Thursday 25 May 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
Italy evacuated 22 wounded Libyans for medical treatment in Rome, some of whom were involved in fighting this week for control of the eastern oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, Italy's Defence Ministry said on Thursday. An Italian C130-J Air Force plane fitted for medical transport picked up the wounded on Wednesday at the Benina base in Benghazi, Libya, a statement said, and brought them to the capital, where they are being treated at a military hospital. The Libya National Army (LNA) recaptured the ports southwest of Benghazi after a rival faction known as the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) seized them earlier this month, disrupting oil production from the OPEC member. Some of those evacuated had been wounded...
(APA 03/16/17)
Troops loyal to Libya’s national unity government have been gaining ground as they moved in on pockets of armed militias ensconced in Tripoli, forcing their retreat southward, sources in the capital claim. This advance follows several hours of sustained heavy fighting with heavy weaponry. Dozens of armed militias are holding out in Tripoli, a city riven with insecurity and turmoil since the overthrow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Endorsed by the United Nations and backed by the west, the national unity government has been attempting to win the allegiance of some militias since it was established a year ago. However it has ran into difficulties controlling some parts of the Libyan capital. The recent offensive by unity...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government overran the headquarters of a rival militia on Wednesday as artillery exchanges rocked the capital for a third day, a security source said. Libya has experienced years of violence and lawlessness since the NATO-backed ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with rival parliaments and governments trading barbs and militias fighting over territory and the country's vast oil wealth. Militia loyal to former prime minister Khalifa Ghweil, whose administration was replaced by the UN-backed Government of National Accord last year, have stepped up a campaign of defiance against its authority.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/15/17)
East Libyan forces said they had regained control on Tuesday of the major oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider from a rival faction that seized them earlier this month and were pursuing their opponents into the desert. Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman for the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), said fighters from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) were retreating toward the coastal town of Harawa, more than 100 km (60 miles) west of Es Sider and to Jufra, their desert base nearly 300 km to the south. Air strikes were being carried out against BDB positions in Jufra late on Tuesday, an air force official said. Footage and photos showed LNA troops posing around the ports, and a resident in...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Troops commanded by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Tuesday to seize two of the country's key eastern oil terminals, a spokesman said. "Ground, sea and air forces launched joint attacks to liberate Ras Lanuf from terrorist groups," Khalifa al-Abidi said after orders were issued early Tuesday for the offensive, which is also targeting the nearby Al-Sidra oil terminal. Both sites were seized by a rival, Islamist-led force earlier this month. Libya has experienced years of violence and lawlessness since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival parliaments and governments trading barbs and militias fighting over territory and a share of the country's vast oil wealth.
(Xinhuanet 03/14/17)
An Italian economic delegation on Monday arrived in the city of Zintan in western Libya. The delegation included, Flavio Tosi, the dean of the city of Verona, and Giorgio Starace, the Italian envoy to Libya, as well as Italian businessmen. According to media sources, the talks included projects of hospitals, airport and school. The two deans of the two cities on October 2016 signed a twinning agreement. Italian embassy has officially returned to Libya earlier in January after two years of closure, making it the first western mission to return to chaotic Libya.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
When OPEC reached a deal last year to cut oil output, the decision to exclude Nigeria and Libya from the restrictions was seen as a risk to the group's efforts to curb a global crude glut. An oil price rally has already stumbled since the deal, but Nigeria and Libya are not to blame. Output from both nations has slipped since December and violence in the two African states makes their ambitions to hike production look optimistic. "The success of these cuts, debatable as they may be, will not hinge on Nigeria and Libya," said ING analyst Hamza Khan. OPEC members and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million bpd for six months from Jan. 1. OPEC has...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
Libya’s crude output dropped 13 percent as clashes among rival armed groups over the last 11 days led to the closing of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number of fields to halt production. Output is down to 602,900 barrels a day, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member at National Oil Corp., said by phone Monday. Production was about 700,000 barrels a day before fighting broke out on March 3. The offshore Al Jurf field run by Mabruk Oil Operations is under maintenance, contributing to the reduced supplies, Alaokali said. Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, remain closed, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow's deepening role in Libya. The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who suffered a setback with an attack on March 3 by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) on oil ports controlled by his forces. The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km)...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
When Opec reached a deal last year to cut oil output, the decision to exclude Nigeria and Libya from the restrictions was seen as a risk to the group's efforts to curb a global crude glut. An oil price rally has already stumbled since the deal, but Nigeria and Libya are not to blame. Output from both nations has slipped since December and violence in the two African states makes their ambitions to hike production look optimistic. "The success of these cuts, debatable as they may be, will not hinge on Nigeria and Libya," said ING analyst Hamza Khan. Opec members and non-Opec producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million bpd for six months from 1 January. Opec has...
(Voice of America 03/14/17)
Forces led by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar have launched an offensive to take control of the oil port of Ras Lanuf. The Libyan National Army (LNA), based in the eastern part of the country, had been mobilizing ground forces and carrying out airstrikes ahead of the assault to recapture Ras Lanuf from a jihadist group called the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB). The BDB has held Ras Lanuf and another oil port, Sider, since taking them from the LNA earlier this month. Libya has struggled with political stability since the ouster and killing of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi, with rival factions unable to agree on a unity government and multiple militia groups competing for territory.
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Bloomberg 03/13/17)
Libya’s crude output dropped 11 percent as clashes among rival armed groups over the last 10 days led to the closing of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number of fields to halt production. Output fell by about 80,000 barrels a day to 620, 000 barrels since fighting among armed groups broke out on March 3, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of permission to speak to media. Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, remain closed, according to the person. Crude production halted at Waha Oil. Co., which pumps crude to Es Sider. Waha is a joint...
(Al-Monitor 03/13/17)
Russia seizes opportunity in Libya. Vasily Kuznetsov explains the evolution of Russia’s approach to the Middle East in terms of both its “blunt pragmatism” and, since 2011, defining itself “as an alternative project rather than part of the West … premised on Russian historical experience.” Kuznetsov writes that this alternative project has extended to support for Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Libya. In backing Hifter, Moscow is seeking to shift its relations with Cairo from “mutual affinity into a solid alliance.” Despite Hifter’s limitations, other armed groups in Libya are “unreliable and weak.” Nonetheless, Kuznetsov notes, “This does not imply that Russia intends to ignore other Libyan actors. Amid the lack of developed institutions and overmilitarized society, the establishment of a...
(The Guardian 03/13/17)
Pentagon says Russia has intervened to support opponents of the western-backed government. A fierce battle for control of Libya’s oil ports is raging this weekend as worried American officials claim that Russia is trying to “do a Syria” in the country, supporting the eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar in an attempt to control its main source of wealth. The fighting between Haftar’s forces and militias from western Libya is focused on Sidra, Libya’s biggest oil port, and nearby Ras Lanuf, its key refinery. Together they form the gateway to the vast Oil Crescent, a series of oilfields stretching hundreds of miles through the Sahara containing Africa’s largest reserves. Haftar’s forces have launched airstrikes against militias around the oil ports themselves, with...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(Bloomberg 03/10/17)
An oil tanker that was scheduled to load crude at Libya’s Es Sider port changed its course to a different terminal in the west of the country as clashes in the eastern region keep the main export terminals out of service. Waha Oil Co. halted production due to the conflict. The tanker Overseas Redwood, originally due to load 630,000 barrels of crude at Es Sider on Thursday, will arrive instead at the port of Zawiya, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information

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