Monday 23 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Xinhuanet 09/25/17)
The western Libyan city of Sabratha has witnessed violent clashes for a week between rival armed groups, which have caused dozens of casualties and forced residents to flee their homes. Officials fear the violence might spread to nearby cities and towns, thus further complicating the worsening situation in the country. Mohamed Abdullah, a parliament member, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the clashes erupted because of conflict between the army and militias as increasing domination of militias is making the army felt threatened. The army started attacking strongholds of smugglers, with militias controlling the smuggling of people and fuel.
(The Guardian 09/25/17)
Ex-CIA asset Khalifa Haftar, due to meet Italian officials in Rome, ordered soldiers to commit war crimes, according to legal experts. European leaders are embracing a Libyan general who has ordered his soldiers to commit war crimes, according to new evidence that has been analysed by senior legal experts. The allegation of human rights abuses by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east, comes as the general is due to arrive in Rome on Tuesday, where he will be received by Italian officials. The visit is a radical departure for Italy, who had previously shunned Haftar and seen him as a major obstacle to stability in the region...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/25/17)
Six U.S. air strikes on an Islamic State desert camp in Libya killed 17 militants and destroyed three vehicles, the U.S. military said on Sunday, the first American strikes in Libya since President Donald Trump took office in January. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that strikes on Friday targeted a camp 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Sirte, a city that was once the Islamic State stronghold in Libya. The camp was used to move fighters in and out of Libya, plot attacks and store weapons, the statement said. “ISIS and al-Qaeda have taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting, inspiring and directing terror attacks,” the statement said, using an acronym for Islamic...
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
OPEC’s commitment to cutting production to clear a global glut is working, but the group needs to address rising output from Libya and Nigeria, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Compliance with the output cuts is “acceptable,” Zanganeh told reporters Sunday in Tehran. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should focus on “the situation with Libya and Nigeria,” he said, referring to the two countries exempted from capping production due to their internal strife. Nigeria will be able to participate in cuts when its output stabilizes at 1.8 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Friday. “OPEC’s actions are working and compliance is acceptable overall, although there needs to be some change,” Zanganeh said, referring to OPEC...
(Xinhuanet 09/25/17)
The United Nations said Saturday that Libya's Zintan and Tripoli have agreed on the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Zintan to their homes in the capital. On Sept. 20 and 21, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) organized a meeting between delegations from Zintan and Tripoli in Tunis to facilitate a safe and peaceful return of the IDPs in Zintan to Tripoli, the UNSMIL said in a statement. The meeting also discussed financial compensation and means to reintegrate the IDPs into the host communities, the statement added. "The two delegations will sign a formal agreement in Libya, and agree on a precise timeline for the peaceful return of IDPs...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Middle East Monitor 09/22/17)
Saiqa Special Forces in Libya have found a mass grave containing 80 bodies at a site of ancient ruins near the Sidi Khribesh lighthouse in Benghazi’s Sabri district. According to Mari Al-Houti, the head of investigations with Saiqa, the Red Crescent collected the bodies and took DNA samples so that they could be identified. The mass grave is believed to contain the bodies of those killed in recent fighting in the city between militants and the Libyan National Army. The Red Crescent urged the families who have members missing to come forward to help identify the bodies. Following an increase in kidnappings and discovery of bodies in Benghazi, Saiqa Brigadier Wanis Bukhamada warned residents that terrorist sleeper cells still exist...
(Gulfnews 09/22/17)
The group measures led to an 80 per cent fall in the arrival of rescued migrants in Italy last month A powerful armed group, known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy, a senior group member said. The group, the Anas Al Dabbashi brigade, struck a deal with Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) this summer to clamp down on trafficking, the senior brigade member, who gave his name as Mohammad, told Reuters. The need for the GNA to strike such a deal would illustrate the power of armed groups in western Libya, which continue...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
At least eight migrants drowned and almost 90 others went missing after a shipwreck off Libya, a local official citing survivors who had clung onto the sinking vessel for days said Thursday. The Libyan navy said the shipwreck occurred off the coast of Sabratha, a town west of Tripoli that is a hub for illegal migration to Europe and from where the vessel had set off. Eight bodies were found and 35 migrants rescued on Tuesday and Wednesday, Seddik al-Jayach, an official in Zuwara, further west, told AFP. Survivors had clung onto the sinking vessel for five days before it ran aground on a beach near his town, he said. According to survivors, the ship was carrying between 120 and...
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The United Nations said its road map for peace in Libya wasn’t working in its current form and unveiled plans to revamp the agreement to unify the North African country and pave the way for new elections. Ghassan Salame, the UN’s envoy for Libya, outlined an action plan at a high-level meeting Wednesday in New York. He said the initiative would be led by Libyans to find a way out of the crisis that’s split the nation among rival militias and governments. “Libyans want a process that they themselves own and lead,” said Salame, a veteran Lebanese politician. The Libyan Political Agreement “remains the only framework to end the Libyan crisis. The LPA is necessary but in its current state...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
The United Nations launched a roadmap on Wednesday for a renewed international effort to break a political stalemate in Libya and end the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising. The world body’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, set out an “action plan” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that proposes amending a 2015 peace deal that quickly stalled. The U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) established under the December 2015 deal never fully materialized in Tripoli, leaving Libya with three competing governments aligned with rival armed alliances. “I am also convinced that today there is an opportunity to end a protracted crisis that has caused immense suffering and contributed to the instability beyond Libya’s borders...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
At least six fighters have been killed and 48 wounded in four days of clashes between rival armed groups in Sabratha, a hub for illegal immigration on Libya's Mediterranean coast, the two sides said Wednesday. The toll compiled from a security force loyal to Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the militia of the head of a former people smuggling network, Ahmad Dabbashi, could not be independently confirmed. Dabbashi's militia said four of its fighters were killed and eight wounded, while a commander of the pro-GNA force, speaking on condition of anonymity, gave a casualty toll of two dead and 40 wounded among its ranks. The clashes followed an exchange of gunfire on Sunday at a checkpoint manned...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
A powerful armed group, known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy, a senior group member said. The group, the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, struck a deal with Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) this summer to clamp down on trafficking, the senior brigade member, who gave his name as Mohamed, told Reuters. The need for the GNA to strike such a deal would illustrate the power of armed groups in western Libya, which continue to hold the real influence locally as they have since a 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. The revelation would also...
(Libya Herald 09/21/17)
The head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, is expected to attend a meeting in Vienna on Friday between members of OPEC and other major oil producers outside the cartel to continue production cuts agreed last November beyond their scheduled expiry date of March 2018. However, the producers are now said to want the cuts to be extend to Libya as well as Nigeria, both of which were effectively exempted from the deal last year when it was agreed to reduce production by 1.8m b/d. At the subsequent OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee meeting in St Petersburg in July, Libya was allowed to produce up to 1.25m b/d – above its production of 900,000 b/d at the time but not far...
(Le Monde 09/21/17)
Président de la Fondation Brazzaville, Jean-Yves Ollivier plaide pour le plan de paix de l’organisation panafricaine prônant la mise en place de nouveaux organes de transition. Sous le pays plongé dans le chaos, l’ex-Jamahiriya de Kadhafi, ces anciennes provinces ottomanes – la Tripolitaine, la Cyrénaïque et le Fezzan – que seule la tutelle étrangère unifiait, perce enfin une Libye nouvelle. Elle sera unie, démocratique et prospère à condition d’être la Libye des Libyens. Elle verra le jour dans les semaines à venir si la feuille de route proposée par l’Union africaine (UA) parvient à relayer des initiatives jusqu’ici éparpillées et parfois rivales et, surtout, si elle répond à la profonde aspiration à la paix d’une population qui a trop souffert...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
The United Nations is seeking to marshal international support this week for a new push to break a political stalemate in Libya and end the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising. The world body’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, is expected to set out an “action plan” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday that will propose amending a 2015 peace deal that quickly stalled. The U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) set up under the December 2015 deal has never fully established itself in Tripoli, leaving Libya with three competing governments aligned with rival armed alliances. Hamstrung by internal splits in its nine-member leadership, or Presidency Council, the GNA has been unable to...
(Xinhuanet 09/20/17)
Libya's UN-backed deputy prime minister on Tuesday discussed with UN mission deputy head the state of refugees in the capital Tripoli. Residents of the city of Tawergha have been internally displaced after they fled their homes in the 2011 uprising. The local and municipal councils of Misurata and Tawergha in June this year signed an agreement for their return. "Deputy prime minister, Ahmad Maiteeq, held a meeting in the capital Tripoli with deputy head of the UN support mission to Libya, Maria do Valle Ribeiro, and members of the dialogue committee of Misurata and Tawergha cities, and discussed the implementation of the reconciliation agreement approved by the government, which states for the return of Tawergha refugees home," Tripoli-based government's media...

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