| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamad Taher Siala on Friday urged the EU to rethink its naval operation in the Mediterranean, saying it comes with the side effect of encouraging migrants to attempt the perilous crossing to Europe. The European Union launched Operation Sophia in 2015 to crack down on smugglers on the high seas, after hundreds of migrants died when their rickety boats sank off southern Italy. The operation's vessels are charged with intercepting smugglers' boats and destroying them, but they often end up rescuing the migrants trying to make their way to Europe -- many of whom depart from Libya. "I think this Sophia operation, it's negative.
(The Guardian 03/30/17)
Power struggle could undermine authority of UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord. A power struggle for control of Libya’s oil is threatening to deepen splits in the country and undermine the fragile authority of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord, the GNA. The battle has forced the politically neutral chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) to warn the GNA that it has overstepped its authority both by closing the oil ministry and by trying to take over some of the NOC’s role. The attack by Libyan oil boss Mustafa Sanalla’s may weaken already fraying international support for the Tripoli
(Reuters (Eng) 03/30/17)
Oil prices rose further on Thursday, building on two days of increases after Kuwait gave its backing for an extension of OPEC production cuts in an attempt to reduce global oversupply. Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 20 cents at $52.62 a barrel by 1330 GMT (9:30 a.m. ET). U.S. crude oil CLc1 was 45 cents higher at $49.96 a barrel. Both benchmark crude contracts rose more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday to their highest levels for two weeks, rebounding from four-month lows. The futures contracts appeared to be searching for a new trading range, brokers said. "There is a significant chance that a short-to-medium-term bottom has been found," said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
A Libyan air force pilot was killed Wednesday as his fighter jet crashed in the east of the country after carrying out strikes on a nearby jihadist stronghold, a military source said. The MiG-21 crash-landed in a residential area south of Tobruk, where a rival to Libya's UN-backed unity government is based, 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) east of Tripoli. A source at a Tobruk military base, who declined to be named, said the jet had carried out bombing raids on jihadist positions in Derna, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Tobruk, before crashing. The pilot, a member of forces loyal to Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar, was killed but the source was unable to say if the incident caused any...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/29/17)
Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday despite industry data showing an increase in U.S. crude. inventories, lifted by supply disruptions in Libya and views that an OPEC-led output reduction is likely to be extended. Front-month Brent crude futures rose 41 cents to $51.74 a barrel by 0929 GMT (5:29 a.m. ET). West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 34 cents at $48.71 a barrel. Oil production from the western Libyan fields of Sharara and Wafa has been blocked by armed protesters, reducing output by some 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) and prompting the National Oil Corp to declare force majeure on Tuesday. "That (Libya), along with the Iranian oil minister saying there is likely to be an extension to...
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
Altogether 14 detainees of Libya's former government officials were released on Tuesday, ministry of justice of the UN-backed government said. The 14 former officials were detained in Al-Hadba prison in the capital Tripoli for charges that include financial corruption and suppression of protests during the 2011 uprising. The release of the detainees was based on orders of the attorney general, the ministry said, after completion of legal procedures. Libya has witnessed an uprising in 2011 that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Some officials of Gaddafi's government fled the country and others, including some of his sons, were detained on charges of murder and embezzlement of public funds. A Libyan court released 13 detained former officials in June 2016 after the Criminal Justice Department accepted their appeal.
(Bloomberg 03/29/17)
Oil rose after a pipeline halt reduced output in OPEC member Libya, countering concerns that a U.S. surplus shows little sign of diminishing. Libya’s output was said to fall to about 500,000 barrels a day after a pipeline carrying crude from the Sharara field -- its biggest -- stopped operating. Clashes between armed groups in the nation have previously led to market disruptions, and the latest news drove New York oil futures up as much as 1 percent after boosting them 1.3 percent on Tuesday. Prices are headed for two straight days of gains for the first time in more than a month. The production drop in Libya, which was pumping 700,000 barrels a day before the pipeline halt, is...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field was said to stop producing, leading to a 20 percent decline in crude output from the country with Africa’s largest reserves. The OPEC nation’s output dropped to 560,000 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. The North African country was pumping 700,000 barrels a day, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., said on March 22. Oil prices rose as much as 1.4 percent. The pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, to the Zawiya
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
Humanitarian ships rescued almost 1,200 migrants who were crossing the Mediterranean Sea at the weekend on an array of small, tightly packed boats, Doctors Without Borders said on Sunday. A young woman was found unconscious on one of the vessels and later died, the group said. Some 412 people were crammed onto a single wooden boat, while the others were picked up from huge inflatable dinghies, which had set sail from the coast of Libya. The weekend rescues mean that about 22,000 mainly African migrants have been picked up heading to Italy so far this year, while around 520 have died trying to make the crossing. An Italian prosecutor said last week that humanitarian ships operating off Libya were undermining...
(Andalou Agency 03/28/17)
Libya’s warring camps remain locked in conflict over North African country’s oil-rich central region Forces loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament, led by military leader Khalifa Haftar, hope to capture a strategic airbase as a necessary step to retaking Libya’s coveted “oil crescent” region, according to sources close to the conflict. Ali Said, an officer in the pro-Haftar camp, spoke to Anadolu Agency about Haftar’s ongoing campaign and recent military deployments to the strategic region. “Our recent deployments are aimed not only at recapturing strategic oil ports, but also at seizing the Jufra Airbase, from which the Benghazi Defense Brigades are able to strike our forces in the region,” he said. The Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) came into being last summer...
(Xinhuanet 03/28/17)
A military spokesman said that IS affiliates are still active in southern Sirte despite the defeat by the government's forces. Mohamed Gunono, spokesman of the air emergency chamber of the UN-backed government, said that the current political division is helping IS fighters regroup. "The political rivalry still exists with no regards to the country. This rivalry is exploited by the (terrorist) group," Gunono said. The UN-backed government of national accord on Friday issued a resolution to form a security force of 3,000 fighters to secure Sirte. The government's forces announced on March 15 that a presence of IS affiliates still remains in some parts of Sirte, despite defeating the terrorist group. Sirte, located nearly 450 km east the capital Tripoli,...
(AL Jazeera 03/28/17)
Maimuna Aghliw tells of normal day in the Libyan city of Misrata, peppered with hints of a war nearby. Libyan activist, Maimuna Aghliw, who has been living in Misrata since 2009, reflects on life there during wartime. Aghliw, 26, spent some time working at an NGO, focusing on psychosocial support, visiting different elementary and secondary schools. She also spent time teaching and tutoring children of various ages. Here, she talks about her experience as a teacher in war-torn Libya. Misrata, Libya - I am often asked what it's like living in Libya. I mean, people are curious about a country where all that happens is kidnappings and killings, seasoned with everyday chaos - at least that's what the media says...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
One woman was found dead while aid groups said Sunday around 1,000 migrants were rescued overnight off the Libyan coast, the latest victim among growing numbers seeking to reach Europe. Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee said the dead woman was found on one of several rudimentary vessels carrying would-be refugees, helped during a six-hour operation. Two rescue ships picked up the migrants as they sought to make the perilous journey to Italy, three days after more than 250 Africans were feared drowned off Libya after a rescue boat found five corpses close to two sinking rubber dinghies. Despite rough winter seas, migrant departures from Libya on boats chartered by people traffickers have accelerated in recent months from already-record...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya through a combination of military means and oil and weapons sales, a top US general said Friday. General Thomas Tom Waldhauser, who heads the US military's Africa Command, said Russia is "on the ground" in the border region between Egypt and Libya. "They are trying to influence the action, we watch what they do with great concern," Waldhauser told Pentagon reporters. "In addition to the military side of this, we've seen some recent activity in business ventures -- whether it's oil, whether it's weapon sales that perhaps were stopped when the (Moamer) Kadhafi regime took place."
(Reuters (Eng) 03/25/17)
The head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday there was an "undeniable" link between Russia and powerful Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, underscoring U.S. concerns about Moscow's deepening role in Libya. Earlier this month Reuters reported that Russia appeared to have deployed special forces to an air base in western Egypt near the border with Libya. Russia has denied the report. When asked about the presences of Russian troops in Libya, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, said "there are Russians on the ground in the area," adding that Russia's attempts to influence Libya were concerning. "They are on the ground, they are trying to influence the action, we watch what...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A Tripoli court has suspended a deal between Libya and Italy to limit irregular migration to Europe, the unity government's justice ministry said. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his Libyan counterpart Fayez al-Sarraj signed the deal in February to tackle people smuggling through the North African country. Italy pledged money, coastguard training and equipment to assist the UN-backed government in efforts to address Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War II. But an appeals court in Tripoli this week suspended implementation of the deal, the justice ministry said Thursday. "The justice ministry of the Government of National Accord confirms that the court is still
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
The International Organization for Migration has offered Libya support in efforts to improve the conditions of migrants in the country. During a visit by Director General William Lacy Swing to Tripoli, Swing discussed the complex migration and displacement situation within the country. He met with Libyan authorities and said that IOM is enhancing its support to the most vulnerable people in the war torn country. “So I visited one of the detention centres, with my colleagues, I was concerned and I’ve told the minister that we want to try continue supporting the government to upgrade and strengthen and improve

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