Saturday 16 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
The International Criminal Court's prosecutor on Wednesday urged Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar to hand over a commander wanted for war crimes including the cold-blooded execution of 33 people. Fatou Bensouda delivered her appeal before the UN Security Council, whose members Russia and Egypt have close ties to Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, which controls the country's eastern region. ICC judges in August issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli, a commander of the Al-Saiqa brigade, based in Libya's second city of Benghazi. Werfalli is accused of having ordered or personally carried out seven executions between March and July this year and in June 2016 that were filmed and posted to social media sites. These "resulted in...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) - Elders of a powerful tribe that defended the regime of former leader Muammar Gaddafi have a message for the United Nations as it tries to broker peace in Libya - talk to us or you will fail. The U.N. launched a new round of negotiations in September to unite a country that splintered along political, ideological and tribal lines during and after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that unseated Gaddafi. Western officials hope the talks will pave the way for elections next year and produce a functioning government that could curb militant activity, tackle migrant smuggling and stabilize the oil-rich nation’s rapidly deteriorating economy. But conversations with the robed elders of the Warfalla tribe at their...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan factions involved in U.N.-brokered peace talks are still far apart on the issue of the leadership of a future national army, the head of one of two rival parliaments said on Monday. Abdulrahman Swehli said delegations from both the Tripoli State Council that he leads and from a parliament based in eastern Libya were “almost there” on agreeing the structure and selection process for a new transitional government. The aim is to form an administration to rule until elections expected late next year and help the country climb out of years of chaos that have severely disrupted oil production and created a security vacuum that has destabilized the region. But there was still disagreement over the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least five migrants died and an unknown number were feared missing after their boat capsized off western Libya on Monday, Libyan coastguard officials and a charity said. The rubber boat was carrying about 140 people when it overturned close to the border between Libyan and international waters, Libyan officials said. The Libyan coastguard rescued 45 survivors and brought them back to Tripoli harbor. Seawatch, a German non-governmental organization that has a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean, said at least five migrants had died including a toddler. Seawatch rescued 58 people, the group said in a statement. The survivors brought to Tripoli were from West African countries including Nigeria and Senegal. Libya is the main departure point...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
A Libyan armed group said Saturday it had closed a comic book convention in Tripoli and detained the organisers for an "attack on morals and modesty" in the strife-ridden country. Hundreds of young Libyans on Friday flocked to the opening of the city's second Comic Con festival, including some dressed up as their favourite heros from American comic books and Japanese manga. Later in the day members from the Deterrence Force -- a group of mainly conservative Islamists that acts as the police for the UN-backed government -- entered the venue, seized computers and arrested organisers, a participant said. The group said those responsible for the event would be handed over "to prosecutors for an attack on morals and modesty"...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Four foreigners including three Turks working on the construction of a power plant have been abducted by armed men in southern Libya, a security official told AFP on Friday. There was confusion over the nationality of the fourth, with a local security official saying he was a German engineer and the electricity company giving his nationality as South African. "An armed group has abducted four workers of different nationalities (Turkish and South African)" in Ubari (1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Tripoli, the power company overseeing the project said in a statement. It said the men were kidnapped at 11:30 local time (0930 GMT) and called for their immediate release. The Turkish company Enka confirmed in a brief statement the...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
A German engineer and three Turks working on the construction of a power plant have gone missing in southern Libya, a security official told AFP on Friday. The engineer from German group Siemens and the three Turks, an engineer and two technicians from Turkish firm Enka, went missing on the road between the power station and the airport at Ubari, 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the capital Tripoli, he said. "For the moment, we cannot speak of a kidnapping. We have not had any claim. An investigation is under way," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Jihadist groups and militias have often targeted foreign workers and diplomatic missions in the lawlessness that has swept Libya since its 2011...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
A Libyan armed group holding the brother of the assailant in the deadly concert bombing in Manchester turned down Thursday a British police request for his extradition. "No. Hashem Abedi will not be extradited," Ahmed Ben Salem, spokesman for the "Deterrence Force" which acts as the police of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, told AFP. On Wednesday, British police investigating the May bombing that killed 22 people had requested the extradition of the attacker's brother from Libya. Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb after a concert by pop star Ariana Grande, in Britain's worst terror attack in more than a decade.
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Migrant arrivals in Italy have dropped nearly 70 percent since summer as a deal with Libya blocks boats and would-be asylum seekers use other routes into Europe. Nearly 150,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year, but the number landing in Italy is down by 30 percent compared to last year, and has plunged a whopping 69 percent since July, Italy's interior ministry said this week. Arrivals in Spain, meanwhile, have more than tripled, with over 14,000 arrivals this year compared to 12 months ago. The dangerous route to Italy was largely closed down at the end of June by a controversial deal Rome made...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Air strikes killed at least 15 people in the besieged eastern Libyan city of Derna late on Monday, a medical source and a resident said, an operation condemned by the U.N. due to the high civilian death toll. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya said at least 12 children and women were among the dead in Derna, a city about 265 km (165 miles) west of the Egyptian border controlled by a coalition of Islamist militants and rebel veterans known as the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC). The medical source said all the victims appeared to be civilians. The coastal city has long been under siege by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which has occasionally...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A man seized by U.S. forces in Libya accused of involvement in an attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi in 2012 is a Syrian who had links to the suspected ringleader, Libyan military officials said on Tuesday. U.S. special forces captured Mustafa al-Imam in the past few days and he is being transported to the United States, U.S. officials said on Monday, without giving more details. Speaking on condition of anonymity, eastern-based military officials told Reuters Imam was believed to be a Syrian national aged between 35 and 40. He had lived in the Benghazi district of Laithi where he frequented the same Al-Awza‘i mosque as suspected ringleader Ahmed Abu Khatallah who was snatched...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Libya's eastern-based parliament on Monday decided to increase teachers' salaries after the General Union of Teachers in Libya started a strike in eary October that delayed the new school year, according to the Libyan News Agency. Parliament spokesman, Abdullah Blehik, said the parliament "decided in today's meeting to increase the salaries of teachers." He added that the parliament decided to form a committee to assess the amount of the increase by the end of November. The General Union of Teachers in Libya earlier in October decided to stop teaching in all educational institutions from primary to high schools across the country in protest until their demands are met. The Union demands increase of salaries for teachers, providing them and their...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
The bodies of 36 people shot dead have been found near Benghazi, in eastern Libya, a security official said Sunday. The bodies, found in Al-Abyar, around 70 kilometres (45 miles) east of Benghazi, were of suspected jihadists including 19 foreigners, the official said. The United Nations mission in Libya said it "condemns in the strongest terms the heinous crime resulting in the killing of at least 36" people. It called for an immediate investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Controversial strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose self-proclaimed Libyan National Army controls the region, ordered an enquiry to find their killers, the pro-Haftar LANA news agency reported. In Tripoli, a national unity government opposed to an eastern administration backed by Haftar called...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Fashionable cafes springing up in Libya’s capital are shutting out single men and catering for women looking for a break from the tensions - political and personal - crowding in around them. The cafes with European names and bright decor seem a world away from the city’s traffic-clogged and still violent streets. In a socially conservative society, they also offer privacy and protection from unwanted advances. “If I go with my friends, we chat about our problems and change our mood,” said 27-year-old Haneen, eating a late breakfast in the busy La Rambla cafe. “A family place is more comfortable ... there’s no harassment or flirting.” For owners and managers of the businesses marketing themselves as “families-only”...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
Two fighters from forces commanded by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar were killed and three wounded Wednesday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, a spokesman said. The attack took place 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of the eastern city of Ajdabiya, said General Ahmad al-Mesmari, spokesman for Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army. One fighter was beheaded, General Mesmari said, noting the attack bore the hallmarks of IS. The jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack soon after via its propaganda agency Amaq. Authorities launched an investigation into the attack and were bidding to track down the perpetrators, Mesmari said. Despite the loss of its coastal...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants attacked a military checkpoint in northeastern Libya on Wednesday, killing one soldier, residents and officials said. A witness said that about a dozen armed vehicles had been used in the dawn attack against a checkpoint 60 km (37 miles) south of the city of Ajdabiya, run by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA). Islamic State militants have launched several attacks against LNA checkpoints in recent months. The jihadists have been trying to regroup from desert bases since losing their former stronghold of Sirte, about 390 km west of Ajdabiya, last December.

Pages