Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

The long road to peace and reconciliation in Libya – The National

GNA prime minister Fayez Al Sarraj with French president Emmanuel Macron and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army. Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

The cause of peace has made a great deal of progress today, French president Emanuel Macron declared on Tuesday, referring to the outcome of the deliberations between Libyas prime minister and its most powerful general. Mr Macron had brought together Fayez Al Sarraj, head of the UN-backed Libyan unity government, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar under one roof to negotiate an end to Libyas years-long conflict. The agreement that emerged from their talks, building on their last meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 3, merits the solemn praise lavished on it by Mr Macron. The joint declaration signed by Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj is both comprehensive and visionary. Both sides agree that only a political solution accompanied by a national reconciliation process can rescue Libya from the ongoing crisis. To achieve this, both men have committed themselves to a ceasefire; arms will not be used for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counterterrorism. The two sides have agreed to work in earnest on drafting a new constitution, building democratic institutions, and instituting the rule of law. They have pledged to begin work on unifying Libya, and to make efforts to integrate freelance fighters into regular forces or disarm and help them rejoin civilian life. Parliamentary and presidential elections will be held as soon as possible, and further talks will be pursuant to the deal brokered by Mr Macron. After three years of conflict, this agreement represents the opening of a pathway for peace. But the magnitude of this moment must not blind us to the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead. Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj have not just committed to ending the bitter war raging in Libya. They have embarked on a nation-building project. Libyas history makes it inimical to such ambitions. Muammar Qaddafi diligently hollowed out the countrys institutions during his long decades of misrule. Libyas new leaders have no native inheritance to build upon. They must start from scratch. The Libyans states loss of legitimacy under Mr Gaddafi will only add to the difficulty of convincing Libyans to place renewed trust in the state. Will the militiamen who run the myriad warring outfits that have sprung up across Libya give up their arms to unify behind a single source of power? Will ordinary Libyans, who were brutally betrayed by the ancien regime, feel secure enough to engage freely and openly in a reconciliation process set in motion by a new government? Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj have shown great courage in burying their differences for the good of Libya. Each needs the other, and their joint efforts, if sustained and supported by the world, can yield genuinely positive results for Libya. But the road to peace is a long one. As they put their plan into action, it might be prudent to temper our expectations.

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The long road to peace and reconciliation in Libya – The National

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Trump Intel Chief: North Korea Learned From Libya War to Never Give Up Nukes – The Intercept

The media is now filled with headlines about North Koreas missile test on Friday, which demonstrated that its ICBMs may be able to reach the continental U.S. What isntmentioned in any of these stories ishow we got to this point in particular, what Dan Coats, President Donald Trumps Director of National Security,explained last weekat the Aspen Security Forum.

North Koreas 33-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un is not crazy, said Coats. In fact, he has some rationale backing his actions regarding the countrys nuclear weapons. That rationale is the waythe U.S. has demonstrated that North Korea must keep themto ensure survival for his regime, survival for his country.

Kim, according to Coats, has watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability. In particular, The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes is, unfortunately: If you had nukes, never give them up. If you dont have them, get them.

This is, of course, blindingly obvious and has been since the U.S. helped oust longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafis regime in 2011. But U.S. officials have rarely if ever acknowledged this reality. Heres the timeline:

In December 2003, Libya announced that it would surrenderits biological and chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as its rudimentary nuclear weapons program.

In celebrating Libyas decision, President George W. Bush declared that the rest of the world should take away the message that leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations. Paula DeSutter, Bushs Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, explained that we want Libya to be a model for other countries.

In 2011, the U.S. and NATO conducted a bombing campaign to assist Libyan rebels in overthrowing the Gaddafi government. Gaddafi himself was captured by one rebel faction, who apparently sodomized him with a bayonet and then killed him.

You would definitely expect this to getthe attention of North Koreas ruling clique especially given that Iraq had also disarmed and then been invaded, with its dictator executed by a howling mob.

And, indeed, North Korea said this explicitly at the time. Its foreign ministry stated, The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson, which was that thedeal to rid Libya of weapons of mass destruction had been an invasion tactic to disarm the country.

Yet the Obama administration shamelessly denied this. Areporter told State Department spokesperson Mark Toner that North Koreans are looking at this and it didnt give them a lot of incentive to give up their nuclear weapons. Toner replied that where [Libya is]at today has absolutely no connection with them renouncing their nuclear program and nuclear weapons.

Moreover, North Koreans and other countries can read, and so understand what Americas foreign policy elite has repeatedly explained why we want small countries to disarm. Its not because we fear that they will use WMD in a first strike onus, since nationslike North Korea understand that would immediately lead to their obliteration. Instead, our mandarins explicitly say the problem is that unconventional weapons help small countries deter us from attacking them.

There are many examples. For instance, in a 2001 memo, then-Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld stated:

Several of these [small enemy nations] are intensely hostile to the United States and are arming to deter us from bringing our conventional or nuclear power to bear in a regional crisis.

[U]niversally available [WMD] technologies can be used to create asymmetric responsesthat cannot defeat our forces, but can deny access to critical areas in Europe, the Middle East, and Asiaasymmetric approaches can limit our ability to apply military power.

The think tank Project for a New American Century, a neoconservative pressure group that had a heavy influence on George W. Bushs administration, made the same point in an influential paper called Rebuilding Americas Defenses:

The United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military actionby threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority.

In the post-Cold War era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence andit is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities.

In fact, even Dan Coats himself has said this, in a 2008 op-ed he co-wrote. An Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability would be strategically untenable, Coats said, because it would possessa deterrent against U.S. attack. And to prevent Iran from acquiring the ability to deter us, he explained, we might have to attack them.

Video of Coats speaking and his full remarks are below:

Source: The Aspen Institute

DAN COATS: It has become a potential existential threat to the United States and it is of great concern.

LESTER HOLT: And in terms of the number of options available publicly we know that there arent a lot of great options there, and a lot of it is trying to see into Kim Jong-uns head and thats I suspect that most difficult kind of intelligence trying to predict someones behavior.

COATS: Well, hes demonstrated behavior publicly that really raises some questions about who he is and how he thinks and how he acts, what his behavior is, but our assessment has come has pretty much resulted in the fact that while hes a very unusual type of person, hes not crazy. And there is some rationale backing his actions which are survival, survival for his regime, survival for his country, and he has watched I think what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability. The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes and Ukraine giving up its nukes is unfortunately if you had nukes, never give them up. If you dont have them, get them, and we see a lot of nations now thinking about how do we get them and none more persistent than North Korea

Top photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects troops of Unit 534 of the Korean Peoples Army on Jan. 12, 2014.

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News Roundup – Sat, Jul 29, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The interim government in east Libya has announced the lifting of the legal safeguards imposed on the property of Libyans involved with the late Muammer Gaddafi since 2012, including his wife and children.

The Minister of Justice in the government which is based in Bayda, Munir Aser, said that the decision to lift the safeguards includes the wife and children of Gaddafi, adding that the government issued the decision after a convincing letter was received indicating that the law is unjust and unconstitutional.

In May 2012, the National Transitional Council (NTC) passed a law banning some 300 people from access to their property, including Gaddafi’s wife, sons and any prominent figures of the old regime, placing them in the custody of the public guard.

_____________________

The US State Department has welcomed the Paris meeting and subsequent agreement between the President of the Presidential Council of the UN proposed government, Fayez Sarraj and the leader of Dignity Operation, Khalifa Haftar.

The State Department said in a statement on Friday that the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) should lead the process of political reconciliation in the country.

The statement welcomed Ghassan Salama as head of the United Nations’ support mission in Libya, to promote peace and stability in Libya, according to the statement. _____________________

The General Authority for Communications and Information warned that the harmful radiation has been detected in the mobile radio towers of the mobile operators.

In a statement published on its Facebook page, the authority said that a team from the Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Department measured the intensity of the radiation emanating from the wireless radio towers.

The towers which are used by fixed and mobile operators and some being located above school buildings were found to have a level of harmful radiation that is below the internationally recommended levels of the International Commission on Protection Against Harmful Radiation (ICNIRP). _____________________

The Secretary-General of the United Nations believes that the United Nations must be the leader in the search for a political solution in Libya.

The head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salama said in an interview with the United Nations Radio on Friday that Libya has a prominent position in the interests of the international community, the United Nations and its Secretary-General, confirming that he is closely following the Libyan case.

Salama added that he is aware of the concerns and opinions of Libyans through hundreds of messages he has received. He stressed the importance of interaction and communication with Libyans, saying that the UN will do nothing that Libyans do not want and they will find the determination and invent ideas and solutions to help them. _____________________

The European Commission (EC) has announced that its Trust Fund for Africa has adopted a program to strengthen Libya’s ability to manage its northern and southern border borders worth 46 million.

The money has been allocated to fund programs run by Italy in Libya to improve the efficiency of border and coast guards in controlling border crossings and addressing human smuggling issues to help stop the flow of illegal migration.

High Representative/Vice-PresidentFedericaMogherinisaid:”Security and stability in Libya are key for the Libyans, the region and Europe, and they come also by better managing the borders and strengthening the resilience of the population. _____________________

The High Council of State considered the Paris meeting and subsequent agreement another attempt to find common ground between opposing parties in Libya to eventually reach a stable state.

The High Council of State, in a statement published on its official Facebook page Thursday, said their partner in the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), the House of Representatives (HOR), should meet with them as soon as possible to start working together on the stipulations of the LPA and address the necessary and limited amendments to the political agreement.

The statement confirmed that the LPA is the only practical framework for this stage, which is ultimately aimed at holding elections in accordance with a permanent constitution that guarantees democracy, human rights and prevents the nightmare of military coups.

_____________________

The Imam and Preacher of the Jabal Al-Rahma Mosque in the eastern city of Bayda, Sheikh Khalid Othman Seheib, was abducted on Wednesday

Local sources said gunmen loyal to Dignity Operation abducted him while leaving the mosque after the prayer. The kidnappers fired shots in the air in celebration of his abduction.

Sheikh Seheib managed to escape a previous kidnapping attempt in November 2014 from the same mosque. Since the beginning of the so-called Dignity operation, Bayda city witnessed numerous abductions of soldiers, employees, activists and sheikhs.

The fate of abductees remains unknown up to this moment.

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News Roundup – Sat, Jul 29, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Top Africa stories: Grace Mugabe, Mali, Libya – News24

WATCH: ‘Don’t be afraid to name your successor,’ Grace Mugabe tells hubby, 93

Harare – Zimbabwe’s first lady on Thursday publicly urged her 93-year-old husband to name a successor, wading into a subject that President Robert Mugabe has regarded as taboo.

Grace Mugabe, whose political influence has been growing, previously said the world’s oldest head of state could rule from the grave. “If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse” in the 2018 election, she said early this year.

But in comments shown by state broadcasterZBC, the first lady on Thursday said she had been arguing with him about naming a successor: “He says no, no, no.”

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Two elephants shot after trampling Zim cop to death

Harare – Two more elephants have been shot dead in Zimbabwe after they trampled a policeman to death in the east of the country, conservationists said on Thursday.

The shootings authorised on Monday by the state wildlife authority after the animals were classified as problem animals come after an elephant was put down in Victoria Falls last week for killing its handler.

Fence tampered with

The two semi-tame elephants, named Jane and Chatunga, lived in the Cecil Kop Nature Reserve in the eastern border city of Mutare. They got out of the park on the evening of July 18 through a portion of the electric fence that had apparently been tampered with by cross-border smugglers.

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Zim cops assault, detain three journalists for taking pics in Harare

Harare Zimbabwean cops on Thursday assaulted and arrested three journalists from an independent newspaper, accusing them of filming police details, as they threw spikes on vehicles in the capital Harare.

The throwing of spikes on motorists was currently being challenged in Zimbabwean courts.

The southern African countrys parliamentarians this week took a swipe at the police, saying they were endangering the safety of motorists and ordinary citizens.

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Mugabe’s wife ‘positions herself as possible successor’

Harare – Zimbabwean PresidentRobert Mugabe’s wife once said the 93-year-old leader should run “as a corpse” in the 2018 elections if he dies before the vote. Now politically ambitiousGrace Mugabeis positioning herself as a possible successor, saying one of the ruling party’s two vice presidents should be a woman.

Her remarks on Thursday inject extra intrigue into a succession debate that has featured fighting within the ruling Zanu-PF party and a widespread sense of uncertainty in a country with debilitating economic problems.

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‘Dozens’ killed in Mali clashes before helicopter crash

Bamako – A group of former separatist rebels in Mali killed “dozens” of members of a pro-government armed group before a UN helicopter monitoring the fighting crashed in the country’s north, sources told AFP on Thursday.

The UN has confirmed two German crew members belonging to its MINUSMA peacekeeping mission were killed while observing the area near the city of Gao following the clashes.

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UN urges Libyans to back political solution agreed by rivals

New York – The UN Security Council has welcomed this week’s meeting of rival Libyan leaders and is urging all Libyans to support a negotiated political solution, national reconciliation and an immediate cease-fire.

French President Emmanuel Marcron hosted a meeting on Tuesday at which Libyan President Fayez Al Sarraj and military leader General Khalifa Haftar committed themselves to a cease-fire.

They also agreed to work toward presidential and parliamentary elections and to find a roadmap for securing their lawless country against terrorism and trafficking.

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Good steps in Libya: France’s moves can help stem migrant tide – Manhattan Mercury (subscription)

French President Emmanuel Macron brought together two of the principal rival leaders of Libya and, in Paris on Tuesday, won joint pledges of a ceasefire and elections next year.

There are causes for skepticism of the solidity of the accord and clear barriers still to be overcome. However, there is no question that the agreement is important for Libya and the region and a step in the right direction.

Libya has had a tormented history since its leader, Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. Its population of 6 million has known basically nothing but conflict since American, Arab, British and Italian military intervention brought about regime change in the formerly oil-rich, authoritarian state.

It currently has at least three governments: the Tobruk-based eastern one, led more or less by Gen. Khalifa Haftar; a United Nations-based Government of National Accord in Tripoli, the ostensible Libyan capital, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj; and the National Salvation Government, also based in Tripoli. There are also across the country various tribal and local armed militias, which answer basically to no one.

Apart from what peace and elections can mean to Libyans, there is a more important regional issue that stability in that country could help to ameliorate. With no effective government and an 1,100-mile-long Mediterranean coastline, Libya has become the center of a marketplace for human trafficking from troubled, poor African and Middle Eastern countries. The migrants destination is Western Europe, across the Mediterranean Sea.

It is estimated that some 100,000 migrants have crossed since January, up 17 percent from the same period last year, and that some 2,300 have died in the process, including many women and children. What has occurred is virtually more than the world can bear to see, and the only way to stop it is to somehow restore law and order to Libya.

Prospects for success are shaky. There have been other tentative Libyan agreements. The third government, the National Salvation group, was not at the Paris talks. Gen. Haftar is backed by the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, with a history of support from the CIA. He is ambitious, with his armies controlling two-thirds of the country, including its second city, Benghazi. He had previously threatened to attack Tripoli, the headquarters of the two rival groups. His government also controls most of Libyas oil facilities.

But this new effort is certainly worth a shot, given the stakes for Libyans and the region, including southern Western Europe, especially France and Italy. The Italian government is cross at not having been involved in the negotiations that Macron organized, given its colonial past and oil interests in Libya. However, France, too, once governed part of the country. The Italians had coastal Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; France, the desert Fezzan in the south.

The Libyan accord, if it holds, is clearly a feather in the cap of the new French president. So far, Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is active in the Qatar Middle Eastern dispute, have stepped up to the plate in trying to resolve international conflicts as the United States has stepped back, preoccupied with domestic political issues.

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Migrant crisis: Italy backs force to police Libya shore – BBC News


BBC News
Migrant crisis: Italy backs force to police Libya shore
BBC News
Italy's cabinet has backed sending a mission to Libya to try to stem the influx of migrants. The mission would help Libya “reinforce their capacity to control their borders and national territory”, said Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. It would
Libya Leaders Handshake on Paris Peace Deal Covers Up Deep FracturesThe Wire
Italy OKs naval support to help Libya fight traffickingWashington Post
Eastern Libya force jet shot down by missile over Derna: officialReuters
Critical Threats Project –Financial Times
all 117 news articles »

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Libya is not a place to live – Returnee narrates how Nigerians do ‘connection work’ – NAIJ.COM

– A returnees has narrated her ordeal in Libya

– The returnee Chiamaka Onuoha said she was trying to relocate to Europe through Libya

– She said she passed through hell while trying to survive as a house help in Libya

One of the Nigerian returnees from Libya has narrated her ordeal while trying to find greener pasture in Europe through the North African country.

Chiamaka Onuoha said life was hell for her in Libya as she worked as a house girl for some Arabs to make ends meet.

She said she survived on left over foods and slept in a car garage everyday, all through her stay in Libya.

READ ALSO: Panic in Rivers community as soldiers allegedly invade, burn 15 houses

Onuoha, a native of Isuochi in Abia state said she was already planning her return when she finally managed to get in contact with an Arab man Saheed Ameen who promised her marriage.

“During my courtship with this man, I encountered the worst challenge of my life. I suffered mental illness. It all started one night like a headache after I took some food,” Onuoha said.

“Later a part of my face was deformed and got dried up. As if that was not enough, I became a destitute, picking things around the city.

“Everything I saw on the streets looked like money or valuables to me and I always had the urge to pick them. In short, I suffered madness. All through this time, I was deserted by people around,” she said.

READ ALSO: PDP tussle between Sheriff and Makarfi camps escalates as police seals off Lagos partys secretariat

The returnee said the man later abandoned her to her ailing self.

“At this point, I started thinking I would die in that country because one side of my body had already become deformed; one leg, an arm and one of my eyes were no more functioning,” she said.

She said a medical team that came to her aid was unable to diagnose her ailment.

She was later healed after receiving treatment through the sponsorship of a christian organization in Libya.

The organization after her treatment advised her to approach the International Organization for Migration to facilitate her return to Nigeria.

READ ALSO: I am a pilgrim to Abuja House – GEJ’s former aide declares, as he storms UK residence where Buhari is staying (See Photos)

She said it was at this point she made up her mind to come back to Nigeria.

When life in Libya became a hell for me in Libya, I decided to return to Nigeria and start life anew. Libya is not a good place to live in. As you will agree with me, our people travelled there to make money, but when we got there, what we saw was beyond our imagination. It was a life in hell!

Our people are employed to do all sorts of dirty jobs by people who are in some dirty connections, which they call Connection work, which is another term for prostitution. Some of them also work with the Arab people as house maids to earn a living.

Our people in Libya suffer a lot. They cannot move freely like in Nigeria. Our women usually stay indoors. It is only our men that go out to work. They are using the laws laid down by Gaddafi to make life difficult for foreigners,” she said.

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Onuoha further called on the Nigerian government to make policies that will discourage or prevent Nigerians from traveling to the North African country.

“Government should stop our people from going to Libya because that place is hell. I came back by joining those prisoners scheduled to be deported to Nigeria,” she added.

NAIJ.com earlier reported that 262 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya.

These Nigerian returned aboard a chartered Libyan Airline aircraft at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at 10 pm on Wednesday, July 26.

They returned through the help of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

You can watch this video of ex-prisoner becoming an advocate for former inmates in China Prison:

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France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya – EUobserver

French president Emmanuel Macron called Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday evening (27 July) to defuse tensions amid accusations of “colonialism” in Libya and economic “protectionism”.

The call was “friendly”, Gentiloni’s office said, hours after his government had stated that a French decision to nationalise a shipyard was “serious and incomprehensible”.

The French government decided on Thursday to “temporarily” take control of the STX shipyards, in Saint-Nazaire, western France, in order to block a takeover by Italian state-owned company Fincantieri, which was due to take effect on Saturday.

Macron rejected an agreement reached under his predecessor, Francois Hollande, that would have seen Fincantieri becoming the owner of 54 percent of STX’s capital. He wanted the French state to own at least 50 percent, something Italy refused.

The STX shipyard, which is currently Marjory-owned by a South Korean company, builds cruise ships, but is also able to build warships.

Critics of the Italian deal pointed to Fincantieri’s links with China and risks that sensitive French know-how and technology could end up in Chinese hands.

“We want to have all the guarantees that this know-how will not one day go to another big global economic power, a non-European one, to be precise,” French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

“This lack of trust in Italian partners is unacceptable,” the Italian finance minister told French daily Les Echos.

But Macron, in his call to Gentiloni, tried to “dissipate any wrong interpretation” of his decision to preempt the shipyard, according to his office.

He said that the nationalisation was a “transitory decision during which talks continue in order to find an agreement which would leave a large place for Fincantieri.”

The spat over STX comes as France and Italy are also at loggerheads over the situation in Libya and how to manage the migration crisis.

On Tuesday, Macron hosted a meeting in Paris between the two main Libyan political leaders, Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar.

The two rivals agreed to a ceasefire and to elections next year, but Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano told La Stampa newspaper that “there are too many open formats in Libya, too many mediators, too many initiatives.

Italy, a former colonial power in Libya, has been very active in trying to end the war in the country, and Macron’s initiative was considered by the Italian media as a “slap in the face”.

And on Thursday, while the French government was announcing STX’s nationalisation, Macron reportedly said that he was going to create “hotspots” to process migrants in Libya.

“France can’t move forward with improvised lines,” Alfano said, before Macron’s office denied the reports and insisted that he only wanted to treat asylum requests as closely as possible to the migrants’ countries of origin.

Alfano then said he “welcomed” the clarification.

Italy, which has received some 95,000 migrants so far this year, mainly from Libya, has been calling for its EU partners’ solidarity.

Last month, it asked other EU countries to open their ports to migrants too, but French interior minister Gerard Collomb said this would create a magnet effect and insisted on “stemming the flow beforehand”.

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Haftar’s Libya expels 12 Sudan diplomats – News24

Benghazi – Authorities in eastern Libya backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar on Thursday ordered the closure of a Sudanese consulate and the expulsion of 12 diplomats, a pro-Haftar news agency announced.

It said the order to shut down the mission in Kufra, an oasis in southern Libya, was taken on the grounds of “damage to Libyan national security”.

The consul and 11 consular staff were given 72 hours to leave the country, which has been mired in anarchy since its 2011 revolution that toppled its longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi.

Sudan’s embassy in Tripoli is closed but a consulate with limited personnel serves Sudanese living in the capital, according to its Facebook page.

Officials in Khartoum have accused Haftar of enlisting rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region to fight alongside his forces, while the field marshal has charged that Sudan supports “terrorists” in Libya.

Khartoum recognises the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord of UN-backed prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj, a rival of Haftar and Libya’s eastern authorities supported by his forces.

According to officials in Khartoum, dozens of young Sudanese – both men and women – have been killed in Libya fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State jihadist group.

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The long road to peace and reconciliation in Libya – The National

GNA prime minister Fayez Al Sarraj with French president Emmanuel Macron and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army. Philippe Wojazer / Reuters The cause of peace has made a great deal of progress today, French president Emanuel Macron declared on Tuesday, referring to the outcome of the deliberations between Libyas prime minister and its most powerful general. Mr Macron had brought together Fayez Al Sarraj, head of the UN-backed Libyan unity government, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar under one roof to negotiate an end to Libyas years-long conflict. The agreement that emerged from their talks, building on their last meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 3, merits the solemn praise lavished on it by Mr Macron. The joint declaration signed by Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj is both comprehensive and visionary. Both sides agree that only a political solution accompanied by a national reconciliation process can rescue Libya from the ongoing crisis. To achieve this, both men have committed themselves to a ceasefire; arms will not be used for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counterterrorism. The two sides have agreed to work in earnest on drafting a new constitution, building democratic institutions, and instituting the rule of law. They have pledged to begin work on unifying Libya, and to make efforts to integrate freelance fighters into regular forces or disarm and help them rejoin civilian life. Parliamentary and presidential elections will be held as soon as possible, and further talks will be pursuant to the deal brokered by Mr Macron. After three years of conflict, this agreement represents the opening of a pathway for peace. But the magnitude of this moment must not blind us to the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead. Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj have not just committed to ending the bitter war raging in Libya. They have embarked on a nation-building project. Libyas history makes it inimical to such ambitions. Muammar Qaddafi diligently hollowed out the countrys institutions during his long decades of misrule. Libyas new leaders have no native inheritance to build upon. They must start from scratch. The Libyans states loss of legitimacy under Mr Gaddafi will only add to the difficulty of convincing Libyans to place renewed trust in the state. Will the militiamen who run the myriad warring outfits that have sprung up across Libya give up their arms to unify behind a single source of power? Will ordinary Libyans, who were brutally betrayed by the ancien regime, feel secure enough to engage freely and openly in a reconciliation process set in motion by a new government? Field Marshal Haftar and Mr Al Sarraj have shown great courage in burying their differences for the good of Libya. Each needs the other, and their joint efforts, if sustained and supported by the world, can yield genuinely positive results for Libya. But the road to peace is a long one. As they put their plan into action, it might be prudent to temper our expectations.

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July 30, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Trump Intel Chief: North Korea Learned From Libya War to Never Give Up Nukes – The Intercept

The media is now filled with headlines about North Koreas missile test on Friday, which demonstrated that its ICBMs may be able to reach the continental U.S. What isntmentioned in any of these stories ishow we got to this point in particular, what Dan Coats, President Donald Trumps Director of National Security,explained last weekat the Aspen Security Forum. North Koreas 33-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un is not crazy, said Coats. In fact, he has some rationale backing his actions regarding the countrys nuclear weapons. That rationale is the waythe U.S. has demonstrated that North Korea must keep themto ensure survival for his regime, survival for his country. Kim, according to Coats, has watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability. In particular, The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes is, unfortunately: If you had nukes, never give them up. If you dont have them, get them. This is, of course, blindingly obvious and has been since the U.S. helped oust longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafis regime in 2011. But U.S. officials have rarely if ever acknowledged this reality. Heres the timeline: In December 2003, Libya announced that it would surrenderits biological and chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as its rudimentary nuclear weapons program. In celebrating Libyas decision, President George W. Bush declared that the rest of the world should take away the message that leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations. Paula DeSutter, Bushs Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, explained that we want Libya to be a model for other countries. In 2011, the U.S. and NATO conducted a bombing campaign to assist Libyan rebels in overthrowing the Gaddafi government. Gaddafi himself was captured by one rebel faction, who apparently sodomized him with a bayonet and then killed him. You would definitely expect this to getthe attention of North Koreas ruling clique especially given that Iraq had also disarmed and then been invaded, with its dictator executed by a howling mob. And, indeed, North Korea said this explicitly at the time. Its foreign ministry stated, The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson, which was that thedeal to rid Libya of weapons of mass destruction had been an invasion tactic to disarm the country. Yet the Obama administration shamelessly denied this. Areporter told State Department spokesperson Mark Toner that North Koreans are looking at this and it didnt give them a lot of incentive to give up their nuclear weapons. Toner replied that where [Libya is]at today has absolutely no connection with them renouncing their nuclear program and nuclear weapons. Moreover, North Koreans and other countries can read, and so understand what Americas foreign policy elite has repeatedly explained why we want small countries to disarm. Its not because we fear that they will use WMD in a first strike onus, since nationslike North Korea understand that would immediately lead to their obliteration. Instead, our mandarins explicitly say the problem is that unconventional weapons help small countries deter us from attacking them. There are many examples. For instance, in a 2001 memo, then-Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld stated: Several of these [small enemy nations] are intensely hostile to the United States and are arming to deter us from bringing our conventional or nuclear power to bear in a regional crisis. [U]niversally available [WMD] technologies can be used to create asymmetric responsesthat cannot defeat our forces, but can deny access to critical areas in Europe, the Middle East, and Asiaasymmetric approaches can limit our ability to apply military power. The think tank Project for a New American Century, a neoconservative pressure group that had a heavy influence on George W. Bushs administration, made the same point in an influential paper called Rebuilding Americas Defenses: The United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military actionby threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority. In the post-Cold War era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence andit is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities. In fact, even Dan Coats himself has said this, in a 2008 op-ed he co-wrote. An Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability would be strategically untenable, Coats said, because it would possessa deterrent against U.S. attack. And to prevent Iran from acquiring the ability to deter us, he explained, we might have to attack them. Video of Coats speaking and his full remarks are below: Source: The Aspen Institute DAN COATS: It has become a potential existential threat to the United States and it is of great concern. LESTER HOLT: And in terms of the number of options available publicly we know that there arent a lot of great options there, and a lot of it is trying to see into Kim Jong-uns head and thats I suspect that most difficult kind of intelligence trying to predict someones behavior. COATS: Well, hes demonstrated behavior publicly that really raises some questions about who he is and how he thinks and how he acts, what his behavior is, but our assessment has come has pretty much resulted in the fact that while hes a very unusual type of person, hes not crazy. And there is some rationale backing his actions which are survival, survival for his regime, survival for his country, and he has watched I think what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability. The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes and Ukraine giving up its nukes is unfortunately if you had nukes, never give them up. If you dont have them, get them, and we see a lot of nations now thinking about how do we get them and none more persistent than North Korea Top photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects troops of Unit 534 of the Korean Peoples Army on Jan. 12, 2014.

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July 29, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

News Roundup – Sat, Jul 29, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The interim government in east Libya has announced the lifting of the legal safeguards imposed on the property of Libyans involved with the late Muammer Gaddafi since 2012, including his wife and children. The Minister of Justice in the government which is based in Bayda, Munir Aser, said that the decision to lift the safeguards includes the wife and children of Gaddafi, adding that the government issued the decision after a convincing letter was received indicating that the law is unjust and unconstitutional. In May 2012, the National Transitional Council (NTC) passed a law banning some 300 people from access to their property, including Gaddafi’s wife, sons and any prominent figures of the old regime, placing them in the custody of the public guard. _____________________ The US State Department has welcomed the Paris meeting and subsequent agreement between the President of the Presidential Council of the UN proposed government, Fayez Sarraj and the leader of Dignity Operation, Khalifa Haftar. The State Department said in a statement on Friday that the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) should lead the process of political reconciliation in the country. The statement welcomed Ghassan Salama as head of the United Nations’ support mission in Libya, to promote peace and stability in Libya, according to the statement. _____________________ The General Authority for Communications and Information warned that the harmful radiation has been detected in the mobile radio towers of the mobile operators. In a statement published on its Facebook page, the authority said that a team from the Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Department measured the intensity of the radiation emanating from the wireless radio towers. The towers which are used by fixed and mobile operators and some being located above school buildings were found to have a level of harmful radiation that is below the internationally recommended levels of the International Commission on Protection Against Harmful Radiation (ICNIRP). _____________________ The Secretary-General of the United Nations believes that the United Nations must be the leader in the search for a political solution in Libya. The head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salama said in an interview with the United Nations Radio on Friday that Libya has a prominent position in the interests of the international community, the United Nations and its Secretary-General, confirming that he is closely following the Libyan case. Salama added that he is aware of the concerns and opinions of Libyans through hundreds of messages he has received. He stressed the importance of interaction and communication with Libyans, saying that the UN will do nothing that Libyans do not want and they will find the determination and invent ideas and solutions to help them. _____________________ The European Commission (EC) has announced that its Trust Fund for Africa has adopted a program to strengthen Libya’s ability to manage its northern and southern border borders worth 46 million. The money has been allocated to fund programs run by Italy in Libya to improve the efficiency of border and coast guards in controlling border crossings and addressing human smuggling issues to help stop the flow of illegal migration. High Representative/Vice-PresidentFedericaMogherinisaid:”Security and stability in Libya are key for the Libyans, the region and Europe, and they come also by better managing the borders and strengthening the resilience of the population. _____________________ The High Council of State considered the Paris meeting and subsequent agreement another attempt to find common ground between opposing parties in Libya to eventually reach a stable state. The High Council of State, in a statement published on its official Facebook page Thursday, said their partner in the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), the House of Representatives (HOR), should meet with them as soon as possible to start working together on the stipulations of the LPA and address the necessary and limited amendments to the political agreement. The statement confirmed that the LPA is the only practical framework for this stage, which is ultimately aimed at holding elections in accordance with a permanent constitution that guarantees democracy, human rights and prevents the nightmare of military coups. _____________________ The Imam and Preacher of the Jabal Al-Rahma Mosque in the eastern city of Bayda, Sheikh Khalid Othman Seheib, was abducted on Wednesday Local sources said gunmen loyal to Dignity Operation abducted him while leaving the mosque after the prayer. The kidnappers fired shots in the air in celebration of his abduction. Sheikh Seheib managed to escape a previous kidnapping attempt in November 2014 from the same mosque. Since the beginning of the so-called Dignity operation, Bayda city witnessed numerous abductions of soldiers, employees, activists and sheikhs. The fate of abductees remains unknown up to this moment.

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July 29, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Top Africa stories: Grace Mugabe, Mali, Libya – News24

WATCH: ‘Don’t be afraid to name your successor,’ Grace Mugabe tells hubby, 93 Harare – Zimbabwe’s first lady on Thursday publicly urged her 93-year-old husband to name a successor, wading into a subject that President Robert Mugabe has regarded as taboo. Grace Mugabe, whose political influence has been growing, previously said the world’s oldest head of state could rule from the grave. “If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse” in the 2018 election, she said early this year. But in comments shown by state broadcasterZBC, the first lady on Thursday said she had been arguing with him about naming a successor: “He says no, no, no.” Read more on this story here Two elephants shot after trampling Zim cop to death Harare – Two more elephants have been shot dead in Zimbabwe after they trampled a policeman to death in the east of the country, conservationists said on Thursday. The shootings authorised on Monday by the state wildlife authority after the animals were classified as problem animals come after an elephant was put down in Victoria Falls last week for killing its handler. Fence tampered with The two semi-tame elephants, named Jane and Chatunga, lived in the Cecil Kop Nature Reserve in the eastern border city of Mutare. They got out of the park on the evening of July 18 through a portion of the electric fence that had apparently been tampered with by cross-border smugglers. For more on this story click here Zim cops assault, detain three journalists for taking pics in Harare Harare Zimbabwean cops on Thursday assaulted and arrested three journalists from an independent newspaper, accusing them of filming police details, as they threw spikes on vehicles in the capital Harare. The throwing of spikes on motorists was currently being challenged in Zimbabwean courts. The southern African countrys parliamentarians this week took a swipe at the police, saying they were endangering the safety of motorists and ordinary citizens. Read more on this story here Mugabe’s wife ‘positions herself as possible successor’ Harare – Zimbabwean PresidentRobert Mugabe’s wife once said the 93-year-old leader should run “as a corpse” in the 2018 elections if he dies before the vote. Now politically ambitiousGrace Mugabeis positioning herself as a possible successor, saying one of the ruling party’s two vice presidents should be a woman. Her remarks on Thursday inject extra intrigue into a succession debate that has featured fighting within the ruling Zanu-PF party and a widespread sense of uncertainty in a country with debilitating economic problems. For more on this story click here ‘Dozens’ killed in Mali clashes before helicopter crash Bamako – A group of former separatist rebels in Mali killed “dozens” of members of a pro-government armed group before a UN helicopter monitoring the fighting crashed in the country’s north, sources told AFP on Thursday. The UN has confirmed two German crew members belonging to its MINUSMA peacekeeping mission were killed while observing the area near the city of Gao following the clashes. Read more on this story here UN urges Libyans to back political solution agreed by rivals New York – The UN Security Council has welcomed this week’s meeting of rival Libyan leaders and is urging all Libyans to support a negotiated political solution, national reconciliation and an immediate cease-fire. French President Emmanuel Marcron hosted a meeting on Tuesday at which Libyan President Fayez Al Sarraj and military leader General Khalifa Haftar committed themselves to a cease-fire. They also agreed to work toward presidential and parliamentary elections and to find a roadmap for securing their lawless country against terrorism and trafficking. Read more on this story here 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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July 29, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Good steps in Libya: France’s moves can help stem migrant tide – Manhattan Mercury (subscription)

French President Emmanuel Macron brought together two of the principal rival leaders of Libya and, in Paris on Tuesday, won joint pledges of a ceasefire and elections next year. There are causes for skepticism of the solidity of the accord and clear barriers still to be overcome. However, there is no question that the agreement is important for Libya and the region and a step in the right direction. Libya has had a tormented history since its leader, Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. Its population of 6 million has known basically nothing but conflict since American, Arab, British and Italian military intervention brought about regime change in the formerly oil-rich, authoritarian state. It currently has at least three governments: the Tobruk-based eastern one, led more or less by Gen. Khalifa Haftar; a United Nations-based Government of National Accord in Tripoli, the ostensible Libyan capital, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj; and the National Salvation Government, also based in Tripoli. There are also across the country various tribal and local armed militias, which answer basically to no one. Apart from what peace and elections can mean to Libyans, there is a more important regional issue that stability in that country could help to ameliorate. With no effective government and an 1,100-mile-long Mediterranean coastline, Libya has become the center of a marketplace for human trafficking from troubled, poor African and Middle Eastern countries. The migrants destination is Western Europe, across the Mediterranean Sea. It is estimated that some 100,000 migrants have crossed since January, up 17 percent from the same period last year, and that some 2,300 have died in the process, including many women and children. What has occurred is virtually more than the world can bear to see, and the only way to stop it is to somehow restore law and order to Libya. Prospects for success are shaky. There have been other tentative Libyan agreements. The third government, the National Salvation group, was not at the Paris talks. Gen. Haftar is backed by the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, with a history of support from the CIA. He is ambitious, with his armies controlling two-thirds of the country, including its second city, Benghazi. He had previously threatened to attack Tripoli, the headquarters of the two rival groups. His government also controls most of Libyas oil facilities. But this new effort is certainly worth a shot, given the stakes for Libyans and the region, including southern Western Europe, especially France and Italy. The Italian government is cross at not having been involved in the negotiations that Macron organized, given its colonial past and oil interests in Libya. However, France, too, once governed part of the country. The Italians had coastal Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; France, the desert Fezzan in the south. The Libyan accord, if it holds, is clearly a feather in the cap of the new French president. So far, Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is active in the Qatar Middle Eastern dispute, have stepped up to the plate in trying to resolve international conflicts as the United States has stepped back, preoccupied with domestic political issues.

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July 28, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Migrant crisis: Italy backs force to police Libya shore – BBC News

BBC News Migrant crisis: Italy backs force to police Libya shore BBC News Italy's cabinet has backed sending a mission to Libya to try to stem the influx of migrants. The mission would help Libya “reinforce their capacity to control their borders and national territory”, said Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. It would … Libya Leaders Handshake on Paris Peace Deal Covers Up Deep Fractures The Wire Italy OKs naval support to help Libya fight trafficking Washington Post Eastern Libya force jet shot down by missile over Derna: official Reuters Critical Threats Project  – Financial Times all 117 news articles »

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July 28, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Libya is not a place to live – Returnee narrates how Nigerians do ‘connection work’ – NAIJ.COM

– A returnees has narrated her ordeal in Libya – The returnee Chiamaka Onuoha said she was trying to relocate to Europe through Libya – She said she passed through hell while trying to survive as a house help in Libya One of the Nigerian returnees from Libya has narrated her ordeal while trying to find greener pasture in Europe through the North African country. Chiamaka Onuoha said life was hell for her in Libya as she worked as a house girl for some Arabs to make ends meet. She said she survived on left over foods and slept in a car garage everyday, all through her stay in Libya. READ ALSO: Panic in Rivers community as soldiers allegedly invade, burn 15 houses Onuoha, a native of Isuochi in Abia state said she was already planning her return when she finally managed to get in contact with an Arab man Saheed Ameen who promised her marriage. “During my courtship with this man, I encountered the worst challenge of my life. I suffered mental illness. It all started one night like a headache after I took some food,” Onuoha said. “Later a part of my face was deformed and got dried up. As if that was not enough, I became a destitute, picking things around the city. “Everything I saw on the streets looked like money or valuables to me and I always had the urge to pick them. In short, I suffered madness. All through this time, I was deserted by people around,” she said. READ ALSO: PDP tussle between Sheriff and Makarfi camps escalates as police seals off Lagos partys secretariat The returnee said the man later abandoned her to her ailing self. “At this point, I started thinking I would die in that country because one side of my body had already become deformed; one leg, an arm and one of my eyes were no more functioning,” she said. She said a medical team that came to her aid was unable to diagnose her ailment. She was later healed after receiving treatment through the sponsorship of a christian organization in Libya. The organization after her treatment advised her to approach the International Organization for Migration to facilitate her return to Nigeria. READ ALSO: I am a pilgrim to Abuja House – GEJ’s former aide declares, as he storms UK residence where Buhari is staying (See Photos) She said it was at this point she made up her mind to come back to Nigeria. When life in Libya became a hell for me in Libya, I decided to return to Nigeria and start life anew. Libya is not a good place to live in. As you will agree with me, our people travelled there to make money, but when we got there, what we saw was beyond our imagination. It was a life in hell! Our people are employed to do all sorts of dirty jobs by people who are in some dirty connections, which they call Connection work, which is another term for prostitution. Some of them also work with the Arab people as house maids to earn a living. Our people in Libya suffer a lot. They cannot move freely like in Nigeria. Our women usually stay indoors. It is only our men that go out to work. They are using the laws laid down by Gaddafi to make life difficult for foreigners,” she said. PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigerias #1 new app Onuoha further called on the Nigerian government to make policies that will discourage or prevent Nigerians from traveling to the North African country. “Government should stop our people from going to Libya because that place is hell. I came back by joining those prisoners scheduled to be deported to Nigeria,” she added. NAIJ.com earlier reported that 262 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya. These Nigerian returned aboard a chartered Libyan Airline aircraft at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at 10 pm on Wednesday, July 26. They returned through the help of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya. You can watch this video of ex-prisoner becoming an advocate for former inmates in China Prison: Think it is important? Share with your friends!

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July 28, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya – EUobserver

French president Emmanuel Macron called Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday evening (27 July) to defuse tensions amid accusations of “colonialism” in Libya and economic “protectionism”. The call was “friendly”, Gentiloni’s office said, hours after his government had stated that a French decision to nationalise a shipyard was “serious and incomprehensible”. The French government decided on Thursday to “temporarily” take control of the STX shipyards, in Saint-Nazaire, western France, in order to block a takeover by Italian state-owned company Fincantieri, which was due to take effect on Saturday. Macron rejected an agreement reached under his predecessor, Francois Hollande, that would have seen Fincantieri becoming the owner of 54 percent of STX’s capital. He wanted the French state to own at least 50 percent, something Italy refused. The STX shipyard, which is currently Marjory-owned by a South Korean company, builds cruise ships, but is also able to build warships. Critics of the Italian deal pointed to Fincantieri’s links with China and risks that sensitive French know-how and technology could end up in Chinese hands. “We want to have all the guarantees that this know-how will not one day go to another big global economic power, a non-European one, to be precise,” French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday. “This lack of trust in Italian partners is unacceptable,” the Italian finance minister told French daily Les Echos. But Macron, in his call to Gentiloni, tried to “dissipate any wrong interpretation” of his decision to preempt the shipyard, according to his office. He said that the nationalisation was a “transitory decision during which talks continue in order to find an agreement which would leave a large place for Fincantieri.” The spat over STX comes as France and Italy are also at loggerheads over the situation in Libya and how to manage the migration crisis. On Tuesday, Macron hosted a meeting in Paris between the two main Libyan political leaders, Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar. The two rivals agreed to a ceasefire and to elections next year, but Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano told La Stampa newspaper that “there are too many open formats in Libya, too many mediators, too many initiatives. Italy, a former colonial power in Libya, has been very active in trying to end the war in the country, and Macron’s initiative was considered by the Italian media as a “slap in the face”. And on Thursday, while the French government was announcing STX’s nationalisation, Macron reportedly said that he was going to create “hotspots” to process migrants in Libya. “France can’t move forward with improvised lines,” Alfano said, before Macron’s office denied the reports and insisted that he only wanted to treat asylum requests as closely as possible to the migrants’ countries of origin. Alfano then said he “welcomed” the clarification. Italy, which has received some 95,000 migrants so far this year, mainly from Libya, has been calling for its EU partners’ solidarity. Last month, it asked other EU countries to open their ports to migrants too, but French interior minister Gerard Collomb said this would create a magnet effect and insisted on “stemming the flow beforehand”.

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July 28, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Haftar’s Libya expels 12 Sudan diplomats – News24

Benghazi – Authorities in eastern Libya backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar on Thursday ordered the closure of a Sudanese consulate and the expulsion of 12 diplomats, a pro-Haftar news agency announced. It said the order to shut down the mission in Kufra, an oasis in southern Libya, was taken on the grounds of “damage to Libyan national security”. The consul and 11 consular staff were given 72 hours to leave the country, which has been mired in anarchy since its 2011 revolution that toppled its longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi. Sudan’s embassy in Tripoli is closed but a consulate with limited personnel serves Sudanese living in the capital, according to its Facebook page. Officials in Khartoum have accused Haftar of enlisting rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region to fight alongside his forces, while the field marshal has charged that Sudan supports “terrorists” in Libya. Khartoum recognises the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord of UN-backed prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj, a rival of Haftar and Libya’s eastern authorities supported by his forces. According to officials in Khartoum, dozens of young Sudanese – both men and women – have been killed in Libya fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State jihadist group. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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July 28, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed


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