libya’s oil production are at risk of being reversed. The fighting is also undermining efforts by...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Rebels from Sudan have reportedly been smuggling weapons into Libya, a senior Sudanese official has said. In a statement, Sudanese General Ahmed Khalifa Al-Shami said a rebel group in western Sudan affiliated with the Darfur movement has been smuggling large quantities of weapons into the north African country. The general had mentioned that the Darfur movement in western Sudan had started doing business with Libyans, with authorities having seized large quantitates of cars attempting to smuggle weapons and even people. Chaos hit Libya in 2011 when a revolution ousted long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and led to a battle for power in the country.
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Bloomberg 03/08/17)
Libya’s United Nations-backed forces took control of two of the nation’s biggest oil ports on Tuesday, after clashes between rival armed groups led to a halt in shipments. The Petroleum Facilities Guard has obtained control of oil facilities at the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf “under the authorization of the Presidential Council,” Al Nabaa television reported, citing a statement from PFG head Idries Bu Khamada. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia group, captured the ports in an offensive that began on March 3. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the North African nation’s largest and third-largest oil ports, respectively, had been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. Bu Khamada said Libya’s National Oil Corp. can now...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Five people remained missing on Sunday after scores of migrants in an inflatable boat were rescued in turbulent waters off the coast of Libya overnight. About 122 of the migrants were saved after being spotted by the Golfo Azzuro, run by the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms group. "We saw the lights, the rescue boat, but we were very far," Farses, a migrant from Ghana, told AFP aboard the Golfo Azzuro. He had earlier been playing draughts, also called checkers, with another Ghanaian; both had won a game, so they agreed to play the tiebreaker once they were in Italy. But the friend fell asleep, and was among seven who fell into the sea when a strong wind buffeted the boat...
(AL Jazeera 03/06/17)
Haftar's LNA launches air strikes in attempt to regain control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports seized by BDB fighters. An eastern Libyan group says it is carrying out air strikes against rival factions as part of its attempt to push them back from positions around the major oil terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The Libyan National Army (LNA) is attempting to regain control of the ports after being forced to withdraw on Friday by an attack by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB). The BDB is composed partly of fighters who were expelled from Benghazi by the LNA. LNA warplanes targeted on Sunday afternoon positions near Es Sider [Al Sidra] and south of the coastal town of...

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