Libya

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
Tripoli (AFP) The United Nations demanded Thursday the immediate surrender of a Benghazi commander wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges after evidence emerged suggesting he had carried out new summary executions in Libya. Mahmoud al-Werfalli commands the Al-Saiqa Brigade based in Libya’s second city and is loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar whose forces dominate the east of the North African country. When the ICC issued a warrant for Werfalli’s arrest last August over summary executions in which at least 33 people were killed in 2016Read More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) Twin car bombs outside a mosque frequented by jihadist opponents in Libya’s second city Benghazi killed at least 34 people and wounded 87, hospital sources said on Wednesday. The eastern city has been relatively calm since military strongman Khalifa Haftar announced its “liberation” from jihadists in July last year after a three-year campaign, but sporadic violence has continued. The bombers struck after evening prayers on Tuesday, blowing up two cars 30 minutes apart outside the mosque in the central neighbourhood of Al-Sleimani. There was no immediate claimRead More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) More than 30 people were dead and dozens wounded after two car bombings outside a mosque frequented by jihadist opponents in Libya’s second city Benghazi, medical officials said Wednesday. The attack after evening prayers on Tuesday underlined the continued chaos in Libya, which has been wracked by violence and divisions since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising. Benghazi has been relatively calm since military strongman Khalifa Haftar announced the eastern city’s “liberation” from jihadists in July last year after a three-yearRead More
Tripoli (AFP) An armed group loyal to Libya’s national unity government said Wednesday it had arrested a gang accused of kidnapping and torturing Sudanese migrants near the northern city of Sirte. The gang, made up of “five Libyans and one Palestinian… had tortured eight migrants,” said the Sirte Security and Protection Force, one of several that took part in the unity government’s battle to oust the Islamic State group from Sirte last year. The migrants are being treated at the Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) eastRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The airport serving the Libyan capital resumed flights on Saturday following a five-day suspension after deadly clashes around the facility that also damaged planes on the tarmac. Lotfi Khalil, the director general of Mitiga airport on the eastern outskirts of Tripoli, said services resumed with Buraq Air flying to the eastern city of Tobruk and Libyan Airlines leaving for Tunis. One local carrier, state-owned Afriqiyah Airways, however, has yet to resume operations because its planes were damaged in Monday’s fighting in which at least 20 people were killed,Read More
Tripoli (AFP) Fighting at the Libyan capital’s only working international airport killed at least 20 people Monday, officials said, after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there. Mitiga airport, a former military air base on the eastern outskirts of the capital, was evacuated when the clashes erupted and roads to the facility were closed. Six Libyan aircraft on the tarmac were hit by gunfire, an airport source said. In an updated casualty toll, the health ministry of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National AccordRead More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) The United Nations’ political chief held talks on Thursday with the head of Libya’s parliament about elections to be held under a UN plan to stabilise the strife-ridden country. Jeffrey Feltman, who is on a tour of Libya and Tunisia, travelled to the eastern town of Al-Qobba where the parliament is based for the meeting with speaker Aguila Saleh. “The meeting, attended by the UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, focused on the elections scheduled for this year,” said parliament spokesman Abdallah Bleheq. The elections “should meetRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The UN’s political chief pushed Wednesday in Libya for the country to hold credible elections this year in a bid to ensure a peaceful shift from a failed unity deal. “The goal is a Libyan goal to end the transition phase with inclusive peaceful process that produces a unified government that is a product of the will of the Libyan people,” Jeffrey Feltman said after meeting internationally backed premier Fayez al-Sarraj. A 2015 UN-brokered deal that saw the establishment of Sarraj’s Government of National Accord was meant toRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Between 90 and 100 migrants were missing after their makeshift boat sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, the country’s navy said late Tuesday. The inflatable boat was carrying more than 100 people when it went down, according to navy spokesman Ayoub Kacem, who said rescuers had saved just 17 people, including some women. Survivors clung to the vessel for hours before help arrived. The boat sank off the city of Khoms, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Libyan capital, Kacem said. In anotherRead More