Saturday 21 October 2017
(The Libya Observer 09/20/17)
The Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, confirmed that a decision by President, Omar Al-Bashir, has been made to reopen the Sudanese Embassy and permit the ambassador to begin his work from the capital Tripoli. Ghandour stated that this action emphasizes his country's support for a political solution between the various Libyan parties. Ghandour’s statement was made during his meeting with the Libyan Foreign Minister, Mohamed Sayala, in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Libyan News Agency said on Tuesday that the two officials discussed developments on the political situation in Libya and the joint coordination between the two countries in the fight against terrorism. Housam Najjair
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Austria said on Wednesday it had some evidence that nine foreign oilfield workers abducted by Islamist militants in Libya in 2015 were killed the same year, though it was still trying to verify the information. The four Filipinos, two Bangladeshis, one Austrian, one Czech and one Ghanaian worked at the al-Ghani oilfield for equipment firm VAOS, which specializes in Libya and has offices in Austria and Malta. An Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said a crisis team was trying to verify information from a militant Islamist website suggesting that all or some of the hostages may have been killed in 2015. They were seized in March of that year. “We have some evidence that the worst is to be feared. We...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Libyans queued in long lines outside petrol stations in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday after fighters forced the closure of a fuel pipeline to the city. On Monday, "an armed militia trespassed (at) Zawiya Oil Storage Depot and forced the workers (in) the control room to stop pumping the fuel to Tripoli," Libya's oil company said in a statement in English. The National Oil Corporation said it changed the route of "fuel vessels heading to Zawiya port to discharge in Tripoli port", though warehouses in Tripoli were still at good levels. But on Tuesday in the capital, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the east of Zawiya, several petrol stations were closed while long queues formed outside others. Fuel supply to...
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi received Libya's self-proclaimed National Army chief, General Khalifa Haftar, here on Monday to discuss settlement of the Libyan conflict. Libya's U.N.-backed Government of National Accord operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli, struggling for more extensive influence across Libya. The rival government, backed by Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, is based in the city of Tobruk. The Libya's National Army controls most of the country's east and south and desires for international recognition. "This visit is part of Tunisia's efforts to contribute to the resolution of the Libyan conflict through consensus among the different parties of the conflict," the Tunisian president said. During the meeting, Beji Caid Essebsi called on Libyans "to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean last week said they had been lucky to dodge increased sea and police patrols along the Western coast of Libya that have dramatically reduced arrivals in Italy since July. Last month, Reuters reported that an armed group was stopping departures from the city of Sabratha, which had been the main springboard for smuggling for the past two years, although some boats are still getting through. On Thursday, the Aquarius rescue ship, run by humanitarian groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF), picked up two rubber boats carrying a total of more than 260 migrants who had left from Sabratha. “If you are unlucky they will catch you ... there’s so many ships in the...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar visited neighbouring Tunisia on Monday for talks with President Beji Caid Essebsi, who offered to act as a mediator between rival Libyan factions. Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth. "The stability of Libya is a necessary condition for the stability of Tunisia," Essebsi said, calling on Libyans to "overcome their differences" and "to work to build a state". In a statement, he said Tunisia did not want to "interfere in Libya's internal affairs" but rather to "facilitate dialogue between the different
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
The head of Libya's rival government in the east called Sunday on the international community to recognise his administration which he says controls most of the North African country. Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth. The Government of National Unity, based in the capital Tripoli, is backed by the United Nations. However, in a telephone interview with AFP on Sunday, Abdullah al-Thani said the provisional government based in the east "draws its legitimacy... from the ballot box". Thani used to be Libya's internationally recognised prime minister until the formation of the GNA...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Libya's coastguard has rescued over 3,000 migrants aiming to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in the past week, while Italy picked up another 2,000 in recent days, official and reports said Sunday. Though the numbers attempting the dangerous journey have dropped off significantly in recent months, these new rescues indicate the route is still very much open. The tally was the highest reported out of Libya for a one-week period since mid-July saw a dramatic fall in the number of migrants trying to reach Europe. Six years since a revolution and NATO intervention that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, violence-wracked Libya has become a key gateway for clandestine migration to Europe with nearest European country Italy bearing the brunt of the...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Sunday revealed that the UN will send 200 security personnel to protect the mission in Libya. "UNSMIL is to send a security unit in batches to guard its headquarters in Libya consisting of 200 elements, in preparation for the full return of the mission to Tripoli," UNSMIL spokeswoman Sawsan Ghosha told local TV channel Al-Nabaa. "The dispatch of a guard unit is normal in all UN missions," Ghosha said, stressing that the unit "is merely to secure the headquarters of the mission and is not a peacekeeping force in Libya, as some media outlets have reported." Regarding the possibility of the UN Security Council sending peacekeeping forces to Libya, Ghosha confirmed that the...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
Clashes between rival security forces in Libya's western city Sabratha on Sunday killed five people and injured eight others, according to security and medical sources. "Clashes erupted between anti-IS operation chamber and members of the city's military council killed four people," a security source of Sabratha told Xinhua. "The clashes broke out at dawn using light and medium weapons after a member of the city's military council was killed by the anti-IS operation chamber," the source added. The source also said the clashes ceased a few hours ago. However, some gunfiring can still be heard in part of the city. The source also said that elders intervened and mediated between the fighting parties. A source of the city's hospital told...
(The Libya Observer 09/18/17)
The UNICEF said on Friday that Italy had donated € 1 million to support a multi-sector program in Libya. The program will focus on children and their families in the conflict-hit regions including Sabha and Benghazi. According to a statement by the UN Support Mission in Libya, the contribution will assist in creating child-friendly spaces to enable the affected children to continue their education in a conducive learning environment, despite the conflict and displacement in the east and south. “Taking care of children, as well as their security and the one of their family, is the best investment for the future of Libya. Our commitment and support to UNICEF in Libya demonstrates the strong will of the Italian Cooperation to...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
A car bombing wounded six people including four security personnel near a passport office in Libya's second city Benghazi on Friday, security officials said. "Four members of our force and two staff (at the passport department) were wounded in the attack targeting the department's headquarters," said special missions and counter-terrorism force patrol commander Hamdi al-Dinali. He blamed "terrorist sleeper cells" in the eastern coastal city for the attack. Libya has been rocked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with two rival authorities and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.
(Daily News Egypt 09/15/17)
Foreign affairs ministers of United States (US), France, Italy, and United Arab of Emirates (UAE) will attend the meeting Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to London on Wednesday to participate in Sixth ministerial meeting to discuss Libyan crisis, according to ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abu Ziad. Foreign affairs ministers of United States (US), France, Italy, United Arab of Emirates (UAE), and United Nations envoy to Libya will attend the meeting. The aim of the meeting is to discuss the vision of UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salama, regarding recent updates in Libya, and to review the results of the consultations conducted by him with the various Libyan parties, as well as the recent regional and international contacts. On...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(AFP (eng) 09/14/17)
The UN agency for migration is trying to improve "terrible" conditions for migrants detained in Libya, and repatriate those willing and able to go home, its deputy head told AFP. "I think there are somewhere around 31 or 32 detention centers, and around half are controlled by, or are in the areas controlled by, the government," Laura Thompson of the International Organization for Migration said on Wednesday after a migration conference in Costa Rica. "I don't think that anybody knows" how many people are being kept in the facilities, where "extremely bad" conditions reign, she said. Not only was there a "lack of food, lack of adequate sanitary conditions, but in addition to that a mix of women, children, men"...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Wednesday renewed her call for the immediate arrest of a senior Libyan commander wanted for war crimes, amid allegations he has killed more people. Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli "stands accused of serious crimes. I therefore call again on Libya to take all possible steps to immediately arrest and surrender him to the ICC," prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement. Werfalli, born in 1978, is a senior commander in the Al-Saiqa brigade, an elite unit which defected from the Libyan National Army after the uprising...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
In Sabrata, Libya's main departure point for clandestine migrants hoping to reach Europe, people trafficking gangs are under so much pressure that some have closed for business. The results have been noticed on the other side of the Mediterranean where the number of arrivals on the Italian coast has dropped dramatically. Italy has registered 6,500 arrivals since mid-July, barely 15 percent of the average for the same period between 2014 and 2016. Libyan officials say the falling number is due to stronger surveillance by the coastguards of both countries, as well as pressure on major people smuggling gangs in Sabrata.
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
Dozens of migrants were deported from Libya's Tripoli on Tuesday, Tripoli's anti-illegal immigration department said. The department said 53 migrants from Niger and 24 others from Bangladesh returned home voluntarily in coordination with the international organization for migration (IOM). The department last week deported 110 others back to Guinea, and 135 Nigerian migrants were deported on July 17. All the migrants returned home voluntarily with the help of IOM, the department confirmed. The uprising of 2011 in Libya caused chaos and security, with massive flows of migrants using the country as a transfer station to Europe. The IOM said thousands of migrants have reached European shores in 2017 so far, while many others have drowned on the way. Migrants who...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
A man and his 10-year-old son were wounded on Tuesday by a landmine in Sabri area in central Libya's Benghazi, local media reported. The 45-year-old man and his little son, who were injured by fragments of a landmine that exploded, are currently "in a stable condition," said the city's hospital. Local media quoted the hospital as saying that the toll of landmine victims "is rising." Benghazi, Libya's second largest city and the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, has been witnessing a violent war between the armed forces led by Khalifa Haftar and extremist armed groups for more than three years. Haftar's forces are controlling most of Benghazi. However, the remaining militants, who depend...

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