| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 02/09/17)
Heavy clashes erupted in southern Libya's Tripoli on Wednesday night and lasted until early Thursday morning between rival militias. Media reports said the clashes were between two rival militias, one loyal to the United Nations-backed government of national accord and the other loyal to the government of national salvation which is trying to seize the city. The Tripoli-based militia loyal to the unity government said "an outlawed armed group did an armed robbery to nine vehicles in the area." Witnesses said heavy artillery was used and loud explosions could be heard from kilometers away.
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Sudanese security agents on Monday brought home a four-month-old baby girl whose parents were killed in Libya while fighting for the jihadist Islamic State group, a security official said. The infant, born to Sudanese parents, was brought to Khartoum after the Libyan Red Crescent alerted Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). "The mother and father of the baby were IS fighters who were killed in Sirte during the fighting to liberate" the city from the group, the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) reported Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of NISS as saying. The baby's mother had travelled to Libya in August 2015
(Xinhuanet 02/07/17)
Italian ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone met on Monday with Agilah Saleh, the Libyan head of House of Representatives, in the eastern Libyan city of Tubrug. Perrone said he discussed with the head of the House of Representatives mechanisms to overcome the current crisis in Libya and means to improve relations between Italy and Libya. Perrone said that stability and peace in Libya are very important to Italy, adding that this was his first meeting in Tobrug, and he hopes to hold further meetings in the future. Perrone added that an Italian consulate will be opened in the eastern region of Libya. The Italian foreign ministry announced earlier in January that the Italian embassy will be reopened in Libya, making...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/17)
More than 120 migrants including women and children were rescued by Libyan coastguards Sunday off the coast of Tripoli after their boat ran into trouble. The migrants set off Friday from Sabratha -- a town 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital that has become a staging ground for traffickers -- but their boat's engine failed, a coastguard official said. An AFP photographer at the scene of the rescue said the vessel was intercepted by a coastguard patrol boat around 20 nautical miles northeast of Tripoli. The official said those on board were of various African nationalities and included 10 women and five children, including a baby. Libya said on Saturday it had intercepted more than 400 migrants bound...
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
The European Union is to enlist the help of nomadic tribes in southern Libya to stem the flow of African migrants crossing the Mediterranean, Malta's premier said Friday. Speaking after EU leaders approved moves to prevent migrant boats travelling beyond Libyan waters, Joseph Muscat said he believed he could deliver on a pledge to stop mass migration from Libya to Italy by the end of his country's EU presidency in June. Muscat told reporters that Libya's UN-backed government had requested assistance to close its southern border as well as reaching agreement with Italy to establish EU-funded camps for illegal immigrants pending their deportation to their home countries. "There is also now direct engagement with the tribes in southern Libya who...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
As EU leaders met in Malta Friday to tackle the migrant crisis, rescue ships off Libya described an "absolute nightmare" of multiple operations to save people including babies from a fresh wave of rickety boats. The Aquarius, a humanitarian ship chartered by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the Golfo Azzurro charted by Spain's Proactiva Open Arms, rescued more than 500 people in the early hours of the morning. The Italian coast guard said other operations were under way as the Aquarius and Golfo Azzurro raced to intercept more migrant dinghies. "It's an absolute nightmare in the Med right now, the Aquarius is fully over capacity after 5 rescues and has 3 left to do," MSF said on...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
More than 1,750 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean within 24 hours, Italy's coast guard said Thursday, as EU leaders prepared for a summit on stemming the flow of boats from North Africa to Europe. On the eve of the Malta meeting, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his Libyan counterpart signed a deal in Rome on tackling people smugglers in the North African country. Italy pledged money, coastguard training and equipment to assist the UN-backed government and urged EU leaders to do the same when they meet in Valletta to address the worst migrant crisis since World War II. Closing the smuggling route from Libya to Europe is "within our reach", EU chief Donald Tusk said Thursday. But...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
Libya’s UN-backed government has criticized US President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on its nationals and those of six other countries entering the United States, which put in question attendance at a high-profile conference on Libya planned in Washington for mid-February. The executive order by Trump comes at a time of uncertainty over US policy in Libya, which remains mired in the chaos that followed the NATO-backed 2011 uprising against long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), was strongly supported by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, but has struggled to assert its authority in Tripoli and beyond. Factions in eastern Libya aligned with a rival government and with powerful military commander Khalifa Haftar welcomed Trump’s election,...
(Liberian Observer 02/01/17)
The European Union said Monday that the second phase of the training of Libyan coastguards had started as part of Operation Sophia that aims to bring down the human traffickers off Libya’s coasts. “20 Libyan coastguards will be targeted in the second stage of the program on the Greek island, Crete.” Announced the office of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini. According to the office, the Libyan coastguards will be trained in the fields of human rights, maritime rights, equality in treating men and women, and the knowledge needed in search and rescue operations. The training of the EU will be ongoing throughout 2017 in various locations in the Mediterranean. The EU kick-started the training...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
The European Union on Monday kicked off the second stage of a training scheme for Libya's coastguard to stem the trafficking of migrants. The programme was launched last October to help train and equip Libya's coastguard to intercept unseaworthy migrant boats on the Mediterranean. From Monday a new contingent of 20 coastguards will be trained on the Greek island of Crete, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement. The training will cover "maritime legal aspects, human rights and raising gender awareness, as well as search and rescue operations," the statement said. The first tranche of 78 coastguard staff are due to complete their training in February. More than 181,000 people made the perilous Mediterranean crossing to...
(The Guardian 01/31/17)
Embassy in Niger verifies reports of rights abuses including executions in camps as Italy demands action to halt crossings. Conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya are worse than in concentration camps, according to a paper sent to the German foreign ministry by its ambassador in Niger. The German embassy in Niger has authenticated reports of executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses in camps on the refugee route in Libya, Die Welt cited the report as saying on Sunday. The warning came as EU leaders prepare for a summit in Malta on Friday to discuss ways to control migration across the Mediterranean from Africa this summer, amid pressure from Italy to take decisive action. Similar evidence of atrocities in...
(Financial Times 01/31/17)
Partnership with Tripoli to stem the flow is a figment of Europe’s imagination. Almost unnoticed beyond the sea that claimed their lives, 246 migrants and refugees died in the first 25 days of January trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. This estimate is from the International Organisation for Migration, which says that 210 people died in the equivalent period of 2016. Since the start of the decade, more than 13,000 migrants have died along the central Mediterranean route alone. Not for nothing is the sea known as the world’s deadliest maritime route for migrants. EU leaders — minus Britain, which is on its way out of the bloc — will gather in Malta on Friday to make another stab...
(Forbes 01/31/17)
After a series of setbacks and missteps, Libya is reportedly on track to continue its increased oil production in 2017, with output now sitting at the highest levels seen since 2014. According to media reports, the North African nation is currently producing 715,000 barrles per day and is expected to produce around 1.3 million barrels of oil per day by the end of 2017 with the goal of increasing that amount by 300,000 barrels per day by 2022. The help bolster this effort, Libya is seeking out necessary foreign partnerships for energy development after a three-year lockout. "We intend in the coming months to lift our self-imposed moratorium since 2011 on foreign investment in new projects to achieve the best...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
The Libyan coastguard said on Monday it had intercepted around 700 Europe-bound migrants in territorial waters off Sabratha in the west of the North African country. "The coastguard intercepted 700 migrants on board two wooden boats on Friday three nautical miles from the town of Sabratha," some 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Tripoli, coastguard spokesman General Ayoub Qassem told AFP. He said people smugglers on the beach in the area opened fire on coastguards, without causing any casualties. "Fire was returned, causing the smugglers to take flight," Qassem said. He said most of the people detained were from sub-Saharan Africa, but also among them were Egyptians, Syrians, Tunisians and Palestinians. European countries are trying to curb the flow of...

Pages