Saturday 24 June 2017
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field shut down due to a protest by workers, stalling a revival in the politically divided country’s production of crude. Sharara closed on Wednesday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. Workers are protesting a colleague’s death at the field, halting about 270,000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not allowed to speak to the media. Before the halt, Libya’s oil output was at its highest since October 2014, when the country pumped 850,000 barrels a day. The recent increase, along with higher production from Nigeria...
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
From Jason Pack, Washington, DC, US. Sir, The very premise of Francisco Rodriguez’s beyondbrics article “Don’t let Venezuela become the next Libya” (June 1) completely misunderstands the problem of post-conflict transitions in weak states and draws a false comparison with Libya. He states: “Perhaps nowhere is their failure most evident than in Libya, which descended into full-fledged anarchy after the collapse of its all-powerful petrostate.” Furthermore, he warns about the return of authoritarianism to Libya. This is not a realistic...
(BBC News Africa 06/06/17)
Kidnapping has become a growing problem in Libya, where three governments and several militia are vying for power. The BBC's North Africa correspondent Rana Jawad has been talking to people personally affected. "My father was kidnapped yesterday." Not quite the text message you expect to get from a close friend on a Friday morning. I called to confirm that it was not a cruel auto-correction and rushed over to her place. She looked remarkably composed but exhausted. Here, in the...
(The Independent 06/01/17)
Researchers say EU is disregarding international law and human rights. A new report has accused the EU of disregarding human rights and international law in its desperation to slow refugee boat crossings across the Mediterranean Sea. The bloc has pledged tens of millions of euros in funding for authorities in Libya, despite the country’s ongoing civil war and allegations of torture, rape and killings earning it the moniker “hell on Earth” among migrants. Research by the US-based Refugees International (RI)...
(The Independent 05/31/17)
War-torn North African country is under renewed scrutiny following Manchester bombing. The UK “could have done more” to stop the chaos and bloodshed in Libya that followed Western intervention, a Foreign Office minister has admitted. Tobias Ellwood defended RAF air strikes against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, ordered by David Cameron, saying there was a “duty to protect” civilians during the North African country’s 2011 revolution. The UK’s role in Libya – where Manchester bomber Salman Abedi had strong links – has...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(AL Jazeera 05/29/17)
There is a link between the woeful Manchester attack and the dubious methods the UK used to help Libyans topple Gaddafi. There have been few decisions by the British government this century as damaging as those that laid the groundwork for the Manchester bombings. No, you cannot boil the causes of this "terrorist" attack down to one single "cause". Yes, Salman Abedi was an "evil loser", as Donald Trump put it with rare accuracy. Yes, it is unforgivable that Salman...
(BBC News Africa 05/29/17)
A group of militant Islamists in Libya, blamed by the US for the 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi which killed the ambassador, says it has disbanded. The Ansar al-Sharia group said that its leadership had been wiped out while fighting the Libya National Army. Most of its members are thought to have defected to the Islamic State group. Separately, a case against Hillary Clinton brought by the parents of two Americans killed in the Benghazi attack has...
(AL Jazeera 05/24/17)
Rescue operation by Malta-based aid boat just one of 15 under way off Libya's coast, according to Italy's coastguard. At least 20 people, including young children, have died after their vessel capsized off Libya's coast, the Italian coastguard says. About 200 people fell off the overloaded vessel that was just 20 nautical miles (37km) in the Mediterranean Sea from Libya when the accident occurred on Wednesday. The crew of the Phoenix aid boat, chartered by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), had begun the rescue and were distributing lifejackets
(The Guardian 05/23/17)
Call comes as Libya Quartet meets in Brussels to discuss ways to prevent deadly Mediterranean crossings. The UN refugee agency has called on the Libyan government in Tripoli to close its refugee detention centres, describing conditions as inhumane and shocking. The call comes as the Libya Quartet meets in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss how to slow the flow of refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. The Italian coastguard said that on Friday alone 2,100 people were rescued...
(AL Jazeera 05/18/17)
Analysts say the recent meeting in the UAE may only serve to validate Haftar's political legitimacy. On May 3, Libya's two rival leaders, Fayez Serraj, the head of the UN- backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli and strongman General Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) keeps a tight grip on the East of the country, held a surprise meeting in the United Arab Emirates. The encounter spurred fears among Serraj's supporters that the conditions discussed in the Gulf...
(Press Tv 05/18/17)
Wintershall, a German oil company, has withheld more than $900 million of Libya’s oil money, a senior Libyan official says, as a row deepens over what role the UN-backed government should have in monitoring and implementing oil contracts. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief Mustafa Sanalla has said Wintershall failed to honor a memorandum of understanding that was signed in August 2010 and extended two concessions granted to Wintershall in 1966 in the East Sirte basin, about 1,000 kilometers south...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(The Guardian 05/17/17)
Libya’s National Oil Corporation chief also claims Wintershall colluded with unlawful efforts by Libyan government to take over sale of oil contracts. A German oil producer has been accused by the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation of withholding more than $900m (£697m) from the Libyan state and colluding with unlawful efforts by Libya’s UN-backed government to take over the sale of the country’s vastly profitable oil contracts. The power struggle between the NOC and Wintershall – which denied that it owed any money and said it had always met
(The Independent 05/17/17)
Strengthening the north African country's border management is “only a good idea, says Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Plans that would see European border agents conduct patrols in Libya to stop the flow of migrants have been welcomed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Federica Mogherini said strengthening the north African country's border management was “only a good idea”, although she said there was already an EU mission, lead by Italy, that specifically addressed...
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office sought documents as part of a “pending” probe into a dispute between Societe Generale SA and the Libyan Investment Authority, days after the bank agreed to pay 963 million euros ($1.06 billion) to resolve a related civil-bribery lawsuit. A lawyer for the LIA said at a London court hearing Monday that the SFO, which prosecutes white-collar crime, had given Societe Generale a June deadline to comply with a demand for documents related to the case...
(Financial Times 05/11/17)
Production recovers dramatically but still well below that of before 2011 uprising. Libya’s production has risen to more than 800,000 b/d for the first time since 2014 but a dispute with German energy company Wintershall is hindering further increases, said the head of the north African country’s national oil company. “We are able to produce an average of 1.1m to 1.2m [barrels a day] over the rest of this year but for this to happen our oil must flow freely...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Libya is pumping the most oil in more than two years as the OPEC member restores output amid progress in mending the nation’s political divisions. The increase adds pressure on the world’s biggest producers who just signaled they may extend production cuts amid a slump in oil. The North African country’s production has reached 796,000 barrels a day, Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of state producer National Oil Corp., said Monday in a statement. Libya was producing about 700,000 barrels a...

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