Libya

Tripoli (AFP) Two women were found dead and 290 migrants rescued from two boats off the coast of Libya on Sunday, the navy said. The migrants were rescued off the coast of Garabulli, 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Tripoli, then taken to the capital, naval officer Meftah al-Zlitni said. He did not give further details on how the women had died. They had left Libya Saturday evening on a makeshift craft with 140 other migrants from various African countries, but their motor broke down a few hours later. “WeRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Nigeria is to speed up repatriating its citizens from Libya which has been accused of exploiting and ill-treating migrants, its foreign minister said in Tripoli on Saturday. Geoffrey Onyeama told a news conference Nigeria was chartering two aircraft to repatriate over the next few days 800 of its citizens who wanted to go home. Onyeama said he had visited two migrant detention centres in Libya and met a number of his compatriots. “The reality is that a large number of these Nigerians here have suffered greatly and haveRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Libya’s oil revenues have more than tripled in 2017 despite violence and political instability, according to figures released Friday by the central bank. The backbone of the North African country’s economy, Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Oil output fell from 1.6 million barrels per day to less than 500,000 bpd between 2014 and 2016 due to violence around production facilities and export terminals as rival militias fought for control. Despite revenues surging to $14 billionRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Armed groups clashed Friday in western Libya, forcing the closure of a key border crossing with Tunisia, an official and a military commander said. The clashes took place near the Ras Jedir border post, the main crossing between western Libya and southeastern Tunisia. The crossing has been controlled by militias from the western port city of Zuwara since the fall of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 in a NATO-backed revolt. On Friday, a force set up by the country’s United Nations-backed unity government to stabilise Libya’s westRead More
Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has said he will support 2018 elections in the war-torn country but also implied he would seize power if the polls did not occur. Late Thursday, Haftar said presidential and parliamentary elections were “a fundamental solution” to Libya’s crisis and should be held “without delay or fraud”. Oil-rich Libya has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. A UN-backed unity government in Tripoli has failed to impose its authority nationwide, and has been rejected by aRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The foreign minister of Italy, which has been helping Libya to combat illegal immigration to Europe, made a brief visit to Tripoli on Saturday. Angelino Alfano met officials of Libya’s UN-backed unity government and paid a call at Tripoli port to an Italian naval vessel whose crew has been assisting the Libyan coastguard. Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said earlier this month his country could “hold its head high” over its treatment of migrants, after rights group Amnesty International accused Rome and other EU governments of being “knowinglyRead More
Tripoli (AFP) France’s foreign minister on Thursday urged Libya’s unity government to act on a United Nations plan for 2018 elections and a national dialogue to stabilise the war-torn country. “This calendar is the indispensable political solution for Libya and it must be implemented now with the utmost speed,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said after talks in Tripoli with Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord. Oil-rich Libya has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Sarraj’s GNA, the product ofRead More
Tripoli (AFP) Two years after a deal to form a unity government aimed at ending deep divisions between Libya’s opposing sides, the country remains mired in crisis with no solution in sight. The UN-brokered agreement signed in Morocco in December 2015 establishing a Government of National Accord (GNA) brought hopes of an easing of chaos that followed the 2011 revolution. But Libya has remained riven by divisions between the GNA in Tripoli led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and a rival administration backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar in theRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The UN refugee agency is to evacuate thousands of vulnerable refugees from Libya next year, its country representative said on Tuesday. “In 2018, we will try to send between 5,000 and 10,000 of the most vulnerable refugees to third countries,” Roberto Mignone said. “We can’t give an exact number as it will depend on how many refugees can be taken in by European countries, Canada or others,” the UNHCR representative said. Libya has long been a transit hub for migrants seeking a better life in Europe, but peopleRead More
Tripoli (AFP) The mayor of Libya’s third-largest city Misrata has been killed by unidentified assailants who abducted him as he returned from an official trip overseas, a security source said on Monday. Mohamad Eshtewi’s body was found dumped in the street after he was kidnapped after leaving the airport in the western coastal city late on Sunday, the source said. The city hospital said it had received the mayor’s body bearing gunshot wounds. His brother was with him in the car and was wounded in the attack, the security sourceRead More