Monday 21 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/10/17)
Libya and Nigeria may attend a joint meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC this month, Russia's energy minister said on Monday, as oil producers look for ways to cap rising production to help support oil prices. Both nations have boosted production since they were exempted from an OPEC-led deal to cut output, weighing on global prices LCOc1. This has prompted more talk among producers about including them in the pact. "We have spoken to (OPEC Secretary General Mohammad) Barkindo and in the next two weeks there will be conversations with them (Libya and Nigeria) and possibly we will invite them to the technical summit," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Istanbul. Six...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has met with UAE leaders for talks on military cooperation, state media said Sunday, days after announcing the retaking of second city Benghazi from jihadists. Haftar, who has visited the United Arab Emirates regularly in recent months, held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Saturday on "joint cooperation between the two countries... in combating extremism and terrorist organisations," state news agency WAM said. The United Nations in June released a report accusing the UAE of supplying helicopters and other military aircraft to Haftar in violation of a UN arms embargo. Haftar, the head of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, on Wednesday announced the "total liberation" of Benghazi, three years after it...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Forced from his neighbourhood in Libya's Benghazi three years ago, Said al-Mabruk is looking forward to going back after jihadist forces were driven from the city. "I will finally be able to go home. I can die in peace now," the 72-year-old said after military strongman Khalifa Haftar announced that Islamist fighters had been ousted from Libya's second city. Like thousands of his fellow Benghazi residents, Mabruk took to the streets to celebrate the victory late on Wednesday. Hundreds of cars paraded through the city in a deafening concert of blaring music and horns, under a night sky lit up by fireworks. But the celebration did not come without a cost, with many in the city having lost loved ones...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday announced the "total liberation" of second city Benghazi, which was overrun by jihadists three years ago. "After a continuous struggle against terrorism and its agents that lasted more than three years... we announce to you the liberation of Benghazi from terrorism," Haftar, in full military regalia, said in a speech broadcast on television. "Today Benghazi enters a new era of peace, security, reconciliation.... and reconstruction," said Haftar, paying homage to "a caravan of martyrs" who fell in the battle for the city.
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Stray fire from fighting between armed groups that control Libya's Mitiga airport killed five people at a nearby beach and forced the suspension of flights on Wednesday, authorities said. The clashes broke out Tuesday between the groups at Mitiga, a former military airbase east of the capital Tripoli, and continued Wednesday morning, witnesses said. A rocket from the clashes hit a beach across from the airport, killing a child and wounding 25 other people, the health ministry said late Tuesday, before raising the death toll to five. It was unclear what triggered the fighting. But an airport official said flights were suspended as the clashes resumed on Wednesday afternoon. Airport sources said the flights resumed later in the day. Mitiga...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Libyan authorities on Wednesday signed a deal with a consortium of Italian companies to build two passenger terminals at Tripoli's international airport, which fighting forced the closure of in 2014. The project would have an initial cost of 78 million euros ($88.5 million), Sami al-Aish of the transport ministry told AFP. The consortium, whose members he did not identify, would build two terminals, for both international and domestic flights. The international terminal was expected to be built within 10 months while the domestic one was likely to be in service in 18 months, said Aish. The international airport in Tripoli was badly damaged during fierce fighting in mid-2014 between rival armed groups vying for control of the capital which eventually...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
A rocket hit a beach in Tripoli killing five people, including at least one child, and wounding 25 others, the Libyan health ministry said. The blast Tuesday hit the beach in front of Mitiga airport in the east of the Libyan capital, the ministry statement said. An interior ministry source said there were clashes Tuesday inside the airport perimeter between security forces and an "outlawed" group. The airport was badly damaged during fighting between rival militias in mid-2014. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, however could not say whether the attack on the civilians was intentional. Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival authorities and militias...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
Forty-four soldiers loyal to Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar were killed in June fighting jihadist groups in Benghazi, according to a medical source in the city. The troops were killed in the Al-Sabri and Soug al-Hout districts, the last jihadist bastions in Benghazi, said Hani al-Aribi, spokesman for the health ministry of authorities in eastern Libya aligned with Haftar. No toll was immediately available for the jihadists. Haftar, who heads the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), does not recognise the authority of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and instead backs a rival parliament based in the country's far east. His forces have retaken most of Benghazi since the coastal city was overrun by jihadists in 2014. Infighting and lawlessness...
(Reuters 06/30/17)
Libyan oil production is fluctuating between 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) and "close to" 1 million bpd, rising from around 935,000 bpd earlier this week, a Libyan oil source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday. Production has been fluctuating mainly due to technical and power generation problems, the source said, declining to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. At near one million bpd...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
Some 60 people are missing and believed drowned after the dinghy they were on sank off Libya, the International Organization for Migration said Friday, citing survivor testimony. The inflatable had been carrying 140-150 people including women when it began taking on water five hours after setting off from North Africa on Monday, according to 80 survivors who were brought to safety in Italy. "They don't know how long it was before help arrived. They clung to bits of the dinghy until it fell dark, then a boat arrived and they were rescued," IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo told AFP. The survivors were later transferred to the British military ship HMS Echo, which is currently operating in the Mediterranean as part...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Gunmen attacked a UN convoy near Libya's capital and abducted seven staff members on Wednesday before releasing them unharmed, a top security official in the conflict-wracked country said. General Najmi al-Nakoua of the presidential guard service said the attack on the convoy took place near Zawiyah, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of the capital Tripoli. "They have been released, they are all safe," after an ordeal lasting only a few hours, he told AFP. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) confirmed the incident, saying "a UN convoy was hit today travelling between Surman and Tripoli" and added that it was later able to contact them and find out they were safe. Lawmaker Abdallah al-Lafi, who was involved...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The bodies of at least 25 migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe were found near Tripoli Tuesday, the Libyan Red Crescent said. Some of the corpses were washed ashore on a beach near the Libyan capital, but most were on rocks off the suburb of Tajoura in a state of decomposition, an AFP photographer at the scene said. The onset of warm weather has seen a surge in migrants boarding boats for the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, putting pressure on rescue services. Italy's...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Sudanese authorities on Tuesday brought home from Libya eight children, including a one-year-old, whose parents are allegedly members of the Islamic State group. The children were flown into Khartoum from the Libyan capital Tripoli, an AFP correspondent said. "Thanks be to Allah, today eight children," were brought back from Libya, Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NSS) told reporters. Six of the children will be handed over to relatives while the state will take care of the other two because authorities could not find any next of kin, he said.

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