| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/18/17)
Libyans Friday marked the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, waving flags in central Tripoli even as the country reels from political chaos and security problems. Thousands of people gathered in the capital's Martyrs Square flying the national flag as fireworks lit the night sky and passing motorists sounded their horns in support. Forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) were deployed as a security measure to ensure the commemoration was trouble-free. The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by chaos since Kadhafi was toppled, with rival militias and
(Xinhuanet 02/18/17)
The European Union(EU) shoud not expect too much on its deal with Libya to stem the inflow of migrants from North Africa, a senior UN official in charge of refugees affairs in Europe told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview. Since the summer of 2015, an unprecedented refugee crisis has been an tough nut to crack for the EU. Thanks to an "aid for return" deal with Turkey in March 2016, the EU boxed in the inflow of refugees via the eastern Mediterranean route. However, it still bears the brunt of migratory pressure, particularly from the central Mediterranean route, which links Libya to Italy. At an informal summit held in Malta earlier this Month, the EU adopted a plan to...
(Xinhuanet 02/18/17)
Celebration for the sixth anniversary of the revolution of February 17 took place on Friday in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Libyans in public squares and street celebrated the anniversary of the uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. UN-backed Prime Minister, Fayez Serraj, said in a televised speech congratulating the Libya people and commending "those who gave their lives for the country." "Despite the hard times we had to go through in the past six years, we have to admit that what we live today is a heritage of failure to build a state of institutions and law that would serve all the people, not just one person," Serraj said, referring to Gaddafi's regime. "The presidential council...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
The fleet of privately-run aid vessels rescuing migrants off the Libyan coast and bringing them to Italy is "of interest" to Italian investigators, a Sicilian prosecutor told AFP on Friday. Catania prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro said the boats were not currently suspected of illegal activity but had drawn attention for their sophisticated and expensive operations. "There is no investigation in progress, for the simple reason that we do not have information any crimes have been committed," the prosecutor said, refuting Italian media reports saying a probe had been opened. But the working group set up in the Sicilian city in 2013 to look into migrant trafficking added the aid flotilla -- boats run by non-profit organizations (NGOs) -- to its list...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Libya's UN-backed government has sent NATO an official request to help improve its security and defences, the alliance said Thursday. NATO agreed at a summit last year in Warsaw to offer support, if requested, to the Government of National Accord, which it wants as a bulwark against migrant flows and terrorism. "Last night, I received a formal request from Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj requesting NATO's advice and expertise in the field of defence and security institution building," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels.
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Libyan unity government chief Fayez al-Sarraj said Thursday a "precious opportunity" had been missed when his rival, military strongman Khalifa Haftar, refused to meet him for Egypt-backed talks this week. Sarraj said Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control much of eastern Libya, had refused to meet him on Tuesday in Cairo "without justification or reason". The parties had missed "another precious opportunity that we hoped would be the beginning of a solution to the state of division and suffering" in Libya, he said in a statement. "Intransigent political stances and oversized egos" were preventing a resolution to the conflict, he said. Libya has been submerged in chaos since the fall of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. A UN-backed...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
The head of a former government announced plans Thursday to reopen Tripoli's airport that was heavily damaged in fighting in 2014, in a fresh blow to Libya's unity administration. Khalifa Ghweil, who refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), made the announcement during a visit to the airport, south of Tripoli. The facility was damaged during the summer of 2014 in fierce fighting between rival militias for control of the capital. Ghweil, who arrived in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles, told reporters that the airport, where construction work is already underway, would reopen "soon".
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Six years after the start of an uprising that toppled a dictator, Libyans in Tripoli see no reason to celebrate with power cuts, exorbitant prices and insecurity plaguing their daily lives. At a moment's notice, shopkeepers in the Libyan capital pull down their shutters, cars make sudden u-turns and gunshots ring out in the empty street. "We're living at the mercy of men obsessed with weapons, violence and profit," says Abdelalim al-Hajj Ali, as he hides with his daughter from clashes inside a bakery. "The situation in our country is dramatic," the 48-year-old teacher says, while fighting rages outside in one of the capital's shopping streets. On the eve of the anniversary of the revolt that ended Moamer Kadhafi's decades-long...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/17)
NATO said on Thursday it had received a new and detailed request from Libya's U.N.-backed government to train and develop its military, depleted by years of conflict and facing an Islamist militant threat as well as division among Libyan militias. As the West and neighbouring Egypt seek to stabilise Libya, NATO has offered support to the Tripoli-based government but a request from Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj in May last year was seen as too broad. Seraj's Government of National Accord (GNA) has been trying to formulate plans for unified Libyan security forces since arriving in Tripoli in March, but has made little progress in asserting its authority over rival factions. It is unclear if an Egyptian-brokered roadmap can help...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Rival powers in Libya have agreed to form a committee to explore amending a UN-backed deal to end the country's political turmoil, Egypt announced on Wednesday after hosting talks. The head of Libya's unity government Fayez al-Sarraj and rival army chief Marshal Khalifa Haftar had been in Cairo this week for talks mediated by the Egyptian army. They agreed to set up "a joint committee" to formulate amendments to the deal that set up the unity government, the military said in a statement. Libyan media reported that Sarraj and Haftar did not meet face to face during the talks in Cairo. Sarraj's UN-backed Government of National Accord has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting...
(The Associated Press 02/16/17)
NATO's chief says he has received a formal request from conflict-torn Libya to help strengthen its security institutions and that the alliance is looking into exactly what can be done. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the 28 allies could help build up the Libyan defense ministry and military command structure. He told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels that "Libya needs that framework to be able to develop the forces and stabilize the country." Stoltenberg didn't say when the effort might start or what exactly it might entail. NATO currently has a naval operation in the Mediterranean outside Libyan waters working on counterterrorism and assisting the European Union in its efforts to monitor and rescue migrants.
(Bloomberg 02/16/17)
Libya’s crude production exceeded 700,000 barrels a day and is due to keep rising as working conditions in the conflict-ridden country improve for international companies like Eni SpA and Total SA, an official from the state oil company said. The North African country’s crude production is due to reach 1.2 million barrels a day by August and 1.7 million by March 2018 when the nation’s ports and export terminals will be operating at full capacity, Jadalla Alaokali, board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said in an interview in Cairo. Output at the El-Feel, or Elephant, oil field is due to resume within one month, pumping 75,000 barrels a day, he said. Eni and Total are working in Libya without...
(Libya Herald 02/16/17)
An official Libyan delegation representing the Serraj-led Presidency Council/Government of National Accord (PC/GNA) visited South Korea on Tuesday in an effort to persuade its authorities to permit their companies to return and resume their stalled projects in Libya. The Libyan delegation included the PC/GNA-recognized chairman of the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), Abdulmajid Hamza, who met with South Korea’s Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Communications, Kim Kyung-Hwan as well as contracting companies. Hamza encouraged the South Koreans to resume their work in Libya in general, but more specifically resume work on the three power stations they are contracted for: Zuetina, Tripoli West and the Sirte Gulf stations. The discussions included security, legal and financial matters, as well as...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
The head of Libya's unity government and a rival army chief were to meet in Cairo on Tuesday to find a solution to turmoil in the country, a government official said. The UN-backed Government of National Accord has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting work in Tripoli nearly a year ago. GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj and Marshal Khalifa Haftar were due to meet later in the Egyptian capital, the official said, without providing further details on the agenda. However, a source close to Haftar said the general was refusing to meet Sarraj before he received "guarantees that a possible agreement not be rejected" by the powerful armed groups of Misrata in western Libya. The...
(Xinhuanet 02/15/17)
Thirteen Egyptian workers kidnapped in Libya were freed by the Egyptian Armed Forces in cooperation with Libyan military, a military statement said on Tuesday. The workers were kidnapped by militants who asked for ransom, official news agency MENA reported. "Measures have been taken to bring them home," military spokesman Tamer El Refaei said in the statement. Another criminal gang has also kidnapped 23 Egyptians in Ajbabia area in Libya in August and released them after receiving ransom. Thousands of Egyptians defy the unrest in Libya for employment despite of government's warning to avoid the war-torn country.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(News24 02/14/17)
The head of Libya's UN-brokered government and the country's most powerful army commander, who is allied with rival authorities, are expected to meet to discuss a political settlement. A spokesperson for the unity government said on Tuesday that Fayez Serraj's meeting with Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter could lead to a "180-degree turn". The spokesperson, Ashraf al-Tulty, said he hoped the Egyptian government will help bridge the gap. Egypt strongly supports Hifter. Serraj's government has failed over the past year in unifying Libya, which slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi. Hifter is allied with the Libyan parliament, which meets in the east of the country and has rejected the UN-backed government, in part because...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
The European Union is touting a plan it says will help Libya curb the number of migrants leaving its shores, but some advocates believe the plan does little more than trap African and Middle Eastern migrants in a war zone. On February 3, the European Union announced it would give $212 million to help Libya’s U.N.-backed government bolster its coast guard capabilities as well as offer training and equipment in order to block smuggling routes. Preben Aamann, spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk, said the current migration situation is both tragic and untenable. He said last year 181,000 people set off from Libya en route to Italy and approximately 5,000 drowned in the central Mediterranean. Both of those figures...
(Middle East Monitor 02/14/17)
Libya’s Presidency Council (PC) leader, Fayez Sarraj, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar are scheduled to meet in Cairo today for joint talks on a possible settlement in the country. The talks were initially planned for Monday but were postponed due to disagreements on the conditions set by the two sides, according to The New Arab. Haftar will be accompanied by Abdul Basset Al-Badri, the Libyan ambassador to Riyadh, a political adviser and close friend. Sarraj will be joined by Fathi Majbri, a PC member from Cyrenaica. Sarraj’s first choice was former Prime Minister Ahmed Maetig but Haftar refused to attend the meeting if he was present. Both parties have been holding indirect talks through Egyptian intermediaries, including Egypt’s Chief of...
(News24 02/14/17)
The United Nations secretary general said on Monday he "deeply regrets" the United States' decision to block a former Palestinian prime minister from leading the world body's political mission in Libya. Antonio Guterres said Salam Fayyad was "the right person for the right job at the right moment," stressing that the Palestinian politician "has a competence that nobody denies and Libya requires". "I think it is a loss for the Libyan peace process and the Libyan people I'm not able to appoint him," Guterres said. Libya has been gripped by war and unrest since its 2011 uprising and the killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. "Libya has been a factor of contamination to the peace and stability in a wide area...

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