Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

News Roundup – Thu, Aug 17, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The head of the Tuberculosis Department at the National Communicable Disease Control Centre in Tripoli, Mohammed al-Farjani, said that many patients suffering from tuberculosis infection were unable to obtain treatment due to the lack of the anti-tuberculosis vaccine, which had completely vanished for nearly two months.Farjani told Libya Channel that they only received 25% of the quantity needed during this week that was provided by some local suppliers and with the help of some benefactors, while about 2000 cases remained untreated.He explained that a shipment is expected to arrive next Wednesday, and if it arrives, it will be distributed immediately and on the same day to cases that are still pending, putting the blame on the bad administrative system and complications, which monopolizes the medicine supply claiming the fear of misuse of medicine.

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Almadar Mobile Operator has successfully launched its evolved High Speed Packet Access(HSPA+) network in Libya.The state-run company said the new network will be available in Tripoli while other cities will be covered with HSPA+ service soon.Almadar offers the service in three plans; Net3, Net5 and Facebook. With Net3, customers can get 3 gigabyte per month at a cost of LYD 30 dinars. Net5 offers 5 gigabyte per month at a cost of LYD 45 dinars. With Facebook service subscription, customers can choose a weekly package of 1 gigabyte at a cost of LY 5 dinars or a monthly one of 3 gigabyte with LYD 15 dinars.

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The head of the Competitions Committee of the Libyan Football Federation, Hussein Morabet, announced that the Local Super Cup between Ahli Tripoli and Hilal, will be held on August 23. Morabet also explained that the Competition Committee is waiting for security approval in order for the audience to attend the match. The Libyan football league began on Tuesday with four matches after a break of more than two years.

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The Misrata Municipal Council said in a statement on Wednesday that one of their members, AbuBakr Harish and all members of the delegation representing Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos Operation represent only themselves in their recent visit to Qatar. The Council explained that the visit took place without prior coordination with them, describing the Municipal Council as the only legitimate representative of the city of Misrata .

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The head of the Sports Security Committee of the Security Directorate of Tripoli, AbdelBasit Tabal, stated that the directorate is able to secure matches in the Libyan league to reach as high an audience as 40 thousand spectators. Tabal added in a press statement that they are fully prepared to provide security for all local and international matches, particularly the Super Cup match between Ahli and Hilal, which will take place next week.

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The head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Sarraj said that the military is forbidden to conduct meetings at home and abroad without the prior approval of specialized bodies within the army. Sarraj demanded in a statement published on Wednesday as the supreme commander of the Libyan army, the need to open an investigation into the military personnel who carried out these acts by the judiciary of the army, explaining that the accused represent a serious breach and are in explicit violation of military law.

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The House of Representatives (HOR) expressed deep concern over what they described as an enforced disappearance of former Prime Minister Ali Zidane in the capital Tripoli. The HOR accused the forces of the Presidential Council on a raid that took place on Zidane’s residence in the capital and his subsequent detention, demanding that the Presidential Council intervene to guarantee the release of former Prime Minister.

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A shipment of humanitarian aid from the Italian Development Cooperation Agency arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday for the Sabratha University Hospital aboard an Italian Air Force cargo plane. Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, stated on Italian news agency AKI that an Italian Air Force cargo plane transported 11 tons of aid to Sabratha University Hospital, 80 km west of Tripoli, on Wednesday morning.

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The Italian embassy in Libya stated through their official Twitter account the incorrectness of news circulated regarding the visit of an Italian military delegation to a military base near the city of Sirte. The Tweet stated “News about the visit of Italian military base near Sirte is invalid and incorrect”. It is noteworthy that Libyan media reported that an Italian military delegation had visited the air base of Al-Kardabia and Sirte International Airport.

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Zliten Municipal Council approved the establishment of a fund to support educational facilities and another supporting health facilities. The Council announced through its official Facebook page that the two funds will be supported by the municipal council and a number of bodies operating within the municipality.

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During a meeting in Tripoli with German Ambassador to Libya Christian Buck, the head of the High Council of State AbdulRahman Suweihli discussed the political situation in the country. According to the Information Office of AbdulRahman Suweihli, Suwehli called on the German government through its ambassador to help Libya end negative foreign interventions in the internal affairs of Libya.

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News Roundup – Thu, Aug 17, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Libya Gets Better at Keeping Oil Flowing as Industry Stabilizes – Bloomberg

Libyas getting better at resolving stoppages in its oil industry, underpinning a growing perception that the OPEC member is closer to becoming a stable producer again.

Thats because of the duration of the incidents. While in prior years protests could shutter fields for months and years, now the stoppages are being resolved within days and barely hindering flows. Sharara, Libyas biggest field, had several short disruptions this year, including two this month, after being closed for more than two years. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., was quick to visit Sharara this week to resolve the latest dispute, offering to revise security measures.

One fundamental change that allows upstream activities to restart quickly after a disruption is that Sanalla is willing to get on the ground, visit the sites and demonstrate his commitment to local communities, Geoff Porter, founder of New York-based North Africa Risk Consulting, said by email on Wednesday.There is a level of trust that was missing for a long time.

Libya is reviving its oil production and exports in spite of continuing political uncertainty. In July, crude production was at a four-year high and exports were the most in three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the expansion has helped Libyas oil-dependent economy, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is trying to cut global supplies. That effort has been undermined by recovering output at OPEC members Libya and Nigeria.

Libyan production has recovered impressively and part of that is certainly that recent disruptions have proved short-lived but I still think it would be wrong to describe the oil sector as stable, Richard Mallinson, a geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said Wednesday by email. There has been plenty of tension with the government in Tripoli as Sanallas requests for extra funding for maintenance and to address local issues have largely been ignored.

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The country pumped 1.6 million barrels a day before a 2011 revolt set off years of fighting between rival governments and militias. Workers at the Zueitina export terminal said last week they would not load tankers until their demands were met, including getting 20 months of back pay, union head Merhi Abridan said Saturday. The port reopened this week when workers were told their demands will be met, he said.

Under Sanallas tenure which started in May 2014, Libya has signed contracts with international companies, ended a blockade of ports, restarted exports and reopened fields, including Sharara in December following two years of closure. Oil production was at 250,000 barrels a day when he took over. In July, output was 1.02 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Photographer: Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

Libyas output will be about 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of the year if everything goes well, said Derek Brower, managing director of research at Petroleum Policy Intelligence, a U.K.-based consulting company, said Aug. 10 by email. However, the potential for disruptions is high and true stability can only return if locals genuinely feel like they are getting a dividend from rising oil production and income.

In July, rival leaders embarked on a new effort to reunify their country, agreeing to hold elections. “Paradoxically, the closer we get to a political solution, the more unstable production is going to become, Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting said. Political solutions create losers and in Libya, the losers will be armed.”

With assistance by Angelina Rascouet

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Libya: ICC issues arrest warrant for Haftar ally – Middle East Monitor

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for a senior Libyan commander who is linked to General Khalifa Haftar and who is suspected of involvement in numerous deaths in Benghazi.

During its preliminary session, the court accused Mahmoud Al-Werfalli of assisting in murders and giving orders to execute others, in seven incidents that involved 33 deaths.

In June, Libyas Al-Nabaa TV reported that Al-Karama Forces published a video showing the collective execution of 20 people following orders from Al-Orfali.

The court classified the offenses as war crimes.

The ICC document, seen by Al Jazeera on Tuesday, says:

Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli [is] allegedly responsible for murder as a war crime in the context of the non-international armed conflict in Libya.

On 18 July, the UN demanded the leadership of Al-Karama Forces to suspend Al-Orfali from his duties while investigations take place into his role in the torture of prisoners and the murder of at least ten people without trial.

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Deadly clashes in Ajaylat town – The Libya Observer

Armed groups engaged in heavy fighting in Janan Atia district in Ajaylattown, some 80 kilometers west of Tripoli, on Wednesday, leaving a number of people dead and others wounded.

Local sources said the fighting first erupted between two families earlier this week, but later it intensified into heavy exchange of fire between armed groups supporting the warring families.

Many people fled their homes in panic while several buildings were damaged.

The reason of the clashes is not known, but some sources claimed it was a tribal dispute.

Ajaylatmayor Kamal Zayad said mediation efforts are being exerted to calm down the tension, demanding Tripoli-based ministries of interior and defense to intervene to stop the fighting.

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya expressed concern over the deterioration of security situations in the town. It said in a statement, the fighting amounts to a war crime due to the use of medium and heavy weapons in densely populated areas.

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Libya Boosts Oil Output At Biggest Field – OilPrice.com

Libya is returning with more barrels to the market after its biggest oil field started raising production and an export terminal re-opened for tanker loading.

Crude oil output at Sharara–the biggest field in Libya, which is exempt from OPEC cuts–rose to 230,000 bpd on Tuesdaya 30,000 bpd increase just since Sunday, Bloomberg reports, citing an unidentified source familiar with the issue.

In another boost to Libyan oil exports, the Zueitina oil terminal resumed loading, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina workers union, told Bloomberg.

The Zueitina oil terminal had ceased loading cargos on Sunday, as port workers protested, demanding better working conditions.

This meant that oil coming from the fields around Zueitina was to be stored at the port for the duration of the protest, and a spike in exports would likely follow.

As of Sunday, Bloomberg sources claim that Shararas output had fallen by 100,000 bpd over the past week, to 200,000 bpd. There had been an incident involving the theft at gunpoint of two vehicles property of Repsol, the company operating the field. Following the incident, the company advised workers to stay away from certain areas.

Libyas National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it received on Sunday a written confirmation from Brigadier Ahmed Alal–the Commander of the forces assigned to protect and secure Al Sharara Fieldthat the incident had been carried out by a lone individual and the field was safe and secure. Related:U.S. Sanctions On Venezuela Could Boost Gasoline Prices

In recent months, factional fighting in Libya has abated, allowing the country to restore its crude oil production to over 1 million bpd for the first time in four years.

In July, average production topped 1 million bpd, as per OPEC secondary sources, with Libya raising output by 154,300 bpd from June and accounting for most of the total OPEC production increase.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Libyan coastguard threatens Spanish NGO ships as tensions rise in Mediterranean – Telegraph.co.uk

Libyas coastguard threatened to target a Spanish humanitarian ship rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean this week as tensions continue to grow between NGOs and the Libyan government.

A ship run by the group Proactiva Open Arms was intercepted by a Libyan coastguard vessel on Tuesday and ordered to sail towards Tripoli or risk being fired upon.

You have to sail now towards Tripoli port. You are under custody, sir. If you dont follow the orders we will target you, the Libyan captain warned the Spanish crew by radio.

I have already warned you before, Libyan government has warned you before but you dont listen. Its your problem.

The Spanish ship was eventually allowed to sail away into the Mediterranean but the confrontation is the most serious since Libyas coastguard adopted a newly assertive policy several weeks ago.

Three major humanitarian groups – Save the Children, Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF), and Germany’s Sea Eye – have all halted their operations because of the Libyan threats and warned that more people will drown as a result.

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News Roundup – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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The head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanallah, visited Tobruk on Tuesday evening to attend the 7th conference on oil refineries in Libya. Sources close to Sanallah stated that the visit is to begin work on activating oil investments in the city and researching plans to build an oil refinery in Tobruk estimated to add 300 thousand barrels per day for the Libyan economy.

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The spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Brigadier Ayoub Qasem, accused NGOs working to rescue illegal immigrants of infiltrating the sovereignty of the Libyan state. Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children and CA have suspended their operations to rescue migrants off the coast of Libya, following the decision of the Libyan authorities to establish a search and rescue area in Libyan territorial waters. This action will prevent foreign ships from carrying out missions to save migrants, with the exception of being at the request of the Libyan authorities.

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The State Property Department called on the Municipal Guard to intervene and put a stop to the activities of some municipalities in collecting public funds, especially through collection of rents from markets, shops, tourist facilities and other state-owned properties. This illegal collection is in violation of the laws and regulations governing the law of the state’s public funds.

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The head of the Presidential Council of the UN proposed government, Fayez Sarraj met yesterday at the headquarters of the council in Tripoli with a delegation from the city of Derna headed by the head of the Local Council Awad Airaj. Sarraj stated that he issued immediate instructions to provide all needs to the desalination plant in Derna and all the urgent requirements of the service facilities of the city. Sarraj also stated that he put in place a direct line of communication between the Local Council of Derna and the ministries of his government. According to the media office of the UN proposed government, Sarraj expressed deep sorrow for the suffering of the residents of the city of Derna stressing his government’s efforts to lift the siege on the city and talked about the need to separate the provision of services to citizens from any conflict pointing out the need to open safe corridors for the delivery of medical equipment, medicines and food to the population.

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The Municipal Council of Tarhuna reported that the electric power station known as Thirty was out of service on Tuesday morning as a result of the station’s feeder cables burning out due to an overload. The director of Distribution Department of the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) appealed to the city’s residents to rationalize electricity consumption during the next two days until the station begins operating again.

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Approximately 210 illegal immigrants from the Kingdom of Morocco, including 30 women, have been on hunger strike for two days in a Tripoli housing center in protest against the Moroccan authorities’ failure to cooperate with the illegal immigration Control Agency in Libya on deportation procedures that would return them to Morocco. Moroccan authorities sent a committee four months ago to take the fingerprints of the migrants and promised to return them to their country but there has been no correspondence since then.

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The Minister of Education in the UN proposed government Othman AbdelJalil, withdrew licenses of 107 private schools, preventing them from engaging in any educational activities. AbdelJalil also referred the schools officials to the Attorney General to be investigated, and prohibited any agencies of the ministry from dealing with these schools. AbdelJalil also said that a committee is formed that will submit a detailed report on this matter within a maximum period of fifteen days, in preparation for taking the necessary legal measures against any school breaking the law. This decision comes against the backdrop of manipulation of some of the schools that are being investigated being involved in the public examinations scandal.

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Ahli Tripoli is to play their match against toile Sportive du Sahel at the Tayyib Muhairi Stadium in Sfax instead of the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Ahli Tripoli will face their Tunisian counterpart in the quarter-finals of the African Champions League on September 15th after the Egyptian authorities refused to allow fans to enter the Burj Al Arab stadium. The Ahli administration in Tripoli is counting on the strong attendance of their fans to support their team in this important match.

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Eastern government bans Italian companies for alleged hostility towards Libya – The Libya Observer

The Ministry of Economy of the Interim Government, a parallel body in east Libya, has issued a resolution to ban the Italian companies from working in Libya or establishing any joint Libyan-Italian firms.

The resolution referred for the prohibition of opening or extending branches of Italian companies in Libya until further notice.

Minister Munir Asar told his governments news agency that the decision was taken due to “Italy’s outspoken hostility towards Libyan people”.

Our friends who stood with us in our crisis are more entitled for economic partnership, especially that the technology is not monopolized by the Italians, he said.

The resolution only applies to the eastern region where the government has control.

Relations between Italy and east Libya authorities are tense. In June, the Defense and National Security Committee of House of Representatives Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Perrone persona non grata for a meme tweet mocking the Committees terror list.

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Qatar and Arab powers are already at warin Libya – Washington Examiner

Among the many civil wars ravaging the Arab world in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Egypt the one Westerners hear the least about may prove the most dangerous: Libya. The civil war that has been raging in Libya since 2011 is, in many ways, a proxy war pitting Qatar and its Muslim Brotherhood allies against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Qatari-Emirati rivalry, which became front-page news last week when Saudi Arabia and its allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, has been the significant factor in the continuation of the current Libyan Civil War, much more so than nationalistic or Islamist ideologies.

Qatar and the UAE both punch above their weight in the conflict because unlike in Yemen or Syria, the role of the United States and other major powers is somewhat muted.

At stake for both Gulf monarchies is influence in post-war Libya as well as economic opportunity. The country is home to some of the last significant underexplored oil and gas basins in the Middle East. Outside the oil sector, Qatar has financial deals with Libya that date to the Ghaddafi era. The UAE, as an early investor in Libya, has also sought controlling positions in the Libyan financial sector.

After disputed elections in 2014, Libya has once again descended into chaos, with numerous factions warring against one another. These include Berber militias, ISIS terrorists, repentant former members of Ghaddafi’s military, and many other factions. Over the last three years, however, Libyan politics have been defined by three large coalitions, each claiming to be Libya’s legitimate government.

The General National Congress is largely Muslim Brotherhood-influenced and is supported by Qatar. Conversely, the UAE along with Saudi Arabia now support General Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA). The LNA claims to represent Libya’s House of Representatives, a rival government based in Tobruk.

Both of the above factions give lip service to the Government of National Accord, the body recognized by the United Nations as Libya’s legitimate government.

Both sides also have other allies, of course. Egypt also supports Haftar, and in the past the General National Congress has received support from Turkey.

Qatar has long been involved in Libyan politics and had ties to the Islamist opposition since the Ghaddaffi era. When the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 began, it supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the best organized political force in several Arab states.

Qatar was the first country to recognize the Libyan rebels and had begun sending them arms early in 2011 as they fought to topple Ghaddaffi. Media reports also suggest that Qatari special forces were deployed to Libya and at least some Libyan rebels received military training in Qatar.

The Emirates also sent weapons to rebel groups early in the conflict but failed to build lasting ties. Instead the Emirates turned to General Haftar, a supposed former CIA asset who was living in exile in Northern Virginia as recently as 2011.

In May 2014, Haftar launched a military movement to create a unified Libyan National Army (LNA) and to eliminate Islamic extremists. (Haftar’s definition of extremists includes many whom others would consider moderates.) This moment set in stone the Qatar-UAE rivalry. When each nation officially backed opposing sides in the Libyan armed conflict, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia pulled their ambassadors from Qatar’s capital, Doha. The diplomats did not return for eight months.

The septuagenarian Haftar is perhaps the ablest military commander Libya has ever produced. He also makes little secret of his Neo-Ghaddaffi ambition to rule the country. Personality traits aside, his rapid rise has been accelerated by Egyptian and Emirati airstrikes in support of the LNA.

At first, those two countries kept their role secret due to U.S. disapproval. But following a massacre of Coptic Christians in February 2015, Egypt publicly launched airstrikes against Islamist militants in Libya. The Qatari-backed New General National Congress called Egypt’s airstrikes a “horrible assault.” Al-Jazeera coverage highlighted the civilian casualties of the strike.

The continuous airstrikes increasingly suggest an escalation of the conflict in a conventional sense. A once semi-secret activity is now being conducted in the open.

Qatar did not respond militarily to support its clients. Even if it wanted to, Libya is beyond the operational range of Qatari aircraft. Even the 24 longer-ranged Dassault Rafale fighter jets Qatar has ordered from France could not attack Libya without access to access to friendly airbases or mid-air refueling.

In any case, diplomatic relations soon returned to normal in the GCC, and on the surface Gulf politics seemed calm, with Qatar even joining the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

However, in Libya, tensions between the two countries continued unabated with the Emirates and Egypt increasing their military support to Haftar in recent months.

This was apparent in the most recent Egyptian bombing campaign in Libya. Though it used the May 26 attack on Coptic Christians as a pretext, the Egyptian government acknowledged its new bombing campaign was not aimed at the perpetrators of that attack per se. Instead, the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, an Islamist group, bore the brunt of the campaign. The group was an impediment to Haftar’s efforts to consolidate control of the country. According to Arab press reports, the group has received support from Qatar.

Still isolated and left with few options, Qatar may choose Libya as the place where it strikes back at the UAE. If so, the long and wrongly ignored war in Libya is likely to be even longer.

Joseph Hammond, a former Cairo correspondent for Radio Free Europe, is a senior contributor with the American Media Institute. Suhaib Kebhaj is a Research Assistant at the International Monetary Fund and has worked extensively in his native Libya. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

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News Roundup – Thu, Aug 17, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The head of the Tuberculosis Department at the National Communicable Disease Control Centre in Tripoli, Mohammed al-Farjani, said that many patients suffering from tuberculosis infection were unable to obtain treatment due to the lack of the anti-tuberculosis vaccine, which had completely vanished for nearly two months.Farjani told Libya Channel that they only received 25% of the quantity needed during this week that was provided by some local suppliers and with the help of some benefactors, while about 2000 cases remained untreated.He explained that a shipment is expected to arrive next Wednesday, and if it arrives, it will be distributed immediately and on the same day to cases that are still pending, putting the blame on the bad administrative system and complications, which monopolizes the medicine supply claiming the fear of misuse of medicine. ————————————————- Almadar Mobile Operator has successfully launched its evolved High Speed Packet Access(HSPA+) network in Libya.The state-run company said the new network will be available in Tripoli while other cities will be covered with HSPA+ service soon.Almadar offers the service in three plans; Net3, Net5 and Facebook. With Net3, customers can get 3 gigabyte per month at a cost of LYD 30 dinars. Net5 offers 5 gigabyte per month at a cost of LYD 45 dinars. With Facebook service subscription, customers can choose a weekly package of 1 gigabyte at a cost of LY 5 dinars or a monthly one of 3 gigabyte with LYD 15 dinars. ————————————————- The head of the Competitions Committee of the Libyan Football Federation, Hussein Morabet, announced that the Local Super Cup between Ahli Tripoli and Hilal, will be held on August 23. Morabet also explained that the Competition Committee is waiting for security approval in order for the audience to attend the match. The Libyan football league began on Tuesday with four matches after a break of more than two years. ————————————————- The Misrata Municipal Council said in a statement on Wednesday that one of their members, AbuBakr Harish and all members of the delegation representing Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos Operation represent only themselves in their recent visit to Qatar. The Council explained that the visit took place without prior coordination with them, describing the Municipal Council as the only legitimate representative of the city of Misrata . ————————————————- The head of the Sports Security Committee of the Security Directorate of Tripoli, AbdelBasit Tabal, stated that the directorate is able to secure matches in the Libyan league to reach as high an audience as 40 thousand spectators. Tabal added in a press statement that they are fully prepared to provide security for all local and international matches, particularly the Super Cup match between Ahli and Hilal, which will take place next week. ————————————————- The head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Sarraj said that the military is forbidden to conduct meetings at home and abroad without the prior approval of specialized bodies within the army. Sarraj demanded in a statement published on Wednesday as the supreme commander of the Libyan army, the need to open an investigation into the military personnel who carried out these acts by the judiciary of the army, explaining that the accused represent a serious breach and are in explicit violation of military law. ————————————————- The House of Representatives (HOR) expressed deep concern over what they described as an enforced disappearance of former Prime Minister Ali Zidane in the capital Tripoli. The HOR accused the forces of the Presidential Council on a raid that took place on Zidane’s residence in the capital and his subsequent detention, demanding that the Presidential Council intervene to guarantee the release of former Prime Minister. ————————————————- A shipment of humanitarian aid from the Italian Development Cooperation Agency arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday for the Sabratha University Hospital aboard an Italian Air Force cargo plane. Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, stated on Italian news agency AKI that an Italian Air Force cargo plane transported 11 tons of aid to Sabratha University Hospital, 80 km west of Tripoli, on Wednesday morning. ————————————————- The Italian embassy in Libya stated through their official Twitter account the incorrectness of news circulated regarding the visit of an Italian military delegation to a military base near the city of Sirte. The Tweet stated “News about the visit of Italian military base near Sirte is invalid and incorrect”. It is noteworthy that Libyan media reported that an Italian military delegation had visited the air base of Al-Kardabia and Sirte International Airport. ————————————————- Zliten Municipal Council approved the establishment of a fund to support educational facilities and another supporting health facilities. The Council announced through its official Facebook page that the two funds will be supported by the municipal council and a number of bodies operating within the municipality. ————————————————- During a meeting in Tripoli with German Ambassador to Libya Christian Buck, the head of the High Council of State AbdulRahman Suweihli discussed the political situation in the country. According to the Information Office of AbdulRahman Suweihli, Suwehli called on the German government through its ambassador to help Libya end negative foreign interventions in the internal affairs of Libya.

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Libya Gets Better at Keeping Oil Flowing as Industry Stabilizes – Bloomberg

Libyas getting better at resolving stoppages in its oil industry, underpinning a growing perception that the OPEC member is closer to becoming a stable producer again. Thats because of the duration of the incidents. While in prior years protests could shutter fields for months and years, now the stoppages are being resolved within days and barely hindering flows. Sharara, Libyas biggest field, had several short disruptions this year, including two this month, after being closed for more than two years. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., was quick to visit Sharara this week to resolve the latest dispute, offering to revise security measures. One fundamental change that allows upstream activities to restart quickly after a disruption is that Sanalla is willing to get on the ground, visit the sites and demonstrate his commitment to local communities, Geoff Porter, founder of New York-based North Africa Risk Consulting, said by email on Wednesday.There is a level of trust that was missing for a long time. Libya is reviving its oil production and exports in spite of continuing political uncertainty. In July, crude production was at a four-year high and exports were the most in three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the expansion has helped Libyas oil-dependent economy, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is trying to cut global supplies. That effort has been undermined by recovering output at OPEC members Libya and Nigeria. Libyan production has recovered impressively and part of that is certainly that recent disruptions have proved short-lived but I still think it would be wrong to describe the oil sector as stable, Richard Mallinson, a geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said Wednesday by email. There has been plenty of tension with the government in Tripoli as Sanallas requests for extra funding for maintenance and to address local issues have largely been ignored. The most important market news of the day. Get our markets daily newsletter. The country pumped 1.6 million barrels a day before a 2011 revolt set off years of fighting between rival governments and militias. Workers at the Zueitina export terminal said last week they would not load tankers until their demands were met, including getting 20 months of back pay, union head Merhi Abridan said Saturday. The port reopened this week when workers were told their demands will be met, he said. Under Sanallas tenure which started in May 2014, Libya has signed contracts with international companies, ended a blockade of ports, restarted exports and reopened fields, including Sharara in December following two years of closure. Oil production was at 250,000 barrels a day when he took over. In July, output was 1.02 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Photographer: Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images Libyas output will be about 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of the year if everything goes well, said Derek Brower, managing director of research at Petroleum Policy Intelligence, a U.K.-based consulting company, said Aug. 10 by email. However, the potential for disruptions is high and true stability can only return if locals genuinely feel like they are getting a dividend from rising oil production and income. In July, rival leaders embarked on a new effort to reunify their country, agreeing to hold elections. “Paradoxically, the closer we get to a political solution, the more unstable production is going to become, Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting said. Political solutions create losers and in Libya, the losers will be armed.” With assistance by Angelina Rascouet

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Libya: ICC issues arrest warrant for Haftar ally – Middle East Monitor

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for a senior Libyan commander who is linked to General Khalifa Haftar and who is suspected of involvement in numerous deaths in Benghazi. During its preliminary session, the court accused Mahmoud Al-Werfalli of assisting in murders and giving orders to execute others, in seven incidents that involved 33 deaths. In June, Libyas Al-Nabaa TV reported that Al-Karama Forces published a video showing the collective execution of 20 people following orders from Al-Orfali. The court classified the offenses as war crimes. The ICC document, seen by Al Jazeera on Tuesday, says: Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli [is] allegedly responsible for murder as a war crime in the context of the non-international armed conflict in Libya. On 18 July, the UN demanded the leadership of Al-Karama Forces to suspend Al-Orfali from his duties while investigations take place into his role in the torture of prisoners and the murder of at least ten people without trial.

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Deadly clashes in Ajaylat town – The Libya Observer

Armed groups engaged in heavy fighting in Janan Atia district in Ajaylattown, some 80 kilometers west of Tripoli, on Wednesday, leaving a number of people dead and others wounded. Local sources said the fighting first erupted between two families earlier this week, but later it intensified into heavy exchange of fire between armed groups supporting the warring families. Many people fled their homes in panic while several buildings were damaged. The reason of the clashes is not known, but some sources claimed it was a tribal dispute. Ajaylatmayor Kamal Zayad said mediation efforts are being exerted to calm down the tension, demanding Tripoli-based ministries of interior and defense to intervene to stop the fighting. The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya expressed concern over the deterioration of security situations in the town. It said in a statement, the fighting amounts to a war crime due to the use of medium and heavy weapons in densely populated areas.

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Libya Boosts Oil Output At Biggest Field – OilPrice.com

Libya is returning with more barrels to the market after its biggest oil field started raising production and an export terminal re-opened for tanker loading. Crude oil output at Sharara–the biggest field in Libya, which is exempt from OPEC cuts–rose to 230,000 bpd on Tuesdaya 30,000 bpd increase just since Sunday, Bloomberg reports, citing an unidentified source familiar with the issue. In another boost to Libyan oil exports, the Zueitina oil terminal resumed loading, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina workers union, told Bloomberg. The Zueitina oil terminal had ceased loading cargos on Sunday, as port workers protested, demanding better working conditions. This meant that oil coming from the fields around Zueitina was to be stored at the port for the duration of the protest, and a spike in exports would likely follow. As of Sunday, Bloomberg sources claim that Shararas output had fallen by 100,000 bpd over the past week, to 200,000 bpd. There had been an incident involving the theft at gunpoint of two vehicles property of Repsol, the company operating the field. Following the incident, the company advised workers to stay away from certain areas. Libyas National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it received on Sunday a written confirmation from Brigadier Ahmed Alal–the Commander of the forces assigned to protect and secure Al Sharara Fieldthat the incident had been carried out by a lone individual and the field was safe and secure. Related:U.S. Sanctions On Venezuela Could Boost Gasoline Prices In recent months, factional fighting in Libya has abated, allowing the country to restore its crude oil production to over 1 million bpd for the first time in four years. In July, average production topped 1 million bpd, as per OPEC secondary sources, with Libya raising output by 154,300 bpd from June and accounting for most of the total OPEC production increase. By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

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Libyan coastguard threatens Spanish NGO ships as tensions rise in Mediterranean – Telegraph.co.uk

Libyas coastguard threatened to target a Spanish humanitarian ship rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean this week as tensions continue to grow between NGOs and the Libyan government. A ship run by the group Proactiva Open Arms was intercepted by a Libyan coastguard vessel on Tuesday and ordered to sail towards Tripoli or risk being fired upon. You have to sail now towards Tripoli port. You are under custody, sir. If you dont follow the orders we will target you, the Libyan captain warned the Spanish crew by radio. I have already warned you before, Libyan government has warned you before but you dont listen. Its your problem. The Spanish ship was eventually allowed to sail away into the Mediterranean but the confrontation is the most serious since Libyas coastguard adopted a newly assertive policy several weeks ago. Three major humanitarian groups – Save the Children, Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF), and Germany’s Sea Eye – have all halted their operations because of the Libyan threats and warned that more people will drown as a result.

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News Roundup – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 – The Libya Observer

—————————————— —————————————— —————————————— The head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanallah, visited Tobruk on Tuesday evening to attend the 7th conference on oil refineries in Libya. Sources close to Sanallah stated that the visit is to begin work on activating oil investments in the city and researching plans to build an oil refinery in Tobruk estimated to add 300 thousand barrels per day for the Libyan economy. —————————————— The spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Brigadier Ayoub Qasem, accused NGOs working to rescue illegal immigrants of infiltrating the sovereignty of the Libyan state. Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children and CA have suspended their operations to rescue migrants off the coast of Libya, following the decision of the Libyan authorities to establish a search and rescue area in Libyan territorial waters. This action will prevent foreign ships from carrying out missions to save migrants, with the exception of being at the request of the Libyan authorities. —————————————— The State Property Department called on the Municipal Guard to intervene and put a stop to the activities of some municipalities in collecting public funds, especially through collection of rents from markets, shops, tourist facilities and other state-owned properties. This illegal collection is in violation of the laws and regulations governing the law of the state’s public funds. —————————————— The head of the Presidential Council of the UN proposed government, Fayez Sarraj met yesterday at the headquarters of the council in Tripoli with a delegation from the city of Derna headed by the head of the Local Council Awad Airaj. Sarraj stated that he issued immediate instructions to provide all needs to the desalination plant in Derna and all the urgent requirements of the service facilities of the city. Sarraj also stated that he put in place a direct line of communication between the Local Council of Derna and the ministries of his government. According to the media office of the UN proposed government, Sarraj expressed deep sorrow for the suffering of the residents of the city of Derna stressing his government’s efforts to lift the siege on the city and talked about the need to separate the provision of services to citizens from any conflict pointing out the need to open safe corridors for the delivery of medical equipment, medicines and food to the population. —————————————— The Municipal Council of Tarhuna reported that the electric power station known as Thirty was out of service on Tuesday morning as a result of the station’s feeder cables burning out due to an overload. The director of Distribution Department of the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) appealed to the city’s residents to rationalize electricity consumption during the next two days until the station begins operating again. —————————————— Approximately 210 illegal immigrants from the Kingdom of Morocco, including 30 women, have been on hunger strike for two days in a Tripoli housing center in protest against the Moroccan authorities’ failure to cooperate with the illegal immigration Control Agency in Libya on deportation procedures that would return them to Morocco. Moroccan authorities sent a committee four months ago to take the fingerprints of the migrants and promised to return them to their country but there has been no correspondence since then. —————————————— The Minister of Education in the UN proposed government Othman AbdelJalil, withdrew licenses of 107 private schools, preventing them from engaging in any educational activities. AbdelJalil also referred the schools officials to the Attorney General to be investigated, and prohibited any agencies of the ministry from dealing with these schools. AbdelJalil also said that a committee is formed that will submit a detailed report on this matter within a maximum period of fifteen days, in preparation for taking the necessary legal measures against any school breaking the law. This decision comes against the backdrop of manipulation of some of the schools that are being investigated being involved in the public examinations scandal. —————————————— Ahli Tripoli is to play their match against toile Sportive du Sahel at the Tayyib Muhairi Stadium in Sfax instead of the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Ahli Tripoli will face their Tunisian counterpart in the quarter-finals of the African Champions League on September 15th after the Egyptian authorities refused to allow fans to enter the Burj Al Arab stadium. The Ahli administration in Tripoli is counting on the strong attendance of their fans to support their team in this important match.

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Eastern government bans Italian companies for alleged hostility towards Libya – The Libya Observer

The Ministry of Economy of the Interim Government, a parallel body in east Libya, has issued a resolution to ban the Italian companies from working in Libya or establishing any joint Libyan-Italian firms. The resolution referred for the prohibition of opening or extending branches of Italian companies in Libya until further notice. Minister Munir Asar told his governments news agency that the decision was taken due to “Italy’s outspoken hostility towards Libyan people”. Our friends who stood with us in our crisis are more entitled for economic partnership, especially that the technology is not monopolized by the Italians, he said. The resolution only applies to the eastern region where the government has control. Relations between Italy and east Libya authorities are tense. In June, the Defense and National Security Committee of House of Representatives Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Perrone persona non grata for a meme tweet mocking the Committees terror list.

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Qatar and Arab powers are already at warin Libya – Washington Examiner

Among the many civil wars ravaging the Arab world in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Egypt the one Westerners hear the least about may prove the most dangerous: Libya. The civil war that has been raging in Libya since 2011 is, in many ways, a proxy war pitting Qatar and its Muslim Brotherhood allies against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The Qatari-Emirati rivalry, which became front-page news last week when Saudi Arabia and its allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, has been the significant factor in the continuation of the current Libyan Civil War, much more so than nationalistic or Islamist ideologies. Qatar and the UAE both punch above their weight in the conflict because unlike in Yemen or Syria, the role of the United States and other major powers is somewhat muted. At stake for both Gulf monarchies is influence in post-war Libya as well as economic opportunity. The country is home to some of the last significant underexplored oil and gas basins in the Middle East. Outside the oil sector, Qatar has financial deals with Libya that date to the Ghaddafi era. The UAE, as an early investor in Libya, has also sought controlling positions in the Libyan financial sector. After disputed elections in 2014, Libya has once again descended into chaos, with numerous factions warring against one another. These include Berber militias, ISIS terrorists, repentant former members of Ghaddafi’s military, and many other factions. Over the last three years, however, Libyan politics have been defined by three large coalitions, each claiming to be Libya’s legitimate government. The General National Congress is largely Muslim Brotherhood-influenced and is supported by Qatar. Conversely, the UAE along with Saudi Arabia now support General Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA). The LNA claims to represent Libya’s House of Representatives, a rival government based in Tobruk. Both of the above factions give lip service to the Government of National Accord, the body recognized by the United Nations as Libya’s legitimate government. Both sides also have other allies, of course. Egypt also supports Haftar, and in the past the General National Congress has received support from Turkey. Qatar has long been involved in Libyan politics and had ties to the Islamist opposition since the Ghaddaffi era. When the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 began, it supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the best organized political force in several Arab states. Qatar was the first country to recognize the Libyan rebels and had begun sending them arms early in 2011 as they fought to topple Ghaddaffi. Media reports also suggest that Qatari special forces were deployed to Libya and at least some Libyan rebels received military training in Qatar. The Emirates also sent weapons to rebel groups early in the conflict but failed to build lasting ties. Instead the Emirates turned to General Haftar, a supposed former CIA asset who was living in exile in Northern Virginia as recently as 2011. In May 2014, Haftar launched a military movement to create a unified Libyan National Army (LNA) and to eliminate Islamic extremists. (Haftar’s definition of extremists includes many whom others would consider moderates.) This moment set in stone the Qatar-UAE rivalry. When each nation officially backed opposing sides in the Libyan armed conflict, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia pulled their ambassadors from Qatar’s capital, Doha. The diplomats did not return for eight months. The septuagenarian Haftar is perhaps the ablest military commander Libya has ever produced. He also makes little secret of his Neo-Ghaddaffi ambition to rule the country. Personality traits aside, his rapid rise has been accelerated by Egyptian and Emirati airstrikes in support of the LNA. At first, those two countries kept their role secret due to U.S. disapproval. But following a massacre of Coptic Christians in February 2015, Egypt publicly launched airstrikes against Islamist militants in Libya. The Qatari-backed New General National Congress called Egypt’s airstrikes a “horrible assault.” Al-Jazeera coverage highlighted the civilian casualties of the strike. The continuous airstrikes increasingly suggest an escalation of the conflict in a conventional sense. A once semi-secret activity is now being conducted in the open. Qatar did not respond militarily to support its clients. Even if it wanted to, Libya is beyond the operational range of Qatari aircraft. Even the 24 longer-ranged Dassault Rafale fighter jets Qatar has ordered from France could not attack Libya without access to access to friendly airbases or mid-air refueling. In any case, diplomatic relations soon returned to normal in the GCC, and on the surface Gulf politics seemed calm, with Qatar even joining the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. However, in Libya, tensions between the two countries continued unabated with the Emirates and Egypt increasing their military support to Haftar in recent months. This was apparent in the most recent Egyptian bombing campaign in Libya. Though it used the May 26 attack on Coptic Christians as a pretext, the Egyptian government acknowledged its new bombing campaign was not aimed at the perpetrators of that attack per se. Instead, the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, an Islamist group, bore the brunt of the campaign. The group was an impediment to Haftar’s efforts to consolidate control of the country. According to Arab press reports, the group has received support from Qatar. Still isolated and left with few options, Qatar may choose Libya as the place where it strikes back at the UAE. If so, the long and wrongly ignored war in Libya is likely to be even longer. Joseph Hammond, a former Cairo correspondent for Radio Free Europe, is a senior contributor with the American Media Institute. Suhaib Kebhaj is a Research Assistant at the International Monetary Fund and has worked extensively in his native Libya. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of his employer. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions.

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