Friday 15 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
The Libyan coastguard has opened fire on an oil tanker carrying contraband fuel, a spokesman for the navy told AFP on Saturday. "The 'Goeast', flying the Comoran flag, was spotted three days ago heading for Abu Kamash and took on fuel via a pipeline on Thursday night, two kilometres from the coast," General Ayoub Qassem said. Abu Kamash is the site of one of the oil-rich North African country's largest petrochemical complexes, near the Tunisian border some 170 kilometres (100 miles) west of Tripoli. On Friday, the coastguard tried contacting the ship's crew. Receiving no response, it opened fire...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
The remains have been unearthed of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, the interior ministry said on Saturday. "The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire," said the ministry's unit for fighting organised crime in the city of Misrata. It said the bodies of 20 Egyptians and a man of unknown African nationality were unearthed from a mass grave south of the one-time jihadist bastion of Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli. Friday's find came after confessions by Islamic State group jihadist prisoners, it said in a statement, adding that the remains had been transferred to Misrata for forensic examination...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/17)
A security force loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government announced Friday that it has driven a rival militia out of the city of Sabratha, after three weeks of deadly fighting. The clashes between a security force loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the militia of the head of a former people smuggling network, Ahmad Dabbashi, have killed 39 people and wounded 300 since September 17. Sabratha has been "liberated and... the destructive militias have been defeated", the leader of the pro-GNA force, General Omar Abdeljalil, said in a video posted on Facebook. The GNA, which had originally set up the security force to fight the Islamic State group during its brief occupation of central Sabratha in...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Libyan authorities on Thursday demanded an explanation from Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson over his remark on the need to "clear dead bodies" away in the strife-torn North African country. The foreign secretary has already come under fire at home over his assessment of an August visit to Libya that the country could attract foreign investment and tourists after the corpses from fighting were cleared. Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord, met the British ambassador Peter Millett to demand an explanation of the "unacceptable" comment, according to the GNA's Facebook page.
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
The number of illegal migrants leaving Libya for Europe has fallen by 20 percent so far in 2017, the European naval force charged with stopping people trafficking in the Mediterranean said Thursday. "We have seen a drop in the number of people leaving Libya for Europe this year, around 20 percent," Enrico Credendino, commander of the force, told a news conference aboard the Cantabria ship at the port of La Goulette, near Tunis. Summer saw a drop of 75 percent compared with the same period in 2016, with the number dying at sea falling by 60 percent, said the head of the EU's anti-trafficking operation dubbed Sophia. The decrease was explained in particular by the support given to the Libyan...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - The foreign affairs committee of Libya’s eastern-based parliament demanded an apology on Thursday from British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over a remark about clearing dead bodies from the former Islamic State stronghold of Sirte. Johnson told members of his Conservative Party earlier this week that British investors had a “brilliant vision” to turn Sirte into the next Dubai if bodies could be cleared. The committee for foreign affairs and international cooperation of Libya’s House of Representatives (HOR) denounced the comments on Sirte as “unacceptable”, adding that “it considers it a violation of Libyan sovereignty to talk about British businessmen investing there”.
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
Libya's largest oilfield Sharara was reopened by oil guards who shut it down in a protest on Sunday, an official from the oilfield told Xinhua Wednesday. The source affirmed that the field, located in southern Libya, would resume production officially, with an agreement having "solved the problem of the field closure." Battalion 30, allied with the UN-backed government of national accord, closed the field to pressure the authorities with the demands for releasing detainees in Tripoli and paying delayed salaries. They also demanded developing southern cities, and providing fuel and gas supplies to them, as well as supporting health centers. Mustafa San'alla, chairman of the national corporation of oil, said on Monday in a press conference that an agreement had...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
IS claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack on Wednesday on a court complex in the western Libyan city of Misrata, which killed four security personnel and wounded 21 others. "Dedicated soldiers of the Islamic Caliphate forces stormed the court complex, one of the most important strongholds of the unity government in Misrata," IS tweeted shortly after the attack. The attack was carried out by three IS members at the time when a number of other IS militants were brought to the court complex for trial, sources told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. "Two of the attackers were killed in clashes with the guards of the complex, while the third blew himself up, killing four security personnel and injuring 21...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
At least four people were killed Wednesday in an Islamic State group suicide bomb attack at the main court building in Libya's third-largest city Misrata, security officials told AFP. The officials said a suicide bomber was able to detonate an explosive vest inside the building in the centre of Misrata, a coastal city about 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of Tripoli. "Three men belonging to the Islamic State jihadist organisation carried out a suicide attack against the court complex in Misrata... killing four people and wounding 15 others," General Mohammed Ghassri, a spokesman for armed forces in Misrata...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
TRIPOLI/LONDON (Reuters) - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oilfield resumed on Wednesday after an armed brigade forced a two-day shutdown, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said. Operations at Sharara, which is crucial to a partial revival of Libya’s oil output, have been repeatedly disrupted this year due to blockades by armed groups, protests and security problems. As production resumed, the NOC lifted force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from Zawiya port, where the tanker Seaways Hatteras was due to load a 130,000 tonne cargo, according to shipping fixtures and a Libyan oil source. Sharara, which the NOC operates in partnership with oil companies Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil, was shut on Sunday night by an armed group called Brigade...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
British foreign minister Boris Johnson came under fire Tuesday for saying Libya could become a magnet for tourists and investors -- if it can "clear the dead bodies away" first. Reflecting on his August visit to Libya, strife-torn since the toppling of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, Johnson said British businesses wanted to invest in the city of Sirte. "They have got a brilliant vision to turn Sirte into the next Dubai," he told Conservatives attending the party's annual conference in Manchester, talking up its "bone-white sands, beautiful sea" and "brilliant young people". "The only thing they have got to do is clear the dead bodies away," he added, before laughing. Johnson's political career has been characterised by outspoken...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Gunmen killed at least three people and wounded 35 on Wednesday in a suicide attack on a court complex in the Libyan city of Misrata, officials and a witness said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement run by the group’s Amaq news agency it had targeted “one of the most prominent strongholds” of Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord. An armed coalition led by forces from Misrata under the GNA’s nominal command battled for more than six months last year to oust Islamic State from the militant group’s former stronghold in the coastal city of Sirte, about 230 km (140 miles) southeast of Misrata. Since then, militants have been trying to regroup...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quipped on Tuesday that Libya can become a new Dubai if it can clear the dead bodies away, the latest gaffe by Britain’s top diplomat. Johnson, who has offended some allies with flippant remarks, told Conservative Party members that the Libyan city of Sirte could be turned into the next Dubai by British investors if they could clear the bodies. “They’ve got a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai,” Johnson said. “The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then we will be there.” Some activists from Prime Minister Theresa May’s...
(BBC 10/04/17)
Boris Johnson has said Libyan city Sirte could be the new Dubai, adding, "all they have to do is clear the dead bodies away". The foreign secretary's comments at a Conservative conference fringe meeting have sparked anger, with Labour calling them "crass, callous and cruel". Conservative MP Heidi Allen said he should be sacked, as did the Lib Dems. Mr Johnson claimed his critics had "no knowledge or understanding of Libya" and accused them of playing politics. "I look at Libya, it's an incredible country," he told the meeting. "Bone-white sands, beautiful sea, Caesar's Palace, obviously, you know, the real one. "Incredible place. It's got a real potential and brilliant young people who want to do all sorts of tech...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
A Libyan man accused of masterminding the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed a US ambassador and three of his staff went on trial in Washington on Monday, although his lawyers said he was simply a witness to the deadly events. Sporting a white shirt and a long beard, Ahmed Abu Khattala, 46, sat beside his lawyers in court listening to an Arabic translation of the proceedings through a headset. The surprise attack on the US diplomatic mission in the eastern Libyan port city on September 11, 2012, and the mortar attack on a nearby CIA annex that followed shortly after, left four Americans dead, including Christopher Stevens, the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - An armed group forced Libya’s giant Sharara oilfield to close late on Sunday, shutting off production of more than 230,000 barrels per day (bpd), the head of the state oil company said. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure on deliveries of Sharara crude, citing “unrest”, according to a letter seen by Reuters. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla promised that production would restart by Monday evening. Sanalla told reporters that the armed group, Brigade 30, were demanding the release of group members who had been detained. In comments to Libya’s Channel TV station, he said they were guards demanding salary payments. It was unclear if the guards were employed in an official capacity at the field. A...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least five civilians were killed and 12 others wounded among dozens of casualties in recent fighting in the Libyan migrant smuggling hub of Sabratha, the United Nations said on Monday. Sabratha’s university hospital has twice been hit by shelling, rendering the emergency and surgery units unusable, the U.N. Libya mission said in a statement. The clashes have pitted the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a powerful armed group previously known for migrant smuggling, against the Operations Room to combat the Islamic State, a group formed last year to oust jihadists from Sabratha. The fighting broke out when a Dabbashi brigade member was shot dead at a checkpoint, but the brigade’s head has said the underlying cause was the...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Representatives of Libya's rival authorities have made progress on amending a deal on a political transition for the North African country, the special UN envoy said on Sunday. UN envoy Ghassan Salame opened new talks in Tunisia between the rival Libyan administrations on Tuesday, less than a week after presenting a plan to end the chaos in the conflict-wracked country. Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi have left Libya divided between rival governments and beset by violence as militia forces battle for power. A UN-backed agreement was reached in 2015 as the basis for a political process in Libya, and a unity government was formed with Fayez al-Sarraj as prime minister. The Government...

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