Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

Oil prices flat, bounce off lows on Libya supply questions – The Star Online

El Feel oil field near Murzuq, Libya. Libyas National Oil Corp says an investigation had been opened into recent security violations at Sharara oil field. – Reuters pic

Libyas National Oil Corp (NOC) said an investigation had been opened into recent security violations at Sharara oil field. The NOC did not specify whether the violations had affected output at the countrys largest field, which has been producing about 270,000 barrels a day.

Workers at Libyas Zueitina export terminal threatened to block a tanker due to dock on Saturday unless demands for salary and overtime payments are met.

It is back to the Libyan situation being the most important thing here, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. You have Libyan barrels off the market, so supply is not what it was at this time last week.

Prices retraced all their losses, then see-sawed within a few cents of unchanged.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were at US$51.73 a barrel by 11:21am EDT (1521 GMT), down 37 cents from Fridays close. They touched a low of US$51.60 earlier in the session.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at US$48.62, down 20 cents.

Oil futures reversed course as gains were seen across global markets with world stocks rising, recovering some of their poise after fears of a US-North Korea nuclear standoff drove them to the biggest weekly losses of 2017.

Efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers to limit output have helped lift Brent past US$50 a barrel. A cutback from Libya could help improve the groups compliance with the cuts.

The latest ICE exchange data showed investors last week raised net long holdings of the commodity by the highest amount this year.

This contrasts with more bearish bets placed in the US market, where investors cut net long US crude positions last week, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Rising production in Libya has added to the global crude glut. The Opec member country is exempt from the global deal to cut output and has been trying to regain pre-war production levels.

The recovery in Libyan production has been the single largest factor driving global supply growth in the last few months, oil analysts at Panmure Gordon wrote.

Oil prices fell earlier on news that refinery runs in China dropped in July.

Analysts said the drop was steeper than expected, exacerbating concerns that a glut of refined fuel products could weaken Chinese demand for oil. – Reuters

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Oil prices flat, bounce off lows on Libya supply questions – The Star Online

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News Roundup – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Security sources affiliated to the units guarding the Sharara oil field in the southwest of the country confirmed the continuing of work and oil production in the field, denying any security breaches in the field or the surrounding area.A security officer in charge said that the oil field is “secure”, accusing some media outlets of sedition and undermining destabilization. He also assured that the countrys only source of income is a red line.Earlier, field workers have confirmed the decline in production due to deteriorating security conditions in the vicinity of the field.

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Residents of the Al-Naqaza district, west of Al-Khums city, woke up to the tragic incident of the seven vacationers who drowned on the districts beach, which is known as a tourist destination during the summer.Rescue teams and local citizens recovered four bodies, while the three other bodies were still being sought.Earlier, the Civil Safety Department warned holidaymakers of the current weather vagaries and high sea tides during this week.

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Derna’s security official, Yahya Al-Assi Omar, said that the body of the pilot Adel Al- Jahani, was handed over to his family on Monday after an agreement between Derna Council of Elders and dignitaries from the eastern region.He added that the city’s hospitals are suffering a shortage in medical supplies and some important drugs such as pressure, diabetic and liquidity medications, in addition to 80% of the city’s bakeries are closed because of lack of fuel shipments due to the continued siege imposed on the city.

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The Crises and Emergency Committee of the Ministry of Health has called Brega Oil Marketing Company to cooperate with all health facilities to provide the fuel needed to run the generators operating the facilities.The committee demanded the company to expedite fuel delivery due to the frequent interruption of electricity that lasts for hours, in order to preserve the life of patients.

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Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an independent, medical humanitarian organization, has announced a freeze on its rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.According to the head of the Italian section of the organization, Lauris de Felipe, the suspension came after threats by the Libyan Coast Guard and the policies adopted by the Italian government that impeded the function of the mission.He added that the Libyan authorities have called on the staff of international relief organizations to stand-off a distance of hundreds of kilometres away from their coasts despite that earlier activists were allowed to carry out search and rescue operations at 11 miles from the coast.

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The Libyan authorities has released 80 Tunisian citizens who had been held in a prison in the city of Al-Zawia on attempting illegal migration from the Libyan coast towards Italy.Human rights activist, Mustafa Abdelkabir, said in a press statement that negotiations were held with the Libyan authorities for four days for the release of the Tunisians before returning to their country through the Ras Ajdir border in a private bus on Friday.

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Sources close to the management of Tripolis Al-Ittihad FC confirmed that the club has made an official offer to the French coach Diego Garzitto to take over the substantive responsibility of the team ahead of the commencement of the Libyan Football League.The source added that the French coach tends to accept the offer and he will arrive in Libya in the coming days, especially after the tense relationship with his current Sudan team Al-Merikh, over his late dues for several months.

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News Roundup – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Three NGOs halt Mediterranean migrant rescues after Libyan hostility – The Guardian

People rescued at sea by Mdecins sans Frontires and SOS Mditerrane. Photograph: Bram Janssen/AP

Three NGOs have suspended migrant rescues in the Mediterranean because of the increasingly hostile stance of the Libyan authorities and coastguard.

Save the Children and Germanys Sea Eye have joined Mdecins sans Frontires (MSF) in halting operations because they feel their crews can no longer work safely in what Sea Eye called a changed security situation in the western Mediterranean.

Libya has asserted its right to operate well beyond the territorial limit of 12 nautical miles, defending the move as necessary in order to control the rescue operations. Coastguard ships have repeatedly clashed with NGO vessels on the edge of Libyan waters, sometimes opening fire.

The crew of a rescue ship belonging to the Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms reported last week that the Libyan coastguard had fired warning shots while the vessel was in international waters. The Libyan coastguard told the ship not to come or we will shoot you, the charity said.

Marcella Kraay, a coordinator with MSF onboard Aquarius, a vessel chartered by the German-French charity SOS Mditerrane, told the Guardian: Obviously these incidents are something that concern us.

Shooting in the air is actually a very common message of crowd control its used to calm people down. What happened last week with Proactiva is not a big departure from the concerns we had before. We take this stuff very seriously in our security analysis.

But Kraay said the crews main concern was for people being sent back to lawless, violent Libya, and for those who remain trapped there. Migrants and refugees who have spent time in detention camps in Libya have reported appalling treatment including forced labour, beatings, torture and rape.

This is the real issue, Kraay added, saying fewer boats had appeared to be leaving in the past couple of weeks and there was evidence that many were being turned back. People in Libya are suffering immensely, their only way out is via the sea.

A Libyan coastguard official, Ayoub Qassem, said that in general, the country does not reject the NGOs presence, but we do demand from them more cooperation with the state of Libya. They should show more respect to Libyan sovereignty.

Sea Eye said it had reached its decision with a heavy heart. In a statement on the groups Facebook page, its founder, Michael Busch Heuer, said it would leave a deadly gap in the Mediterranean, adding that Libya had made an explicit threat against NGOs operating around its coast.

Save the Children said its rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, would stay in Malta until it received assurances from the Libyan authorities. The necessary pause in operations from charity rescue ships likes ours and others will undoubtedly put lives at risk, said the groups operations director, Rob MacGillivray.

Tensions have also been mounting for weeks between the aid groups, whose vessels have rescued nearly one-third of the 100,000 migrants who have landed in Italy this year, and the government of Italy, where public opinion is increasingly turning against migrants.

The Italian navy is providing technical and operational assistance to Libyas coastguard to increase its capacity to intercept migrant boats and return their passengers to Libya, while some politicians in Rome have suggested that certain NGOs may be actively facilitating people smuggling.

Rome has drawn up a strict code of conduct for NGOs at sea and prosecutors in Sicily have begun investigations against some they suspect of colluding with people smugglers. The Italian foreign minister, Angelino Alfano, said Libyas growing involvement was reducing people smuggling.

In an interview in La Stampa on Sunday, Alfano said Rome aimed to avoid deaths at sea by reducing departures from Libya. The governments policy was of taking away criminal earnings from traffickers, because fewer persons departing mean the traffickers earn less, to finance aid agencies working with refugees and migrants to assure respect for human rights in Libyan camps.

The vast majority of refugees and migrants reaching Europe this year have landed in Italy, according to the International Organisation for Migration. At least 2,242 people are thought to have died this year attempting to cross the western and central Mediterranean.

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Three NGOs halt Mediterranean migrant rescues after Libyan hostility – The Guardian

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Oil trades near $49 a barrel as Libyan crude supply is disrupted – Chron.com

Oil traded near $49 a barrel as Libyan output and exports declined amid security threats and a labor dispute in the port of Zueitina.

Futures fell 0.4 percent in New York after Fridays 0.5 percent gain.Libyas biggest oil field cut output by more than 30 percent, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, while the head of a union said loadings at Zueitina ceased after employees demanded better working conditions. In the U.S., drillers added three crude rigs last week, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

Oil has been fluctuating below $50 a barrel as investors weighrising global supply against output curbs from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. The International Energy Agencyreduced its estimates last week for the amount of crude needed from OPEC through 2018 after lowering its assessments of demand in some emerging nations. In Libya, the Sharara fields output has dropped to 200,000 barrels a day, the person said.

After months of boosting oil production, Libya currently seems to be experiencing output disruptions, said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd.

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery was at $48.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 20 cents, at 1:18 p.m. London time. Total volume traded was about 18 percent below the 100-day average. Prices rose 23 cents to $48.82 on Friday, trimming the weekly loss to 1.5 percent.

Brent for October settlement fell 26 cents to $51.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after sliding 0.6 percent last week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.07 to October WTI. The spread reached $3.15 on Aug. 10, the widest since December 2015.

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Former Libyan PM kidnapped in Tripoli – Independent Online

Tripoli – The former prime minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by gunmen from a hotel in the capital Tripoli on Sunday.

This was the second time that Zeidan was kidnapped from a hotel after he was forced out of Tripolis Corinthia Hotel at gunpoint in October 2013.

Members of Haytham Tajouris Tripoli Revolutionary Brigard (TRB) were alleged to be behind Zeidans latest kidnapping from the Victoria Hotel in Khaled Ben Waled Street, off Omar Mukhtar Street, the Libyan Herald reported.

There are unconfirmed reports that the TRB was executing a warrant issued by the attorney general Sadiq Al-Sour. There has as yet been no reaction from the Presidency Council (PC).

Zeidan left for Germany in March 2014 after he was fired by the-then Parliament, the General National Congress (GNC).

The former PM returned to Libya on several occasions, during one of which visits he claimed he was still prime minister. He returned again this year and told the media he had visited a number of towns and cities including Tobruk, Beida, Benghazi, Zintan, Sebha and Jufra.

After a visit to Sebha in July, reports filtered through that while on a visit to the town he had called for the division of Libya, claims that he strongly denied.

During his abduction in 2013 Zeidan was held for a few hours before being released. The previous abduction was blamed on two GNC members for Zawia, Mustafa Treiki and Mohamed Al-Kilani. In 2014 Kilani was killed in fighting with Warshefana forces. Kidnappings of politicians and citizens alike continue to plague Libya. In June the United Nations reported numerous cases of kidnappings, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual assault, mass killings and summary executions in all areas of Libya by several groups with and without official mandates. The assessment came in the UN Libyan Experts Panel final report presented to the Security Council. The 299-page report said that the (UN Libya Experts) Panel continues to receive frequent reports of serious human rights violations. The absence of the rule of law and institutional control over armed groups, some of which continue to operate under official mandates, have led to a deterioration of the human rights situation in Libya.

Detention conditions continue to be inhumane throughout Libya, and formal and informal detention centres are under the control of armed groups.

Arrests and detentions by armed groups do not respect due process. The Panel received numerous reports of kidnappings and arbitrary detentions used by armed groups for political or material benefit. Politicians, activists, bank employees and journalists are frequent targets, added the report.

African News Agency

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Eastern General vows to continue fighting to liberate Libya – The Libya Observer

Commander of Dignity Operation, renegade General Khalifa Haftar, said on Monday his army would continue fighting against terrorists until it takes full control of the entire country.

During his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Haftar claimed that 90% of the countrys territoryis under his control, asking Russia to provide military assistance to his forces.

We are determined to continue our struggle until the army takes full control of the Libyan territory. He said.

He also accused head of Presidential Council Fayez Sirraj of violating Paris agreement.

Dignity Operation militants do not differentiate between the real terrorists and the political opponents, regarding them as two sides of the same coin.

For his part, Russia’s top diplomat said all mediation efforts to end Libyas conflict should be based on the United Nations, adding that his country supports the political settlement and full-scale restoration of the statehood of Libya.

Khalifa Haftar arrived in Moscow on Saturday.

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Despite massive repatriation, Nigerians still troop to Libya – Daily Trust

Despite continuing efforts of the Federal Government to evacuate stranded Nigerians from Libya, efforts which have been on since 2016 with over 2000 Nigerians assisted back home, more Nigerians still throng the North African country, Daily Trust can report.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations humanitarian agency, has been collaborating with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other agencies of government to return Nigerians back home.

From 2006 till date, no fewer than 42 trips have been carried out to bring back the stranded thousands of Nigerians, with virtually all of them recounting horrible experiences in Libyan detention facilities.

Most of them spent months and years in detention before help came to them while some died in the process, according to accounts narrated by the returnees.

The latest set of Nigerians evacuated from Libya arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) cargo terminal on Thursday with 128 making the trip. Six of them had medical cases with one having three gunshot wounds and was brought out from the airplane with a stretcher.

But the horrible tales have not helped to dissuade people from embarking on the trip.

An IOM official who spoke with our correspondent, said, More people are still going to Libya from Nigeria. They embark on the dangerous trip through the desert hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea to proceed to Europe. I dont know what they are doing in Libya because the country is battling with its internal security challenges. There are these militia groups involved in organized crimes against undocumented immigrants. And Libya at the moment is facing disintegration threat. When you say you are going there for greener pastures, can you achieve anything meaningful in that direction?

But a retired Assistant Controller General of Immigration, Alhaji AbdulMumeen Abdulmalik who spoke to our correspondent said Nigerians would continue to leave the country unless the government tackled the economic recession and lack of jobs.

People go outside the country to seek economic opportunities that are lacking here, Abdulmalik said.

The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA in the South West, Alhaji Sulaiman Yakubu who received the latest returnees on behalf of the Director General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja, said the agency had stepped up enlightenment campaign on the risk of travelling to Libya.

We are also telling the youths that the Federal Government has put in place a lot of initiatives to empower the youths. We have the YouWin programme, we have the N-Power programme and others, Yakubu said.

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Despite massive repatriation, Nigerians still troop to Libya – Daily Trust

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Aid Groups Suspend Migrant Rescues Over Libyan Threats – NBCNews.com

African refugees wait aboard the Golfo Azurro, the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue ship, to disembark at the Italian port of Reggio Calabria, on Feb. 25, 2017. Santi Palacios / AP

Immigration is dominating Italy’s political agenda before elections early next year, with public opinion increasingly hostile to migrants. Almost 600,000 migrants have arrived in Italy over the past four years.

Most sailed from lawless Libya in flimsy vessels operated by people smugglers. More than 13,000 migrants have died trying to make the crossing.

Ships manned by charities have played a growing role in rescues, picking up more than a third of all migrants brought ashore so far this year, compared with less than one percent in 2014.

Aid groups and some Italian politicians warn that migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard are taken back to inhuman conditions in detention camps on the Libyan mainland.

However, prosecutors in Sicily have opened investigations against some NGOs, which they suspect of collaborating with people smugglers, and Rome has proposed a Code of Conduct setting stricter rules on how the groups can operate.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a newspaper interview on Sunday that Libya’s growing role in controlling its waters was curbing people trafficking and producing a welcome “readjustment” in the Mediterranean.

MSF’s decision to halt its rescue operations was part of this positive process, he told the newspaper La Stampa.

Save the Children said its rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, would dock in Malta until it received assurances about the intentions of the Libyan authorities.

Libya was trying to increase the range of the waters its ships controlled from 12 nautical miles around its coast to 70 nautical miles, the humanitarian organisation said.

“The necessary pause in operations from charity rescue ships likes ours and others will undoubtedly put lives at risk,” its operations director, Rob MacGillivray, warned.

Libyan coastguard officials have previously said they have rights over operations dozens of miles beyond the territorial limit of 12 nautical miles, without clearly detailing the claims to such rights or how they could be enforced.

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Libya beats Algeria, nears qualification to 2018 African Nations Championship – The Libya Observer

The Libyan national football team won 2-1 over Algeria at Al-Shahid Hamlawi Stadium in Algiers as part of the first leg matches of 2018 African Nations Championship, which will be hosted by Kenya.

By winning this game, Libya has become closer to qualifying for the sports event, which it won back in 2012.

Algeria scored first by Derlofo at the first minute of the match before Al-Ayat tied the score for Libya after a fault done by the Algerian goal keeper, Rahmani.

At the minute 47, Libya scored the second and winning goal by Al-Lafi.

The second leg match will take place in Sfax, Tunisia on August 18.

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Oil prices flat, bounce off lows on Libya supply questions – The Star Online

El Feel oil field near Murzuq, Libya. Libyas National Oil Corp says an investigation had been opened into recent security violations at Sharara oil field. – Reuters pic Libyas National Oil Corp (NOC) said an investigation had been opened into recent security violations at Sharara oil field. The NOC did not specify whether the violations had affected output at the countrys largest field, which has been producing about 270,000 barrels a day. Workers at Libyas Zueitina export terminal threatened to block a tanker due to dock on Saturday unless demands for salary and overtime payments are met. It is back to the Libyan situation being the most important thing here, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. You have Libyan barrels off the market, so supply is not what it was at this time last week. Prices retraced all their losses, then see-sawed within a few cents of unchanged. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were at US$51.73 a barrel by 11:21am EDT (1521 GMT), down 37 cents from Fridays close. They touched a low of US$51.60 earlier in the session. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at US$48.62, down 20 cents. Oil futures reversed course as gains were seen across global markets with world stocks rising, recovering some of their poise after fears of a US-North Korea nuclear standoff drove them to the biggest weekly losses of 2017. Efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers to limit output have helped lift Brent past US$50 a barrel. A cutback from Libya could help improve the groups compliance with the cuts. The latest ICE exchange data showed investors last week raised net long holdings of the commodity by the highest amount this year. This contrasts with more bearish bets placed in the US market, where investors cut net long US crude positions last week, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Rising production in Libya has added to the global crude glut. The Opec member country is exempt from the global deal to cut output and has been trying to regain pre-war production levels. The recovery in Libyan production has been the single largest factor driving global supply growth in the last few months, oil analysts at Panmure Gordon wrote. Oil prices fell earlier on news that refinery runs in China dropped in July. Analysts said the drop was steeper than expected, exacerbating concerns that a glut of refined fuel products could weaken Chinese demand for oil. – Reuters

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News Roundup – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 – The Libya Observer

————————————– ————————————– ————————————– Security sources affiliated to the units guarding the Sharara oil field in the southwest of the country confirmed the continuing of work and oil production in the field, denying any security breaches in the field or the surrounding area.A security officer in charge said that the oil field is “secure”, accusing some media outlets of sedition and undermining destabilization. He also assured that the countrys only source of income is a red line.Earlier, field workers have confirmed the decline in production due to deteriorating security conditions in the vicinity of the field. ————————————– Residents of the Al-Naqaza district, west of Al-Khums city, woke up to the tragic incident of the seven vacationers who drowned on the districts beach, which is known as a tourist destination during the summer.Rescue teams and local citizens recovered four bodies, while the three other bodies were still being sought.Earlier, the Civil Safety Department warned holidaymakers of the current weather vagaries and high sea tides during this week. ————————————– Derna’s security official, Yahya Al-Assi Omar, said that the body of the pilot Adel Al- Jahani, was handed over to his family on Monday after an agreement between Derna Council of Elders and dignitaries from the eastern region.He added that the city’s hospitals are suffering a shortage in medical supplies and some important drugs such as pressure, diabetic and liquidity medications, in addition to 80% of the city’s bakeries are closed because of lack of fuel shipments due to the continued siege imposed on the city. ————————————– The Crises and Emergency Committee of the Ministry of Health has called Brega Oil Marketing Company to cooperate with all health facilities to provide the fuel needed to run the generators operating the facilities.The committee demanded the company to expedite fuel delivery due to the frequent interruption of electricity that lasts for hours, in order to preserve the life of patients. ————————————– Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an independent, medical humanitarian organization, has announced a freeze on its rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.According to the head of the Italian section of the organization, Lauris de Felipe, the suspension came after threats by the Libyan Coast Guard and the policies adopted by the Italian government that impeded the function of the mission.He added that the Libyan authorities have called on the staff of international relief organizations to stand-off a distance of hundreds of kilometres away from their coasts despite that earlier activists were allowed to carry out search and rescue operations at 11 miles from the coast. ————————————– The Libyan authorities has released 80 Tunisian citizens who had been held in a prison in the city of Al-Zawia on attempting illegal migration from the Libyan coast towards Italy.Human rights activist, Mustafa Abdelkabir, said in a press statement that negotiations were held with the Libyan authorities for four days for the release of the Tunisians before returning to their country through the Ras Ajdir border in a private bus on Friday. ————————————– Sources close to the management of Tripolis Al-Ittihad FC confirmed that the club has made an official offer to the French coach Diego Garzitto to take over the substantive responsibility of the team ahead of the commencement of the Libyan Football League.The source added that the French coach tends to accept the offer and he will arrive in Libya in the coming days, especially after the tense relationship with his current Sudan team Al-Merikh, over his late dues for several months.

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Three NGOs halt Mediterranean migrant rescues after Libyan hostility – The Guardian

People rescued at sea by Mdecins sans Frontires and SOS Mditerrane. Photograph: Bram Janssen/AP Three NGOs have suspended migrant rescues in the Mediterranean because of the increasingly hostile stance of the Libyan authorities and coastguard. Save the Children and Germanys Sea Eye have joined Mdecins sans Frontires (MSF) in halting operations because they feel their crews can no longer work safely in what Sea Eye called a changed security situation in the western Mediterranean. Libya has asserted its right to operate well beyond the territorial limit of 12 nautical miles, defending the move as necessary in order to control the rescue operations. Coastguard ships have repeatedly clashed with NGO vessels on the edge of Libyan waters, sometimes opening fire. The crew of a rescue ship belonging to the Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms reported last week that the Libyan coastguard had fired warning shots while the vessel was in international waters. The Libyan coastguard told the ship not to come or we will shoot you, the charity said. Marcella Kraay, a coordinator with MSF onboard Aquarius, a vessel chartered by the German-French charity SOS Mditerrane, told the Guardian: Obviously these incidents are something that concern us. Shooting in the air is actually a very common message of crowd control its used to calm people down. What happened last week with Proactiva is not a big departure from the concerns we had before. We take this stuff very seriously in our security analysis. But Kraay said the crews main concern was for people being sent back to lawless, violent Libya, and for those who remain trapped there. Migrants and refugees who have spent time in detention camps in Libya have reported appalling treatment including forced labour, beatings, torture and rape. This is the real issue, Kraay added, saying fewer boats had appeared to be leaving in the past couple of weeks and there was evidence that many were being turned back. People in Libya are suffering immensely, their only way out is via the sea. A Libyan coastguard official, Ayoub Qassem, said that in general, the country does not reject the NGOs presence, but we do demand from them more cooperation with the state of Libya. They should show more respect to Libyan sovereignty. Sea Eye said it had reached its decision with a heavy heart. In a statement on the groups Facebook page, its founder, Michael Busch Heuer, said it would leave a deadly gap in the Mediterranean, adding that Libya had made an explicit threat against NGOs operating around its coast. Save the Children said its rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, would stay in Malta until it received assurances from the Libyan authorities. The necessary pause in operations from charity rescue ships likes ours and others will undoubtedly put lives at risk, said the groups operations director, Rob MacGillivray. Tensions have also been mounting for weeks between the aid groups, whose vessels have rescued nearly one-third of the 100,000 migrants who have landed in Italy this year, and the government of Italy, where public opinion is increasingly turning against migrants. The Italian navy is providing technical and operational assistance to Libyas coastguard to increase its capacity to intercept migrant boats and return their passengers to Libya, while some politicians in Rome have suggested that certain NGOs may be actively facilitating people smuggling. Rome has drawn up a strict code of conduct for NGOs at sea and prosecutors in Sicily have begun investigations against some they suspect of colluding with people smugglers. The Italian foreign minister, Angelino Alfano, said Libyas growing involvement was reducing people smuggling. In an interview in La Stampa on Sunday, Alfano said Rome aimed to avoid deaths at sea by reducing departures from Libya. The governments policy was of taking away criminal earnings from traffickers, because fewer persons departing mean the traffickers earn less, to finance aid agencies working with refugees and migrants to assure respect for human rights in Libyan camps. The vast majority of refugees and migrants reaching Europe this year have landed in Italy, according to the International Organisation for Migration. At least 2,242 people are thought to have died this year attempting to cross the western and central Mediterranean.

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Oil trades near $49 a barrel as Libyan crude supply is disrupted – Chron.com

Oil traded near $49 a barrel as Libyan output and exports declined amid security threats and a labor dispute in the port of Zueitina. Futures fell 0.4 percent in New York after Fridays 0.5 percent gain.Libyas biggest oil field cut output by more than 30 percent, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, while the head of a union said loadings at Zueitina ceased after employees demanded better working conditions. In the U.S., drillers added three crude rigs last week, according to Baker Hughes Inc. Oil has been fluctuating below $50 a barrel as investors weighrising global supply against output curbs from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. The International Energy Agencyreduced its estimates last week for the amount of crude needed from OPEC through 2018 after lowering its assessments of demand in some emerging nations. In Libya, the Sharara fields output has dropped to 200,000 barrels a day, the person said. After months of boosting oil production, Libya currently seems to be experiencing output disruptions, said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. West Texas Intermediate for September delivery was at $48.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 20 cents, at 1:18 p.m. London time. Total volume traded was about 18 percent below the 100-day average. Prices rose 23 cents to $48.82 on Friday, trimming the weekly loss to 1.5 percent. Brent for October settlement fell 26 cents to $51.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after sliding 0.6 percent last week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.07 to October WTI. The spread reached $3.15 on Aug. 10, the widest since December 2015. Oil-market news:

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Former Libyan PM kidnapped in Tripoli – Independent Online

Tripoli – The former prime minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by gunmen from a hotel in the capital Tripoli on Sunday. This was the second time that Zeidan was kidnapped from a hotel after he was forced out of Tripolis Corinthia Hotel at gunpoint in October 2013. Members of Haytham Tajouris Tripoli Revolutionary Brigard (TRB) were alleged to be behind Zeidans latest kidnapping from the Victoria Hotel in Khaled Ben Waled Street, off Omar Mukhtar Street, the Libyan Herald reported. There are unconfirmed reports that the TRB was executing a warrant issued by the attorney general Sadiq Al-Sour. There has as yet been no reaction from the Presidency Council (PC). Zeidan left for Germany in March 2014 after he was fired by the-then Parliament, the General National Congress (GNC). The former PM returned to Libya on several occasions, during one of which visits he claimed he was still prime minister. He returned again this year and told the media he had visited a number of towns and cities including Tobruk, Beida, Benghazi, Zintan, Sebha and Jufra. After a visit to Sebha in July, reports filtered through that while on a visit to the town he had called for the division of Libya, claims that he strongly denied. During his abduction in 2013 Zeidan was held for a few hours before being released. The previous abduction was blamed on two GNC members for Zawia, Mustafa Treiki and Mohamed Al-Kilani. In 2014 Kilani was killed in fighting with Warshefana forces. Kidnappings of politicians and citizens alike continue to plague Libya. In June the United Nations reported numerous cases of kidnappings, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual assault, mass killings and summary executions in all areas of Libya by several groups with and without official mandates. The assessment came in the UN Libyan Experts Panel final report presented to the Security Council. The 299-page report said that the (UN Libya Experts) Panel continues to receive frequent reports of serious human rights violations. The absence of the rule of law and institutional control over armed groups, some of which continue to operate under official mandates, have led to a deterioration of the human rights situation in Libya. Detention conditions continue to be inhumane throughout Libya, and formal and informal detention centres are under the control of armed groups. Arrests and detentions by armed groups do not respect due process. The Panel received numerous reports of kidnappings and arbitrary detentions used by armed groups for political or material benefit. Politicians, activists, bank employees and journalists are frequent targets, added the report. African News Agency

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Eastern General vows to continue fighting to liberate Libya – The Libya Observer

Commander of Dignity Operation, renegade General Khalifa Haftar, said on Monday his army would continue fighting against terrorists until it takes full control of the entire country. During his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Haftar claimed that 90% of the countrys territoryis under his control, asking Russia to provide military assistance to his forces. We are determined to continue our struggle until the army takes full control of the Libyan territory. He said. He also accused head of Presidential Council Fayez Sirraj of violating Paris agreement. Dignity Operation militants do not differentiate between the real terrorists and the political opponents, regarding them as two sides of the same coin. For his part, Russia’s top diplomat said all mediation efforts to end Libyas conflict should be based on the United Nations, adding that his country supports the political settlement and full-scale restoration of the statehood of Libya. Khalifa Haftar arrived in Moscow on Saturday.

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Despite massive repatriation, Nigerians still troop to Libya – Daily Trust

Despite continuing efforts of the Federal Government to evacuate stranded Nigerians from Libya, efforts which have been on since 2016 with over 2000 Nigerians assisted back home, more Nigerians still throng the North African country, Daily Trust can report. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations humanitarian agency, has been collaborating with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other agencies of government to return Nigerians back home. From 2006 till date, no fewer than 42 trips have been carried out to bring back the stranded thousands of Nigerians, with virtually all of them recounting horrible experiences in Libyan detention facilities. Most of them spent months and years in detention before help came to them while some died in the process, according to accounts narrated by the returnees. The latest set of Nigerians evacuated from Libya arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) cargo terminal on Thursday with 128 making the trip. Six of them had medical cases with one having three gunshot wounds and was brought out from the airplane with a stretcher. But the horrible tales have not helped to dissuade people from embarking on the trip. An IOM official who spoke with our correspondent, said, More people are still going to Libya from Nigeria. They embark on the dangerous trip through the desert hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea to proceed to Europe. I dont know what they are doing in Libya because the country is battling with its internal security challenges. There are these militia groups involved in organized crimes against undocumented immigrants. And Libya at the moment is facing disintegration threat. When you say you are going there for greener pastures, can you achieve anything meaningful in that direction? But a retired Assistant Controller General of Immigration, Alhaji AbdulMumeen Abdulmalik who spoke to our correspondent said Nigerians would continue to leave the country unless the government tackled the economic recession and lack of jobs. People go outside the country to seek economic opportunities that are lacking here, Abdulmalik said. The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA in the South West, Alhaji Sulaiman Yakubu who received the latest returnees on behalf of the Director General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja, said the agency had stepped up enlightenment campaign on the risk of travelling to Libya. We are also telling the youths that the Federal Government has put in place a lot of initiatives to empower the youths. We have the YouWin programme, we have the N-Power programme and others, Yakubu said.

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Aid Groups Suspend Migrant Rescues Over Libyan Threats – NBCNews.com

African refugees wait aboard the Golfo Azurro, the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue ship, to disembark at the Italian port of Reggio Calabria, on Feb. 25, 2017. Santi Palacios / AP Immigration is dominating Italy’s political agenda before elections early next year, with public opinion increasingly hostile to migrants. Almost 600,000 migrants have arrived in Italy over the past four years. Most sailed from lawless Libya in flimsy vessels operated by people smugglers. More than 13,000 migrants have died trying to make the crossing. Ships manned by charities have played a growing role in rescues, picking up more than a third of all migrants brought ashore so far this year, compared with less than one percent in 2014. Aid groups and some Italian politicians warn that migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard are taken back to inhuman conditions in detention camps on the Libyan mainland. However, prosecutors in Sicily have opened investigations against some NGOs, which they suspect of collaborating with people smugglers, and Rome has proposed a Code of Conduct setting stricter rules on how the groups can operate. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a newspaper interview on Sunday that Libya’s growing role in controlling its waters was curbing people trafficking and producing a welcome “readjustment” in the Mediterranean. MSF’s decision to halt its rescue operations was part of this positive process, he told the newspaper La Stampa. Save the Children said its rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, would dock in Malta until it received assurances about the intentions of the Libyan authorities. Libya was trying to increase the range of the waters its ships controlled from 12 nautical miles around its coast to 70 nautical miles, the humanitarian organisation said. “The necessary pause in operations from charity rescue ships likes ours and others will undoubtedly put lives at risk,” its operations director, Rob MacGillivray, warned. Libyan coastguard officials have previously said they have rights over operations dozens of miles beyond the territorial limit of 12 nautical miles, without clearly detailing the claims to such rights or how they could be enforced.

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August 13, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Libya beats Algeria, nears qualification to 2018 African Nations Championship – The Libya Observer

The Libyan national football team won 2-1 over Algeria at Al-Shahid Hamlawi Stadium in Algiers as part of the first leg matches of 2018 African Nations Championship, which will be hosted by Kenya. By winning this game, Libya has become closer to qualifying for the sports event, which it won back in 2012. Algeria scored first by Derlofo at the first minute of the match before Al-Ayat tied the score for Libya after a fault done by the Algerian goal keeper, Rahmani. At the minute 47, Libya scored the second and winning goal by Al-Lafi. The second leg match will take place in Sfax, Tunisia on August 18.

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