| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/17)
Turkey reopened its embassy in Libya on Monday, 2-1/2 years after closing it due to lack of security becoming the second country to reopen its diplomatic mission in the divided country. Turkey shut the embassy in Tripoli in 2014 as rival factions fought for control after the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. Italy became the first country to reopen its embassy in Tripoli earlier this month. "The reopening of the embassy will allow Turkey to make stronger contributions to efforts to build peace and stability, as well as reconstruction in Libya," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement. The road where the embassy is located close to Tripoli's seafront was closed on Monday, and there was a heavy...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/17)
Migrants face executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses in camps in Libya, according to a report prepared for the German government by the German embassy in Niger, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday. "Authentic cellphone photos and videos substantiate concentration-camp-like conditions in so-called private prisons" operated by people smugglers, the embassy said in a diplomatic cable sent to the chancellery and other ministries, according to the newspaper report. "Executions of countless migrants, torture, rapes, bribery and banishment to the desert are daily events," it cited the embassy's report as saying. "Eyewitnesses spoke of exactly five executions a week in one prison - with advance notice and always on Fridays - to make room for new migrants, i.e...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(The Guardian 01/26/17)
Post-Gaddafi moratorium on foreign investment lifted ahead of London conference. The international community has lost moral authority in Libya and can best help the country by acting to end oil smuggling and providing investment to boost production, the chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, has said. Libya has had a self-imposed moratorium on foreign investment in its oil industry since 2011, which Sanalla has announced is to end. A Foreign- Office-backed Libyan investment conference in London on Thursday is attempting to rally financial support to boost the country’s oil output. Sanalla is the most respected technocrat in a country riven by militias, political deadlock and corruption ever since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled with the help of western...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Libyan Attorney General said in a press conference here on Wednesday that arrest warrants have been issued for former ministers accused of embezzlement and corruption. He said some of the accused former ministers are abroad, adding that the Attorney General's office in France is following up cases of oil smuggling, and the office, with the Interpol, had issued red notice for arresting one in UAE, who has been interrogated and released afterwards by the UAE authorities. Libya has been suffering a security and economic crisis following the uprising of 2011 that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The country is struggling economically with the oil exports, the country's main source of income, which suffers drastically due to closing of oil ports...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Forces loyal to Libyan field marshal Khalifa Haftar battling jihadists around second city Benghazi said Wednesday they had taken one of the last remaining strongholds of the militants. Haftar's self-declared Libyan National Army (LNA) "liberated all of Qanfouda", an area 15 kilometres (nine miles) west of the centre of Benghazi, spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari posted on Facebook. Two other LNA officials confirmed to AFP that Qanfouda, the scene of fierce fighting since June, had fallen from jihadist hands. One of the officials said there were still militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Al-Sharia group present near Qanfouda. Libya's unrest since the 2011 ousting of strongman Moamer Kadhafi allowed extremist organisations
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
The EU unveiled plans Wednesday to increase training for the Libyan coast guard as part of new measures to stop African migrants leaving for Europe in a feared spring surge. The European Commission, the EU executive, said the fragile UN-backed government in Tripoli should receive 3.2 million euros ($3.4 million) in fees and grants for an EU programme launched last October to train and equip the coast guard. "The proposal is to increase significantly the training of the Libyan coast guards," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels. Her comments came ahead of an EU summit in Malta next week to tackle migration and other issues. EU interior ministers meanwhile meet in Valetta on Thursday...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
The head of Libya's unity government said Wednesday he would soon hold talks with a rival field marshal to try to halt his country's descent into chaos, Italian media reported. Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, said he would meet in Cairo with Khalifa Haftar, whose forces support a rival administration, "possibly within days". "I confirm (the meeting) will take place soon," Sarraj told Italian daily Corriere della Sera, adding that he and Haftar would "search for a solution for Libya". Libya has been riven by lawlessness and violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime strongman Moammer Kadhafi, with rival parliaments and armed groups vying for control of the country and its vital oil wealth...
(Financial Times 01/25/17)
Mustafa Sanalla says production could jump almost 70% if he can attract more money. The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation has called on the central bank to free up more money for the energy sector to help boost production as he tries to rally investment from international oil companies for the struggling north African country. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the NOC, said that oil production could jump almost 70 per cent by the second half of this year to more than 1.2m barrels a day if he can attract more money and defend the independence of one of Libya’s few functioning institutions. “We can get production back towards 1.2m barrels a day but we need investment to be unlocked,”...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Libya is pumping 715,000 barrels a day of oil, the most since 2014, and is on track to keep boosting output this year as the country restores much of the production lost amid political chaos and conflict, the state oil company’s chairman said. Blockades at the North African state’s main oil ports have ended, and output may reach 1.25 million barrels a day by the end of 2017, National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said Tuesday at a conference in London. Additional production may create a challenge for OPEC and other major suppliers that agreed to pump less crude starting Jan. 1 in an effort to end a global glut. “Every single major oil-export route is now open, although some...
(The Libya Observer 01/25/17)
The Libyan political dialogue committee agreed on six proposals to amend the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed in Skhirat, Morocco, on December 17, 2015. The committee, which kicked off the deliberations on Sunday in Hammamet, Tunisia and ended them on Tuesday, agreed to reshuffle the Presidential Council to include only three members, who would assume the positions stated by the LPA and make decisions based on consensus among them. “The Head of the Government of National Accord will be picked from outside the Presidential Council and he will be responsible for the executive authority along with the ministers.” The committee stated in its final statement. It added that a new position – a council – is going to...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
After blocking the main migrant route from the Middle East, the EU will this week seek ways to check a feared spring surge from Libya and North Africa across the Mediterranean. The European Union lacks a reliable partner in chaotic Libya, the launchpad for almost all migrant crossings over the central Mediterranean, while some African governments along the trail north have been reluctant to cooperate, EU sources and experts said. The European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation EU, is due to unveil new proposals to tackle the issue on Wednesday, before ministers address it at talks in Malta on Thursday and Friday. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat -- whose country is using its six-month presidency of the EU to...
(Middle East Monitor 01/25/17)
Renegade general will receive armoured vehicles, ammunition and surveillance equipment from Moscow, Algerian sources tell MEE. Russia has agreed to arm renegade general Khalifa Haftar, one of the key players in the Libyan civil war, according to a source within the Algerian military. Algeria, a key mediator in the region, has also thrown its weight behind Haftar, the source told Middle East Eye. “We must face the facts. We are not going to wait forever for Libyan political parties to reach agreements. Libya needs the rule of law to be restored across the whole country and needs a strong army that is capable of ensuring its security up to the borders. And with the Russians we share a vision," the...
(The Libya Observer 01/25/17)
Libya's National Oil Corporation plans to reopen oil sector for foreign investment again, the country's top oil official has declared, a step that aims to recover the country's ailing economy. “We intend in the coming months to lift our self-imposed moratorium since 2011 on foreign investment in new projects to achieve the best national interest for the Libyan oil sector and for Libya as a state.”Chairman of NOC Mustafa Sanalla declared on Tuesday. In his address at the Middle East and North African Energy conference in London, Sanalla said NOC-driven projects to expand oil production could create a virtuous circle of domestic economic stimulus and security, while raising Libyan oil production to a forecast 1.25 million bpd by the end...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/17)
Libya's neighboring states are expected to furnish a new settlement framework for the war-torn North African country as their influence and coordination have recently increased with Egypt and Algeria acting as key regional actors. Top diplomats from Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Tunisia, as well as the Arab League (AL) chief and UN envoy met in Cairo on Saturday and a communique urged dialogue between conflicting Libyan factions and reiterated the rejection of any foreign military interference in Libya. Six years after the 2011 uprising ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi and his life, Libya is currently
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Voice of America 01/23/17)
Rival Libyan leaders met Saturday in Cairo with diplomats from seven neighboring states to discuss forming a new government acceptable to all parties. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told journalists that further talks would take place in Algeria next week. Diplomatic talks between rival Libyan leaders and representatives of Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria, Chad, Niger and Mali ended Saturday with an agreement to hold further discussions next week in Algeria. Behind-the-scenes meetings between key players in the Libya negotiations, including army general Khalifa Hafter, also have been taking place.

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