Friday 20 April 2018
(RFI 11/23/17)
France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity. "France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament. "We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it." Macron said the auctions, captured in shocking footage aired by US network CNN, were "scandalous" and "unacceptable". "It is a crime against humanity," he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Condé in Paris. "I hope we can go much further...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - France has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on the treatment of migrants in Libya and will seek sanctions if Libyan authorities do not take action, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. Le Drian said he wanted the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. Refugee Agency to publish details about the trafficking of migrants in the country. “Libyan authorities, who have been alerted several times, including by myself because I was there in September, have decided to open an investigation into the facts,” Le Drian said. “We want it to go fast and if the Libyan justice system can not carry this procedure through then we should open international sanctions,” Le...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
After months on the road into exile and inside the hell of Libyan jails, migrants rescued by the UN refugee agency have found safety and shelter in Niger's capital before leaving for Europe. The refugees from three distant Horn of Africa nations breathe easy for a while at a comfortable transit centre in Niamey, a city on the broad Niger river south of the daunting Sahara desert. "Since we left Libya, things have been OK," says Amina, a 20-year-old Ethiopian sitting on the terrace with her husband. Like those of her companions, her name has been changed. Amina says she is "in a hurry to leave" for France, which will take in the 25 people from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso’s foreign minister said on Monday it had recalled its ambassador to Libya over a report that black African migrants were being auctioned as slaves there. The decision by the West African nation followed the broadcast by CNN of footage of what it said was an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, a chilling echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade of centuries past. Libya’s ambassador to Burkina Faso said his country was being unfairly blamed for a global problem that all nations affected must come together to solve. Foreign Minister Alpha Barry announced the decision by President Roch Marc Kabore in a news conference. “The president of Burkina Faso...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Medical staff in the southern Libyan city of Sabha said on Monday they were suspending work for 10 days in protest over poor security after a doctor was kidnapped. Health services in Libya have been severely disrupted by years of conflict with the remote south particularly affected. Salem al-Selhab, who worked in the surgical department of the Sabha Medical Centre, the biggest hospital in southern Libya, was kidnapped by an unknown group on Thursday evening. “For a long time the medical staff of the Sabha Medical Centre have suffered attacks, abuse and been shot at,” said Osama al-Wafi, a spokesman for the center, adding that Selhab’s kidnapping was a serious setback. “This doctor was very important,”...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday he was horrified by video footage showing migrants sold as slaves in Libya and that these auctions should be investigated as possible crimes against humanity. US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men were presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. "Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity," Guterres told reporters. "I am horrified at news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves," he said, adding: "I abhor...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
France will be the first to welcome African refugees evacuated from Libya to NIger by the United Nations refugee agency, French officials announced Monday. After experiencing appalling living conditions at camps in the north African country, the refugees were taken to Niger on November 11 by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where they have been looked after. The 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese -- including 15 women and four children -- should reach France "at the latest in January," the interior ministry said. Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse at the hands of traffickers and others. US television network CNN...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Libya will investigate alleged slave trading in the country, the internationally recognised government announced Sunday, following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off. Chaos-ridden Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse in the North African country at the hands of traffickers and others. US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men are presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Five months after he was appointed to lead UN peace efforts in Libya, Ghassan Salame says he is focused on building institutions as a way to unite the country. The 66-year-old Lebanese-born academic told AFP in an interview that if state institutions can begin to work, Libya will finally change course after years of chaos since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. "The key to my approach is institutions," Salame said. "If in a year or two, we can began to reunite, revive and liberate institutions, then the country will be on a different path." A UN-mediated political deal in 2015 was supposed to unite Libya, but the country remains divided between a government in Tripoli that enjoys UN...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Nigeria were grouped with former title-holders Libya, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea when the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) draw was made in Rabat Friday. The Nigerians are making a third consecutive appearance in the biennial tournament for home-based footballers, which Morocco will stage between January 12 and February 4. They finished third in 2014 in South Africa, but failed to reach the knockout phase in Rwanda last year. Libya are the only former champions in the 16-team field having triumphed in 2014 by overcoming Gabon, Zimbabwe and Ghana after penalty shootouts. Rwanda were the last qualifiers for Morocco, winning a play-off against Ethiopia last weekend after Egypt withdrew because top clubs were not prepared to release players. Equatorial Guinea are...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
UN-led talks on a new political deal to unite Libya's rival governments are making progress, the UN envoy said Thursday, expressing optimism that a deal is within reach. "I am quite confident we are close to a consensus," Ghassan Salame told the UN Security Council which met to discuss the crisis in Libya. The United Nations in September launched a new plan to bring stability to Libya which has been in chaos since the 2011 ouster of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Two meetings have since been held in Tunis to agree on changes to a 2015 political deal that set up a Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. Despite that agreement, Libya remains divided between the...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Prosecutors in the trial of the alleged Libyan mastermind of the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed a US ambassador argued Thursday that he was equally responsible even if he did not personally take part. Wrapping up final arguments in the trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala over the 2012 Benghazi attack, US government lawyers said he was guilty of conspiracy and murder in the deaths of US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. "'I will kill all the Americans, each and everyone of them...': This is what the defendant Abu Khattala said and this is exactly what he did," prosecutor Michael DiLorenzo told a jury in the trial in Washington federal court. "On September 11, he took...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Libya's Misurata International Airport, 200 km east of the capital Tripoli, on Thursday resumed work after being closed by protesting workers a few days ago, according to a local source. "Misurata International Airport resumed flights to and from the airport following the end of the strike carried out by the ground services workers," Libyan Airways spokesman Mohamed Gnewa told Xinhua. The airport began to receive scheduled flights normally, Gnewa said. Protesting workers of the airport's ground services closed the air hub on Sunday until further notice, due to delayed payment of their salaries for more than a year and a half, according to a local official. The workers of the ground handing company carried out sit-ins in November 2016 and...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. China's investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Wednesday that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping the Islamic State jihadist group's defeats in Iraq and Syria. Messahel spoke at a news conference in Cairo after a meeting with his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui, over Libya. The Islamic State rose to prominence in the chaos of Syria's conflict, which broke out in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad. After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, IS established a "caliphate" that attracted thousands of foreign fighters.
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Italy on Wednesday defended its policy on blocking migrants in Libya, saying the deal, denounced as "inhuman" by the UN, was essential to stop boat departures towards Europe. "The alternative cannot be to resign ourselves to the impossibility of managing migratory flows and hand human traffickers the keys to European democracies," Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said. On Tuesday the United Nations lambasted the EU's policy -- led by Italy -- of helping the Libyan authorities intercept migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean and return them to "horrific" prisons in Libya. The human rights issue "is, was and will be a question we will not relinquish, but we know that condemning (abuses) is not enough, we must act," Minniti said,...

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