Tuesday 27 June 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/30/17)
Militant training camps in Libya are a direct threat to Egypt's national security, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday, after Egyptian air strikes targeted the camps in eastern Libya in recent days. Egypt's air force began the strikes just hours after masked men boarded vehicles driving dozens of Coptic Christians to pray at a monastery in the southern Egyptian province of Minya on Friday. They opened fire at close range, killing 29 and wounding 24 in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Speaking at a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Shoukry said the attack on the Christians proved that Libyan militants were capable of targeting Egypt. "The tragic work in Minya is evidence of the...
(AFP (eng) 05/29/17)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry discussed the conflicts in Libya and Syria as they met in Cairo on Monday, the foreign ministry there said. Lavrov and Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu were also due to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egypt's defence minister, the foreign ministry in Moscow said. Lavrov and Shoukry discussed Libya, where rival administrations and militias have fought for control of the oil-rich country since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moamer Kadhafi, the Egyptian statement said.
(AL Jazeera 05/29/17)
There is a link between the woeful Manchester attack and the dubious methods the UK used to help Libyans topple Gaddafi. There have been few decisions by the British government this century as damaging as those that laid the groundwork for the Manchester bombings. No, you cannot boil the causes of this "terrorist" attack down to one single "cause". Yes, Salman Abedi was an "evil loser", as Donald Trump put it with rare accuracy. Yes, it is unforgivable that Salman Abedi chose to target children. Yet what was in the British government's clear purview was to limit the possibility of Abedi being radicalised; to prevent a young man travelling abroad as a "foreign fighter" alongside a group that had previously...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/29/17)
Warplanes launched three air strikes on the Libyan city of Derna on Monday, a witness said, days after Egypt attacked camps there, saying it was targeting militants responsible for killing Egyptian Christians. There was no immediate confirmation of Monday's strikes from officials in Libya or neighboring Egypt, nor any claim of responsibility for the raid on the city at the eastern end of Libya's Mediterranean coast. The witness said one attack hit the western entrance to Derna and the other two hit Dahr al-Hamar in the south. Egyptian jets attacked Derna on Friday, just hours after masked militants boarded vehicles en route to a monastery in the southern Egyptian province of Minya and opened fire at close range, killing 29...
(Xinhuanet 05/29/17)
Libya's Benghazi-based extremist group known as Ansar Al-Sharia on Saturday announced that it was officially dissolving. The group is accused by Washington of carrying out the 2012 Benghazi attack on the U.S. consulate that killed the ambassador Christopher Stevens. Armed forces of General Khalifa Haftar has launched a military campaign three years ago on militant groups in Benghazi, including Ansar Al-Sharia. In its Saturday online statement, the group called on other armed groups to unite. "Thus, we have given way to the other honest sons of this nation to carry the message after us," the statement added. Haftar's forces take control of most of Benghazi, except for two areas where the remaining militants are stationed.
(Alarabiya.net 05/29/17)
Egypt and Libya launched renewed raids, at dawn on Monday, targeting sites at al-Qaeda’s Shura Council of Mujahideen in the Libyan city of Derna and its suburbs, Al Arabiya sources reported. The head of Libya's national army, Khalifa Hafter, called on Sunday all military units in western and southern Libya to prepare to support what he called the national forces, which fight extremism in Tripoli. The Libyan army confirmed on Sunday that the Egyptian air raids in Libya were coordinated with the Libyan forces in order to hit the headquarters of al-Qaeda’s Shura Council of Mujahideen and Bishr camp which is linked to Al Shura Council of Mujahideen. The Egyptian fighter jets launched a number of air raids on the...
(BBC News Africa 05/29/17)
A group of militant Islamists in Libya, blamed by the US for the 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi which killed the ambassador, says it has disbanded. The Ansar al-Sharia group said that its leadership had been wiped out while fighting the Libya National Army. Most of its members are thought to have defected to the Islamic State group. Separately, a case against Hillary Clinton brought by the parents of two Americans killed in the Benghazi attack has been dismissed by a US judge. The Benghazi diplomatic compound attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state. The issue dogged her presidential campaign last year. Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, parents of...
(AFP (eng) 05/27/17)
Egypt's air force launched six air strikes Friday against "terror camps in Libya" in retaliation for a deadly attack on Coptic Christians, state television said. It said jihadist training camps in the eastern Libyan city of Derna were hit. The report came minutes after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had announced Egyptian forces struck jihadist camps, but without saying where the strikes took place. "Egypt will not hesitate in striking terror camps anywhere, either inside (the country) or outside it," Sisi added. Witnesses in Libya reported four strikes against Derna, which is controlled by jihadists close to Al-Qaeda. They said the strikes were apparently carried out by one aircraft and targeted the regions of Al-Fatayeh, Al-Dhahr al-Ahmar, the eastern edges of...
(AFP (eng) 05/27/17)
At least 28 people were killed and nearly 130 wounded in fierce clashes in the Libyan capital Friday between forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government and rival militiamen, the health ministry said. Tripoli has been gripped by a power struggle between dozens of militias since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. Health ministry spokesman Anwar Frajallah gave a provisional toll of 28 dead and 128 wounded but could not say if they included any civilians. Hashem Bishr, a security official for the Government of National Accord (GNA), separately gave a toll of 23 loyalist forces killed and more than 29 wounded. Medical sources were not immediately available to confirm the figures. In the south of...
(AFP (eng) 05/27/17)
An armed Libyan group on Friday seized Al-Hadhba jail in south Tripoli where former officials of the regime of late strongman Moamer Kadhafi are being held, a judicial source said. The prison guards were forced to withdraw after an armed group loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord attacked, said the source requesting anonymity, adding that two guards were killed. The fate of the top former officials for Kadhafi, who was overthrown and killed in a 2011 revolution, was not known late on Friday. More than 30 are being held there, including Kadhafi's last premier Baghdadi al-Mahmudi and his former intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi. Both men were condemned to death in 2015. The official named the group that attacked...
(AFP (eng) 05/27/17)
More than 1,400 migrants seeking to get to Italy were rescued off the coast of Libya on Friday, but other vessels were in distress, according to accounts by Libyan and Italian officials. "Large rescue and interception operations are under way," navy spokesman General Ayoub Qassem said. "Today is the day of a massive exodus of illegal migrants toward Europe." The Libyan coastguard, fishing and commercial boats were working in coordination with the Italian authorities, he said. A Libyan oil tanker picked up 562 migrants, including dozens of women and children, and took them to Tripoli, a Libyan coastguard official said. Another group of migrants, whose size was not given, were taken to Zawiya, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the west,...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Libya is working closely with Britain to identify possible "terrorist networks" involved in the attack at a pop concert in Manchester, a senior Libyan official said Thursday. A source close to the family of the suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a Manchester-born Briton of Libyan origin, meanwhile, said he had expressed a desire to avenge the killing of a friend in the English city last year. "We are working closely and intensively with our British partners to probe possible terrorist networks and we have achieved important progress," deputy interior minister Abdelsalam Ashour told reporters. Ashour, a member of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), said the interior ministry's Deterrence Force was in charge of the investigation. "We have strong...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Forces led by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar on Thursday seized control of the Tamenhant airbase in the south of the country from rival forces, a spokesman said. "Our forces... took full control of Tamenhant airbase in the south of Libya," said Khalifa al-Obeidi, spokesman of Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army. An LNA officer, who declined to be named, said Haftar's forces had pounded the airbase on previous days and surrounded fighters from the Third Force militia. Haftar's forces persuaded the fighters to evacuate the airbase, which they did, allowing the LNA to take over the facility without any resistance, said the officer. The Third Force is loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord not recognised by the LNA...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Feeding on the chaos that has gripped Libya since the overthrow and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, jihadists have used the country to recruit and export militants. Salman Abedi, the man suspected of carrying out the attack on a pop concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and wounded dozens, was born in Britain but visited Libya before the bombing that was claimed by the Islamic State group. - Rebellion to jihad - At the start of the uprising against Kadhafi, dozens of Libyans who lived abroad travelled home to take up arms alongside other Muslim extremists against the veteran strongman. They were supplied weapons by Western countries and fought the regime as NATO warplanes provided them...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
At least seven migrants died and 77 were rescued off the coast of Libya on Thursday, two days after their rubber dinghy ran into trouble, the country's navy said. The survivors, who included four women and a child, spent two days holding onto what remained of their punctured vessel before they were pulled to safety, said navy spokesman Ayoub Kacem. Seven bodies were recovered from the surrounding waters, 12 nautical miles off Sayad, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Tripoli, he said. But the number of lives lost could be much higher as it was unknown how many migrants were originally on board the vessel, he added. Normally people smugglers squeeze up to 120 migrants onto such boats. Those...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
The terror attack in Manchester has thrown a spotlight on hardline Islamist exiles among opponents of former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi who live in the northwestern English city, experts said. Manchester is home to the largest cluster of Libyans in Europe, numbering 21,000 according to British media. The community became a hotbed of opposition to dictator Kadhafi, who was ousted in 2011. It contains a diverse range of people from doctors to experienced members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which fought alongside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. "If you were a Libyan living outside Libya, you were probably someone who was not very friendly to Kadhafi," Raffaello Pantucci, a specialist in British suburban terrorism, told AFP. "Within...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/26/17)
Nearly 80 migrants were rescued off Libya's coast after clinging to their sinking boat for two days, though the bodies of seven people who did not survive were also recovered, officials said. The 77 migrants, including a woman and one child, were rescued on Thursday off the coastal city of Zawiya in western Libya, Libyan coastguard and International Organization for Migration (IOM) officials said. "Seven bodies were recovered near the boat," said Tripoli coast guard spokesman Ayoub Qassem. "According to survivors they stayed for two days holding their boat (which became unseaworthy due to overloading) until they were rescued." "Some of them are suffering from burns as a result of remaining in the sea and under the sun for a...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...

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