Thursday 17 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field has reduced crude production by more than 30 percent in recent days and the Zueitina export terminal ceased loadings over the weekend, throwing the OPEC country’s output back on a downward spiral. Output at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 barrels a day on Sunday, compared with 300,000 barrels a day about a week ago, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Workers were being kept from certain areas for their own safety after two company vehicles were stolen at gunpoint, the person said. Zueitina port ceased loading on Saturday after employees demanded better working conditions, according to Merhi...
(The Guardian 08/14/17)
MSF, Save the Children and Germany’s Sea Eye suspend operations after repeated clashes with Libyan coastguard vessels. Three NGOs have suspended migrant rescues in the Mediterranean because of the increasingly hostile stance of the Libyan authorities and coastguard. Save the Children and Germany’s Sea Eye have joined Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in halting operations because they feel their crews can no longer work safely in what Sea Eye called a “changed security situation in the western Mediterranean”. Libya has asserted its right to operate well beyond the territorial limit of 12 nautical miles, defending the move as necessary in order to control the rescue operations. Coastguard ships have repeatedly clashed with NGO vessels on the edge of Libyan waters, sometimes...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(AL Jazeera 08/10/17)
Rights body slams the 'culture of impunity' after documenting third case of killings in Benghazi since July. A human rights group has held the Libyan National Army (LNA) and its allied armed groups responsible for misconducts that amount to crimes against humanity in the country's second city of Benghazi. In a statement published on Tuesday, the Human Rights Solidarity organisation based in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, called for urgent action to stop what it called mass killings. The statement came...
(Voice of America 08/09/17)
The thick-set 23-year-old Nigerian woman exudes strength, keen to overcome what she suffered in Libya and Italy before she escaped from the shadows in Rome and jumped on a train heading for Ancona on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Not that she knew the train’s destination before boarding — she just wanted to flee her tormenters, run from beatings and sexual abuse. But it will take longer than a three-and-half-hour railway trip to forget the torments of the past. Anna (the name...
(Voice of America 08/08/17)
Italian government ministers are becoming increasingly divided over risky naval efforts to curb the numbers of migrants who have landed at the country’s ports. At issue — what the mission should be for two Italian naval ships set to be deployed in Libyan waters. Several ministers object to the idea of Italian sailors turning back mainly sub-Saharan asylum-seekers — either directly or indirectly in coordination with Libyan Coast Guard ships, some of whom are suspected of being in league with...
(Cnbc Africa 08/08/17)
Two oil-exporting nations could decide the future of a historic deal to drain a worldwide glut of crude oil, according to Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. It's not top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, the architects of the accord, but conflict-plagued Libya and Venezuela, a petrostate on the brink of collapse. Oil producers are meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Tuesday to figure out how to improve compliance with a deal struck by...
(AL Jazeera 08/04/17)
Commander in control of the east issues orders to naval bases after Italy sends ship to halt people smugglers' boats. The commander of Libya's self-styled national army has ordered his naval forces to confront any vessel entering the country's waters without permission. The move by the renegade general, Khalifa Haftar, which was announced on Wednesday, comes after Italy instructed its navy to stop refugee boats heading to Europe from Libya. An Italian naval ship, Commandante Borsini, entered Libyan waters on...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Libya’s crude shipments jumped to a new three-year high last month, dealing a fresh blow to OPEC and allied oil-producing nations as they battle to restrict a global supply surplus that’s depressing prices for the commodity. The North African nation shipped about 865,000 barrels a day of crude in July, tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. That was a gain of 11 percent from June, which was already the highest since at least July 2014. The pace at which...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
OPEC oil output has risen this month by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 2017 high, a Reuters survey found, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal. A dip in supply from Saudi Arabia and lower Angolan exports helped to boost OPEC's adherence to its supply curbs to 84 percent. While this is up from a revised 77 percent in June, compliance in both months has fallen from...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
A French-led effort to reunify fractured Libya failed to consult powerful local forces and risks achieving little beyond boosting the legitimacy of a renegade general who has recently racked up significant battlefield gains. On paper, the step taken by Libya’s rival leaders on Tuesday -- guided by French President Emmanuel Macron and a United Nations envoy -- was their boldest yet toward resolving Libya’s six-year crisis. After talks at a country mansion outside Paris, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(The Guardian 07/13/17)
Document submitted to high court as part of case over secret justice reveals depth of relationship between British and Libyan spymasters. Confidential phone calls made from a post office by MI6’s counter-terrorism chief, Sir Mark Allen, to London in 2003 were intercepted by Libyan spies, according documents submitted to the high court. On another occasion claims by a well-placed informant that the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, would be assassinated on a visit to the north African state were...
(Washington Post 07/12/17)
The video showed a small rubber dinghy crowded with terrified migrants. Next to it, a uniformed man in a Libyan coast guard boat was yelling and wielding a bullwhip. The whip slithered through the air and struck a shirtless migrant. The Libyan cracked the whip again, forcing some of the panicked migrants to fall into the sea and struggle to clutch the side of the boat. “We have to punish them to make them calm down,” said Ramzi Ali, a...
(CNN 07/11/17)
A new diplomatic and military policy for Libya that could significantly expand US involvement in the country could be finalized by the Trump administration in the next few weeks, according to two US officials. The policy, if approved, would aim to further the existing US goal of supporting reconciliation between rival factions in eastern and western areas of Libya. The policy could also lead to the eventual re-opening of the US embassy and the establishing of a new intelligence sharing...
(Bloomberg 07/11/17)
A proposal that Libya and Nigeria could have to accept limits on their crude production probably wouldn’t be enough to put OPEC’s faltering efforts to eliminate a global supply glut back on track. The two African nations -- exempt from the supply curbs agreed last year due to internal strife -- have added enough production in the last two months to offset Saudi Arabia’s cut. Should the pair accept a cap at their desired levels of output, OPEC and allies...
(The Guardian 07/11/17)
Lawyer criticises government attempt to have husband and wife’s claim against Jack Straw and ex-MI6 officer heard in secret. A husband and wife who were victims of a joint MI6-CIA “rendition” operation have been plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare by the attempt to have their claim against the former foreign secretary Jack Straw heard in secret, the high court has been told. Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a Libyan dissident, and his wife, Fatima Bouchar, who were abducted in 2004 and flown...

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