Sunday 22 October 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Libya's coastguard has rescued almost 550 migrants this week in four separate operations west of the capital Tripoli, navy spokesman General Ayoub Kacem said on Wednesday. Libya has been a springboard for illegal migration to Europe, especially Italy, since becoming engulfed in chaos following a 2011 revolution that toppled and killed its longtime ruler Colonel Moamer Kadhafi. Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe each year on overcrowded and flimsy boats run by unscrupulous people traffickers. Kacem said the latest rescue operations took place on Monday and Tuesday off the coasts of Sabratha and Sidi Bilal...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Oil production has been suspended for several days at three oil fields in Libya after an armed militia shut off pipelines, the state-owned National Oil Company said Wednesday. The output of oil, nearly one million barrels per day prior to the stoppage, had fallen by more than 360,000 bpd, NOC said in a statement. The armed group, described as "criminal" by the company, had in the past few days closed off two pipelines to the refinery and port at Zawya from the Al-Sharara and Al-Hamada oil fields. It had already blocked production on Saturday at the Al-Fil field, also located in the west of the country, said the statement from NOC. The militia seized the pipelines to protest against the...
(Xinhuanet 08/30/17)
Libyan coast guards over the past two days rescued nearly 700 migrants on their way to European shores, a spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Ayob Qasem said that the coast guards on Tuesday rescued two boats with 290 migrants on board, while 164 others were rescued off the coast of Sabratha in western Libya. Qasem also said that two boats with a total of 222 passengers were rescued on Monday, with the help of Italian navy. Thousands of migrants choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya towards Europe due to the state of chaos and insecurity in the country. Many drown on the way. The turmoil following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya led...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
Libya’s coastguard rescued nearly 500 migrants on Tuesday at sea west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman said, underlining the challenge of trying to slow an exodus from Africa and the Middle East. The migrants included people from sub-Saharan countries, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. “Coastguards rescued early morning today 140 illegal migrants west of Tripoli and another group of 164 migrants were rescued off Sabratha including seven women and six children,” a spokesman for Libya’s naval forces told Reuters. Later another group of 150 were rescued off Tripoli. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed the Libyan desert and taken to flimsy boats on the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching Europe in recent years. A plan was agreed in...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
African and European leaders on Monday backed proposals to screen asylum seekers in Africa as a way to prevent thousands from taking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean. Hosting the talks in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested setting up "fully safe areas" in Niger and Chad -- key transit points for migrants -- where asylum-seekers would be processed by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The leaders signed a roadmap on the proposal, though there were as yet few details on how it might work. A joint mission will be sent to Niger and Chad soon, they said in a statement after the mini-summit.
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
The United Nations called Monday for the immediate release of the most vulnerable migrants held in Libya, many of whom have been subjected to appalling human rights abuses including "extreme violence." Libya has plunged into chaos since the overthrow of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with dozens of armed factions filling the power vacuum. Things are so bad that Libya now has two competing governments, and migrants by the thousands have been fleeing to Europe. "Migrants continued to be subjected by smugglers, traffickers, members of armed groups and security forces to extreme violence," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, on Monday met with Agila Saleh, Libya's eastern-based parliament Speaker, in the eastern Libyan city of Al-Gubba. The meeting discussed means to solve the political and economic crisis in Libya, as well as future elections. "The future of the political agreement is up to the Speaker and other Libyan leaders, with whom I will meet before the Eid," Salame said. Salame has met with Saleh on Aug. 7 and discussed the political situation in the country and ways to strengthen Libya's independence and the stability of its institutions. Recently-appointed Salame replaced Martin Kobler, who led a series of political dialogue sessions between...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Libya’s 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) Zawiya oil refinery, the largest operating plant in the country, was working at only half its capacity due to the shutdown at the Sharara oilfield, a source at the refinery told Reuters on Monday. Zawiya, located to the west of the capital Tripoli, is fed crude from Sharara but the oilfield is shut due to a pipeline blockade. The refinery underwent a maintenance shutdown on one of its two 60,000 barrels per day crude distillation towers that lasted from Aug. 10 to Aug. 25, the source said, declining to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Sharara, which at 280,000 bpd is the OPEC member’s largest, has been shut...
(The Telegraph 08/29/17)
France, Germany, Italy and Spain have offered to support Libyan coastguards and help Chad and Niger with border control to stem migration to Europe at a summit in Paris. They also agreed on a new policy to grant asylum to vulnerable migrants who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their destination countries. President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met with Italian and Spanish leaders as well as those of Chad, Niger and Libya - all three of them transit countries for migrants. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also attended. In a joint statement, they said that it was "important to equip and train in an adequate manner Libyan coastguards" while emphasising the importance...
(Xinhuanet 08/29/17)
A Libyan navy spokesman said that the coast guards on Monday rescued 134 immigrants on a rubber boat off Tripoli coast. The immigrants include 20 women, Ayob Qasem said, adding that the migrants are from African and Arab nations. They were rescued 20 miles off the coast of Tripoli. Qasem also said that the immigrants have been taken to a reception center in Tripoli after accepting medical assistance. Libya is a preferred point of departure for immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores. Smuggers take advantage of the state of chaos and insecurity to send thousands of migrants in rickety boats, many of whom drown on the way.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
The Libyan navy said Monday it has seized an oil tanker near the maritime border with Tunisia and detained the 20-member Filipino crew on suspicion of fuel smuggling. Navy spokesman General Ayoub Kacem said the vessel was intercepted on Sunday off Abu Kamash, 170 kilometres (110 miles) west of Tripoli, and its crew transported to the capital to appear before the prosecutor general. The Liberian-flagged tanker belonging to a Greek company was loaded with six million litres (1.5 million gallons) of contraband fuel, he said. Plunged into conflict and political chaos since a 2011 revolution that ousted and killed Libya's longtime leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, oil smuggling to Tunisia, Malta and Tunisia has become a lucrative trade.
(The Associated Press 08/28/17)
European Union funding is being looked at as a potential tool for ending the dependence of some local economies in Africa on migrant trafficking. Italy's foreign ministry hosted a meeting of interior ministers from Italy, Libya, Chad, Niger and Mali on Monday to discuss strategies for foiling the human traffickers who have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants toward Europe. The migrants are often put on unseaworthy vessels and are brought to Italy when they are rescued at sea. But unlike refugees, economic migrants aren't eligible for asylum.
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday that the crisis in neighbouring Libya has impacted Sudan, with human traffickers using the East African country's territories to commit "cross-border crimes". Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting UN-backed Libyan premier Fayez al-Sarraj, Bashir also said security issues in Libya had made Khartoum's fight against human trafficking "more expensive". "We are affected directly by the insecurity in Libya, which has made it expensive for us to fight human trafficking, illegal immigration and cross-border crimes," Bashir said. "Those who are committing these crimes are using...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Pipeline blockades by Libyan militia brigades making economic demands have closed down three oilfields and forced state-run National Oil Corporation to declare force majeure at several sites, officials and sources said on Sunday. Six years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is caught in a power struggle among competing factions and various armed brigades, and the OPEC country’s oil infrastructure is often the target of blockades and protests. A local Libyan brigade closed down two valves on a pipeline to Sharara oilfield, the country’s largest, to make demands for more fuel supplies and better economic conditions for the Zintan region, a source in Zintan said. Sharara, which was producing around 280,000 barrels per day, had been shut a week...
(AFP (eng) 08/28/17)
Leaders from seven African and European countries meet in Paris on Monday for a mini-summit to discuss how to ease the EU's migrant crisis. French President Emmanuel Macron has invited his counterparts from Niger and Chad as well as the head of the Libyan unity government Fayez al-Sarraj, whose countries lie on the main transit route for migrants heading to Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish and Italian prime ministers Mariano Rajoy and Paulo Gentiloni, and Europe's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, will join the talks. European nations are keen to offer development aid and funding to their African partners in return for help in stemming the flow of economic migrants and asylum seekers. A total of 125,000 migrants have crossed...
(Gulfnews 08/28/17)
Disturbances could boost Opec, Russia’s efforts to balance market The price for Brent crude was up on Monday due to oil production disruptions in the United States as well as Libya. Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc along the US Gulf coast over the weekend, crippling Houston and its port, and knocking out numerous refineries as well as some crude oil production. International benchmark Brent crude rose by 0.46 per cent to $52.52 (Dh192) per barrel at around 3.30pm UAE time, whereas US crude West Texas Intermediate was trading lower at $47.47 per barrel from the loss of demand from the Gulf coast refineries halting production due to flooding. WTI’s discount to Brent has widened to a two-year high of $5 per...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti met Libyan mayors on Saturday to renew a commitment to fight people trafficking as part of an agreement signed earlier this year between Rome and Tripoli. The meeting, which Libya’s interior minister also attended, focused on fostering alternatives to human smuggling and trade in contraband in Libyan towns heavily affected by illegal immigration. “Youngsters in those areas and the whole of Libya deserve a future of hope, free from the threats of criminal organisations...” both sides said in a statement issued by Italy’s Interior Ministry. In February, Italy pledged money

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