Tripoli (AFP) Libya’s navy has seized an oil tanker suspected of illegally loading fuel and arrested its Greek crew, a navy spokesman said Thursday. The tanker was intercepted on Wednesday evening off Libya’s western coast, about eight nautical miles from the Abu Kamash oil plant, said spokesman Ayoub Kacem. Abu Kamash is the site of one of the oil-rich North African country’s largest petrochemical complexes, west of Tripoli and near the Tunisian border. The Togolese-registered ship, Lamar, was spotted in Libyan territorial waters “without authorisation… and in a suspicious areaRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Libya has issued arrest warrants for more than 200 Libyans and foreigners suspected of involvement in a smuggling network for Europe-bound migrants, the attorney general’s office said on Thursday. “We have 205 arrest warrants for people (involved in) organising immigration operations, human trafficking, (cases) of torture, murder and rape,” said Seddik al-Sour, the director of the attorney general’s investigations office. The trafficking ring is alleged to include members of security services, leaders of migrant detention camps, and embassy officials from African countries based in Libya, Sour said. LibyaRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The Libyan navy on Saturday rescued 252 migrants seeking to reach Europe, in two separate operations off the country’s western coast. “We were alerted… to the position of a migrant boat” around 30 kilometres (20 miles) off Zawiya, west of Tripoli, navy captain Rami al-Hadi Ghomed said. He said the 140 migrants on board, including 14 women and four children, were brought back to Tripoli’s naval base before being transferred to a detention centre. Since the 2011 fall and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, unruly Libya hasRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The Tajoura migrant camp on the edge of Libya’s Tripoli was the scene of a clash between lions: teams of Cameroonian and Senegalese footballers whose dream is to play in Europe. The Indomitable Lions and the Lions of Teranga took their names from those of their national teams, but the match had little of the atmosphere of African sports events. Played on a sandy pitch marked out by a low white wall, in front of a prison building, its only spectators were two prison guards. The teams hadRead More
Tripoli (AFP) 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 the engines failed, it said. The coastguard alsoRead More
Tripoli (Libye) (AFP) 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 unityRead More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) Twin bomb blasts struck a mosque in Benghazi in eastern Libya on Friday, killing one person and wounding more than 62, the city’s main hospital said. The explosions hit the mosque at the start of weekly prayers in Libya’s second city, which lies 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) east of Tripoli, a security source told AFP. One bomb was hidden in a coffin in the courtyard of the mosque and another in a shoe cabinet at the entrance, the source added. At least one person was killed andRead More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) 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 atRead More
Gharyan (Libya) (AFP) Dozens of Sub-Saharan African migrants at a Libya detention centre got to their knees and crossed their wrists above their heads to protest their imprisonment. They staged their protest at the Al-Hamra shelter in Gharyan, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Tripoli, during a visit Friday by Mabruk Mohammad al-Targui, the tourism minister of Libya’s fragile unity government. “This gesture is a call for freedom,” said Saddam, from Sudan’s Darfur region, who fears being forced to return to a homeland ravaged by war. “We have been inRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The United Nations expressed “grave concern” Friday over the breakdown in a deal to allow thousands of displaced to return to a town that backed Libya’s leader Moamer Kadhafi in its 2011 revolution. “For too many people displacement becomes more protracted every day, as insecurity and fear of persecution are making it impossible for them to return to their homes,” the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, told a news conference in Tripoli. “Many efforts have been made for the plannedRead More