Saturday 21 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
The mayor of Libya's capital Tripoli was released Thursday after being held in detention in confused circumstances, the city council said. Earlier, prosecutors said he had been arrested and interrogated. The council, however, reported he had been kidnapped. Armed men stormed Abdulraouf Hassan Beitelmal's house on Wednesday night and took him "by force of arms", the city council had said in a statement. But Seddik al-Sour, a senior prosecution official, said Beitelmal was "subject to legal procedures" and was being questioned by investigators. A source in the security services told AFP the mayor had been detained over suspected corruption. A member of the city council told AFP that the mayor had not received a court...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Armed men have kidnapped the mayor of Libya's capital Tripoli from his home, authorities said Thursday. Gunmen stormed Abdulraouf Hassan Beitelmal's house on Wednesday night and took him "by force of arms", the city council said in a statement. As of Thursday afternoon, the gunmen's demands were unclear. The council urged Libya's internationally-recognised unity government to "immediately take all necessary measures" to ensure Beitelmal's release. It also announced his office was suspending all its activities in protest at his kidnapping. The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
Leaders of the two most heavily armed towns in western Libya met Wednesday for the first time since they fought for control of Tripoli four years ago, hailing the reconciliation talks "historic". The towns of Misrata and Zintan were among the first to rise up against the regime of dictator Moamer Kadhafi who was killed in 2011. The rebels had taken control of the capital in the summer of 2011 two months before Kadhafi was caught in his hometown of...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
The armed forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said on Thursday that their warplanes had attacked Chadian rebels in the country's southern desert last weekend. Air raids targeted a rebel-held roadblock 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Sebha, as well as other positions in an oasis in the Terbu region 400 kms farther south, an official with Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) told AFP. "The strikes aim at restoring security and applying law in the south," the official said,...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
The UN envoy for Libya told the Security Council Wednesday that he is launching a new, final push to bring Libya's rival leaders on board a 2015 political deal that set up a unity government. Ghassan Salame said he believed there was "very little chance" of agreement on amending the deal that established the UN-backed government under Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. "However, starting tomorrow, I shall commence a new, and final attempt to realize the amendments," said Salame, who briefed the council by video-conference from Tripoli. The United Nations has launched a plan to bring stability to Libya through...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/18)
PARIS (Reuters) - Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy told magistrates that accusations of illicit Libyan funding for his 2007 election campaign were a web of lies that had made his life “hell” and lost him a re-election bid in 2012, Le Figaro newspaper said. The 63-year-old, who held power from 2007 to 2012, was told by investigators after two days of questioning in police custody on Wednesday he was formally suspected of passive corruption, an offense that carries a sentence...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy blasted what he said was a lack of evidence for corruption charges against him over claims the late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi funded his 2007 election campaign, in his court statement published Thursday. The day after he was charged in France's most explosive political scandals in decades, the 63-year-old rightwinger said in the statement published by the Figaro newspaper that he had been in "living hell" since the allegations emerged in 2011. Demanding he be treated as a witness rather than a suspect, he urged magistrates to consider "the violence of the injustice" if it was proven...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that Libya is far from ready in political, judicial or security terms to hold free and fair elections as sought by the United Nations. UN special envoy Ghassan Salame has submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year. However, "for elections to be free and fair, they need to be held in an environment free of coercion, discrimination, or intimidation of voters, candidates, and political parties," HRW said. A 2015 UN-brokered deal that saw the establishment of a Government of National Accord (GNA) was meant to overturn years of chaos...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Arab leaders are set to meet in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on April 15, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday. The Arab League's general secretariat received "an official notification" from Saudi Arabia to confirm the meeting, Abul Gheit told reporters at the organisation's headquarters in Cairo. The summit was originally slated for the end of March, its usual annual date. But Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Cairo and delegate to the Arab League Ahmed Qattan said earlier this month the timing needed to change to accommodate Egypt's March 26-28 presidential elections.
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into police custody Tuesday and questioned over allegations that late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi financed his 2007 election campaign via suitcases stuffed with cash, a source close to the inquiry told AFP. Sarkozy was detained early on Tuesday morning and was being questioned by prosecutors specialising in corruption, money laundering and tax evasion at their office in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre. The 63-year-old had until now refused to respond to a summons for...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Three militiamen from forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar were killed Wednesday in a car bomb attack in the central Waddan region, a militia spokesman said. The blast -- which was not immediately claimed by any group -- wounded two others at a checkpoint on the road leading to Tripoli, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) to the north, said commander Ahmed al-Mesmari. Jihadists from the Islamic State group remain active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Libya's coastguard rescued 441 migrants in two separate operations as their boats drifted off the western coast, the navy and a doctor said on Tuesday. Thirty-five women and 16 children were among 324 illegal migrants rescued in one of the operations on Monday with help from a fishing boat, a navy statement said. The migrants, from countries including Chad, Nigeria, Mali and Libya, were drifting in two inflatable boats about seven nautical miles from Zuwara near the Tunisian border after...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Thousands of Libyans on Saturday marked the seventh anniversary of the start of protests that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rallies and concerts despite the country's political and economic morass. In the capital Tripoli, and across many cities in the North African country, thousands packed public squares where the authorities were organising concerts and other festivities. Libya descended into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising, with rival militias, tribes and jihadists vying for influence across the oil-rich country. A 2015 UN-backed deal to set up the unity government in Tripoli was meant to end the turmoil. But Libya has remained riven by divisions between the Government...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Seven years since a revolution that ended four decades of dictatorship under Moamer Kadhafi, Libyans see no end in sight to the North African nation's chaotic transition to democracy. A UN-backed unity government has failed to assert its authority across the oil-rich country, which is still grappling with deadly attacks, a struggling economy and a migration crisis. Authorities in the capital Tripoli have planned celebrations on Saturday to mark the seventh anniversary of the start of protests on February 17, 2011 that led to the toppling and killing of Kadhafi.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya’s supreme court blocked legal challenges from lower courts to a draft constitution on Wednesday, paving the way for a possible referendum on the document and a move toward elections, a lawyer who helped draft the text said. Establishing a constitutional framework is widely seen as a key step in efforts to stabilize Libya after years of anarchy following a 2011 uprising. The oil-rich country has splintered in recent years into local fiefdoms, with competing parliaments and...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
UN envoy Ghassan Salame said Wednesday he hoped for elections in Libya by the end of 2018 but that conditions in the strife-torn country were not yet ready for polling. "There are several conditions. For the time being, we have only achieved one: the start of voter registration," the UN envoy for Libya told a news conference in Tripoli. Last September, Salame submitted an action plan to stabilise Libya centred on holding legislative and presidential elections this year. "All the...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
A Libyan commander wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges announced he has handed himself in to the allied forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar. Mahmoud al-Werfalli -- who commands the Benghazi-based Al-Saiqa Brigade loyal to Haftar -- has been under an arrest warrant for the past six months over the cold-blooded executions of at least 33 people in 2016 and 2017. Calls for Werfalli to face justice have grown since he was accused of personally shooting dead some 10 jihadist prisoners last month at the scene of a deadly bomb attack on a mosque in Benghazi, Libya's second city. In a video posted on Facebook...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Libya's UN-backed government on Monday accused gunmen of "terrorising" thousands of displaced after armed groups opened fire at them to prevent them from returning to their town. The displaced people are from Tawergha, a town that backed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi during the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed him. The Government of National Accord (GNA) had said the displaced could return home after it struck an agreement with representatives of the western city of Misrata, which has jurisdiction over...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...

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