Monday 22 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Rwanda will be seeking to put their Cecafa Cup campaign back on track against Libya when the two teams meet on Thursday in a prelude to next year's CHAN finals in Morocco. Champions for the only time in 1999, Rwanda are at risk of bowing out of the tournament without a win after back-to-back defeats against Kenya and Zanzibar in Group A. German coach Antoine Hey has had the chance to study all 23 of his players after completely reshuffling the team that lost 2-0 to Kenya for Tuesday's 3-1 reverse against Zanzibar. "We don’t have any other chance to prepare for CHAN (African Nations Championship) and this is our chance to give every player a platform and for us...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/05/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Donning leather and helmets (sometimes), they roar along Libya’s hair-raising, potholed roads on carefully polished Harley Davidsons and Kawasakis. Part of a growing scene, there are now hundreds of bikers in Tripoli alone who come from all walks of life. One is the imam of a local mosque, another a 60-year-old mechanic who lived nearly three decades in Texas. Riding past - often in groups - on their gleaming machines, they stick out in Libya, where a conservative society still bears the scars of decades of authoritarian rule under former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and the revolution and conflict that followed. They say their hobby lifts moods in a country worn down by years of violence and...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
The head of the African Union's executive commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Thursday said around 3,800 migrants needed to be repatriated urgently from Libya. "They want to get out of this mess as swiftly as possible," he said at a summit of the AU and the European Union in Abidjan dominated by the issue of migrant abuse in Libya. He said there were between "400,000 and 700,000" migrants in Libya, and at least 42 migrant camps there. Faki said that the AU's commissioner for social affairs had been to Tripoli, where she visited a camp that had around 3,800 people, mostly from West Africa. "There are women and children, living in inhumane conditions," he said. "We have agreed, along with...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The head of an eastern, parallel branch of Libya’s central bank said he may order more banknotes from Russia, in an effort to ease liquidity problems before a currency devaluation he hopes to work out with the country’s internationally recognized government. The governor of the eastern bank, Ali al-Hibri is aligned with a rival government based in eastern Libya. He has little leverage, since the recognized central bank in Tripoli has continued to control oil revenues and disburse funds across the country, with international backing. But four of six board members of the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya are aligned with the eastern-based factions that tried to set up parallel financial institutions as conflict in Libya escalated...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - The bodies of 36 men found near the eastern Libyan town of al-Abyar in October appear to have been summarily executed by armed groups loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. Local police found the bodies on a main road about 50 km east of Benghazi in an area controlled by the LNA. Shortly afterwards, the LNA said it was launching an investigation. Sponsored Libya is divided between rival governments and armed factions. The LNA controls most of the east, where Haftar has expanded his power over the past three years, waging a long campaign against Islamists and other opponents for control of Benghazi. Haftar’s buy-in is seen as crucial...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
The United Nations' refugee agency on Wednesday welcomed a move by Libyan authorities to create a "transit and departure facility" to transfer the most vulnerable migrants to third countries. Supported by the Italian government, the centre in Tripoli would help thousands of vulnerable migrants reach safety, the UNHCR said in a statement. Libyan authorities have not so far confirmed the centre's creation. The announcement comes just days after US news channel CNN broadcast video footage appearing to show migrants being sold as slaves near Tripoli. The UNHCR's Libya representative, Roberto Mignone, said the centre's main aim was to speed up the process of helping unaccompanied and separated children and women to find "solutions in third countries".
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. refugee agency on Wednesday welcomed a decision by Libya to open a transit centre for unaccompanied children and other vulnerable refugees from among hundreds of thousands of migrants, and called on EU countries and others to accept them. Reports this month of white Libyan slave traders selling black African migrants at markets in Libya - a grim echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade in centuries past - have drawn worldwide horror and condemnation. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe through Libya in each of the past several years. Thousands die during crossing the desert and at sea. Many are now being held in camps in...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Libya agreed Wednesday with key EU and African leaders to allow migrants facing abuse in detention camps to be evacuated within days or weeks, mostly to their home countries, French President Emmanuel Macron said. The decision was taken after Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara called for "all urgent measures" to end slave trading and other migrant abuses in Libya at an EU-Africa summit in Abidjan. The leaders of Libya, France, Germany, Chad, Niger and four other countries "decided on an extreme emergency operation to evacuate from Libya those who want to be," Macron told reporters after their emergency talks on the summit sidelines. The summit comes just two weeks after US network CNN aired footage of black Africans sold as...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo, has criticised Libya over migrant slave markets, saying the abuses call into question wider African unity. A furore over the auctions is expected to dominate discussions between African Union and European Union at a two-day summit starting Wednesday in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Akufo-Addo condemned the practice in a post on his Twitter account late on Tuesday, calling it "gross and scandalous" abuse of human rights. But he also said the auctions made "mockeries of the alleged solidarity of African nations grouped...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
A Libyan man accused of masterminding the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed a US ambassador and three others was acquitted Tuesday of murder but convicted on lesser terrorism charges. After a seven-week trial in a civilian court in Washington, a jury cleared Ahmed Abu Khattala -- the first person tried over the fiery raid on the US complex in the Libyan coastal city -- of the most serious of the charges he faced. Prosecutors were apparently unable to prove to the jury that Khattala, leader of a militant group who had been photographed watching the attack on September 11, 2012, was directly to blame for the deaths of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a second state department official, and two CIA...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Tuesday acquitted accused Islamic militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah of the most serious charges he faced in connection with a 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The jury in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found Khatallah guilty on only four of the 18 counts he faced and acquitted him on murder and other charges, according to the Justice Department. He was convicted on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, one count of providing material support to terrorists, one count of maliciously destroying property and one count of using and carrying a semiautomatic weapon...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Libya's UN-backed authorities said Tuesday that flights repatriating stranded migrants will be stepped up, as the International Organization for Migration called on Tripoli to empty its detention centres. The plight of migrants in Libya has garnered fresh attention after an outcry over reports of slave auctions in the country, an enormous transit hub for sub-Saharan Africans seeking to reach Europe. Human-trafficking networks have flourished in the chaos that followed a NATO-backed uprising which toppled long-time Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. In a joint operation involving the internationally recognised authorities and UN migration agency, the IOM, 140 Nigerian migrants were jetted out of Libya on Tuesday in the latest in a string of flights carrying migrants out of the country...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
The United Nations wants Libya's internationally-backed government to agree to shut down 30 detention centers holding 15,000 migrants, most of whom will be sent back to their countries, the head of the IOM said Tuesday. The detention of the migrants, most of whom are fleeing poverty, has become a pressing issue after video footage showing African men sold in Libyan slave auctions sparked global outrage. At a Security Council meeting called by France, the head of the International Organization for Migration said he was working with the UN refugee agency on a plan "to try to empty the detention centers." "We need from the Libyans the agreement that we can empty these centers and I think they will agree to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
VIENNA (Reuters) - OPEC will debate this week whether to cap oil output from Nigeria and Libya, which have so far been excluded from supply curbs due to falling production amid unrest, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Thursday to decide whether to extend production cuts until the end of 2018. The sources said the idea was to cap Nigerian output at 1.8 million barrels per day and Libyan at 1 million bpd.

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