Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

Libya Sectoral Quarterly Reporting Summary: Health (Reporting Period: May 2017) – ReliefWeb

1 – Key Development(s)/Changes

Initiatiated restructuring process of Health Emergencies program in WCO. Developed the concept note for Emergecy Health Services (EHS) Libya program. WHO followed assigment of the Director of Emergency Managment Department in MoH Libya so that Dr Kamal Arebi was assigned by H.E. Minsiter. This will faciliate the advancement of health emergency management in Libya. Coordinated response to several emergencies in Libya , i.e., Tripoli clashes, bombing in Bergen, Brak al Shatti and Jufra.

2 – Key Success/Progress

Incident report mechanism developed for Tripoli clashes and bombing in Brak al Shatti. An assessment workshop was commissioned by WHO on 9-12 May 2017 in Tunis, as part of the inception phase for the two year project Strengthening Health Information System and Medical Supply Chain Management (SHAMS) funded by the European Union. WHO provided 5 incubators to Al Jala Paediatric Hospital and 1 incubator to El Khadra general Hospital in Libya.

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Libya Sectoral Quarterly Reporting Summary: Health (Reporting Period: May 2017) – ReliefWeb

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‘I will never try it again’: Would-be migrant held for ransom in Libya regrets attempt to reach Europe – CBC.ca

The ground is thick with mud and sewage.Wooden planks and tires scatter the slum, making a precarious pathway.

“We have to walk,” saysOluwaseunFemiIjitola, a 34-year-old taxi driver known as Seun.”No vehicle can pass through.”

There is a look of shame in his eyes as he surveys this forgotten corner of Lagos.

On the water’s edgeof Nigeria’s largest city, in the neighbourhood of Oworonshoki, people live in dire poverty with no sanitation, electricity or any other facilities, in ramshackle shanties covered with dirty tarpaulin and cardboard that barely keeps out the seasonal rains.

The local church in Oworonshoki. (Anna Cunningham/CBC)

Chickens, goats and dog scavenge on mounds of garbage. Empty plastic bottles float on the tide of the Lagos Lagoon.

This is what Ijitolarisked his life to escape when he became one of the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants attempting to cross the Sahara desert to get to Europe and the hope of a better life.

“I have a dream of schooling abroad, and that is why I went to Libya,” he says.

A local elder stops to question us. Strangers don’t come here unless they are officials sent to evict people, he says suspiciously.

Ijitolasays the area is “very, very rough and tough” and unlocks a tiny padlock to his wooden shack. His wife and five-year-old daughter aren’t here.

“I sent them to be with the mother-in-law,” he says. “I cannot feed them.”

Oworonshoki, a slum on the edge of Lagos, Nigeria0:28

Local “area boys” as the criminal gangs that extort money and mete out casual violence are known loiter outside, smoking marijuana and drinking beer.

“I won’t be able to sleep heretonight,” Ijitola says. “They will give me hassle.”

For Ijitola,the decision to leave Nigeria arose from a mundane problem: his carthe family’s only source of income broke down. In late 2016 he decided it was time to seek a better life.

He used what little money had to head north, taking a well-worn route. He took a bus more than 1,100 kilometres to Kano, in northern Nigeria, and from there across the border into Niger.

Children play amongst sewage and debris in the Lagos slum. (Anna Cunningham/CBC)

In Agadez, a transit town on the fringes of the Sahara that has become a staging post for the legions desperate to leave Africa, he paid traffickers to be taken on the treacherous crossing to Libya.

“It was tough. The sun was too much,” he recalled. “We spent five days inside the desert without eating, only drink water, water, water. Anytime we finish, we needed more.”

Crammed into a truck with many others, and with temperatures nearing 50 C during the day, he reached Libya and believed he was closer to his dream.

But his real nightmare had only just begun. In Sebha, nearly 800 kilometres from the capital, Tripoli, the driver sold them all to a man called Ali, who would then demand money for their release.

There has been mounting concern from humanitarian agencies over Libya’s makeshift prisons full of undocumented migrants who then become victims of human traffickers.

The prisons are divided into “ghettos,” Ijitola says. He was in the Nigeria ghetto, where he met people from countries all across West and Central Africa.

(International Organization for Migration)

Women, who were held separately, were forced to sell themselves to their captors to get food, Ijitola says. “Those that refused the guards were raped,” he says, his voice trailing off.

Violence was commonplace: “They used to beat us every day. Day by day they flog us with a pipe” a practice referred to as giving the prisoners “morning tea,” he says.

Ijitola’s story is increasingly common, says Richard Danzinger, of the International Organization for Migration.

The UN body estimates that some 6,000-7,000 undocumented migrants are in detention facilities throughout Libya, where law and order has broken down since the fall ofMoammarGadhafiin 2011.

The IOM says the majority of illegal migrants to Europe come through the central Mediterranean route, via Libya: more than 100,000 in 2016, and already more than 85,000 so far this year.

Ijitola was picked up by Libyan authorities before he could attempt the crossing to Italy. He was sent back to Nigeria. (Anna Cunningham/CBC)

West African governments watch as their young people are being lost to ruthless people-smugglers, who often also have links to organized crime networks involved in the smuggling of arms and drugs.

Seun’s horrific ordeal lasted four long months. During that time he watched others die and thought he’d be next.

His freedom came at a price of $500, a sum his captors wanted deposited directly into their Nigerian bank account. His wife back in Lagos sold their broken car. The man who bought it borrowed the cash after hearing Seun being beaten during a phone call.

Seun had already paid nearly $1,500 to get to Libya for him, a small fortune. After paying the ransom, he spent about a monthworking to fund the next leg of his journeythe boat crossingto Italy when the Libyan authorities caught up with him.

He was deported to Nigeria in April.

“After the whole pain, the suffering, everything, the beating and all that, the work, everything I’ve done in Libya I’m back to Nigeria with nothing,” saysSeun.

Ijitola says he spent five days crammed inside a truck with many others, while temperatures outside neared 50 C. Everyone in the truck was sold for ransom when they reached Libya. (Anna Cunningham/CBC)

He always toldhis daughter that he wanted to give her aneducation, thathe hoped she’d go “further than Ido.”

How he will do that is unclear. He has no car, no job, no money to buy food.

He feels exploited by the people who took his money along the way, calling them “evil,” andlikens the process to “a slave trade buying passengers, buying human beings.”

Africans need to know the true picture, he says.

“I will never try it again in my life,” he says. “If I have opportunity to go to Europe again, it’s going to be in the normal process.”

Seun might now advise against the journey, but Danzinger, of the UN, says most people will ignore his warning and take a chance.

“They will until they are provided with an alternative for a dignified and sustainable life in their community of origin,” he said, “or for an opportunity to migrate regularly.”

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‘I will never try it again’: Would-be migrant held for ransom in Libya regrets attempt to reach Europe – CBC.ca

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Qatar, Sudan, Turkey accused of supporting terrorism in Libya – Khaleej Times

“By supporting terrorists, Qatar has committed crimes against humanity in Libya,” Libyan military spokesman said

Libyan Ahmed al-Mesmary on Tuesday accused Qatar, Sudan and Turkey of supporting terrorism in the conflict-torn Arab country.

“By supporting terrorists, Qatar has committed crimes against humanity in Libya,” Xinhua quoted Mesmary as saying in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

The Libyan spokesman said that he has documents proving the involvement of the three countries of providing Libyan terror militia with logistic provisions, saying he will present the documents to the international community.

“All we need from the international community is to lift the arms embargo imposed on the Libyan army to fight terrorism,” said the Libyan military spokesman.

Qatar responds to list of demands; four Arab nations issue statement

He also said that his army achieved progress and controlled vast areas in Libya despite fighting four major categories: Daesh, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood group and criminal gangs which possess weapons and ammunition.

“In one week, we controlled three large airbases in central Libya,” Mesmary said, adding that his army managed to completely destroy the Daesh in Benghazi.

He clarified that the Daesh presence in Libya is declining while the criminal gangs control large parts in Tripoli.

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‘Take migrants from Libya’ EU Commission tells member states – Sky News

African migrants currently in Libya who qualify as refugees will be legally resettled to the European Union, according to the European Commission.

The surprise announcement, one of a number of “immediate measures” made in a new EU Action Plan, is designed to tackle an increasingly urgent phase in the ongoing Mediterranean migration crisis.

“All actors now need to intensify and accelerate their efforts in line with the increasing urgency of the situation and the commitments undertaken by EU leaders,” the plan states.

The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, published the measures after an overwhelmed Italian government threatened to block entry to Italian ports for all aid ships who rescue and recover migrants trying to cross from Libya to Italy.

Migrant arrivals in Italy are up nearly 19% over the same period last year.

EU figures estimate that 85,183 people, from countries all over Africa, have been rescued while attempting the deadly crossing. Ninety-five percent leave Africa from the Libyan coastline in flimsy boats.

The relocation pledge from Libya is an extension to existing relocation programmes focused on refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, from where 17,000 mostly Syrian refugees have been resettled.

“The Commission will launch a new resettlement pledging exercise in conjunction with the UNHCR starting with those in need of international protection from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan” the new pledge states.

The commission document, called ‘Action plan on measures to support Italy, reduce pressure along the Central Mediterranean route and increase solidarity’ will form the basis of discussions at an EU interior ministers meeting in Estonia on Thursday.

The document contains a series of new measures including renewed impetus on training and equipping Libyan border and coastguard operations, as well as an official code of conduct for charities involved in search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean.

Charities have been accused of encouraging the pull of migrants by providing rescue missions. They deny this, pointing out that the migrants were making the journeys in similar numbers before they operated in the region.

Other measures in the Action Plan include 35m (30.7m) in extra cash for Italy to help the government in Rome deal with the crisis.

Migrants travel to Libya from countries all over Africa – Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan in the east, Mali and Niger in the centre and from Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Gambia in the west.

More than 2,000 are known to have died this year alone according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Around 50 migrants were missing, feared dead, off the coast of Spain on Tuesday. If confirmed, it would make the voyage the deadliest sea crossing in that part of the Mediterranean this year.

Survivors are routinely brought to Italy by charity rescue vessels because Libya is not considered a safe country for them to be returned to.

Charities including the Italian Red Cross have repeatedly warned that Italy’s overcrowded reception centres are in a critical state and cannot cope with the overwhelming number of asylum applications.

Sky News has spoken to numerous migrants who have walked out of the centres after an initial registration process which includes fingerprinting. Many make their way to Rome en-route to northern Europe.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The dire situation in the Mediterranean is neither a new nor a passing reality.”

“We have made enormous progress over the past two and half years towards a genuine EU migration policy but the urgency of the situation now requires us to seriously accelerate our collective work and not leave Italy on its own.

“The focus of our efforts has to be on solidarity – with those fleeing war and persecution and with our Member States under the most pressure.

“At the same time, we need to act, in support of Libya, to fight smugglers and enhance border control to reduce the number of people taking hazardous journeys to Europe.”

Last September, Sky News witnessed the perilous crossings from the deck of a rescue vessel run by the charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).

In the nine months since then, the situation has deteriorated.

MOAS and other charities who operate rescue vessels have repeatedly called for “safe and legal routes” for migrants so that they don’t resort to deadly sea crossings fuelled by people traffickers.

None of the charities who operate the rescue ships offered any immediate reaction.

Expanding on the new resettlement plan, a Commission spokesperson told Sky News: “We support resettlement financially. The amount foreseen for this new call is 377.5m (331m).

“EU Member States will receive a lump sum of 10,000 per resettled person if they resettle from the priority countries listed (Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan).”

This means that the Commission is envisaging the resettlement of about 37,000 people from those five priority countries.

However, the Action Plan throws up numerous new questions.

:: How many EU counties will commit to the resettlement plan? The EU Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “I count on solidarity from all member states including the United Kingdom.”

:: Who will determine which migrants in Libya or any of the other priority countries are genuine refugees and eligible for resettlement?

:: What happens if or when the 37,000 cap is reached?

:: How does the EU stop those not eligible for refugee status from coming to Europe? According to the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR), only 30% of the people who arrive in Italy are eligible for asylum, the rest being so-called economic migrants who should be sent back home.

:: Will the resettlement plan encourage more migrants to travel to Libya or the other priority counties?

:: How can Libyan border guard and coastguard operations be improved in a lawless country with no nationally functioning government?

Three competing authorities, including the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), are vying for power in Libya amid increasingly lawlessness.

Testimony from migrants talking to Sky News suggests arbitrary detention as well as forced labour, sexual violence and torture are all common.

In a statement, Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said: “Long-term goals, however laudable, cannot obscure the current stark reality: with abusive conditions, lack of asylum system, and conflicts there, Libyan authorities cannot effectively guarantee rights or protect people.”

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‘Take migrants from Libya’ EU Commission tells member states – Sky News

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News Roundup – Tue, Jul 4, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Tripoli Medical Center (TMC) received Monday the second cargo of blood diseases and tumors’ medicines for children. National Oil Corporation said the medicines were given to the TMC under the sponsorship of Italian Eni Oil Company as part of development and social responsibility for foreign companies working in Libya.

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Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos media office said the operations room securing Sirte had been permitted to reopen the roads of corniche in the city after demining woks ended, thus announcing Sirte coastline as fully secure and ready for beach-goers.

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Libyan authorities handed over two IS Tunisian nationals to their Tunisian counterpart via Ras Ajdair border crossing. According to Tunis Afrique Presse, the two were arrested in Libya’s Al-Khums city after running away from Sirte and they will be sent to Tunisian relevant authorities for investigation.

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Head of High Council of State (HCS), Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli, and a number of members will travel on Friday to The Hague, Mousa Faraj – the head of the HCS committee for amending the Libyan Political Agreement – said. He added that the invitation came from Holland so that a meeting with HoR members from eastern Libya in the presence of the new UN envoy Ghassan Salame can take place to discuss the political process.

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A random bomb fell in the middle of Al-Salmani Martyrs school in Benghazi this afternoon leaving only material damage to stores nearby the school. The exams office in Benghazi had to transfer middle school exams to Al-Waed school in Al-Salmani area.

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Member of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Hamza, said he was contacting relevant authorities to help release the two Libyans arrested in Saudi Arabia. The media office of the UN-proposed government said Hamza met a delegation from Al-Zawiya elders and HoR representatives and discussed with them the latest about the two nationals.

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Fursan Janzour Brigade said it had finished evacuating the Tourist Village and closed it until a further notice. The village was evacuated from all renters and residents as it needs service and repair works by a company contracted by Janzour Municipality.

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HoR member, Fathi Bashagha, said there is no article in the Libyan Political Agreement that specifies duration for the expiration of the Presidential Council, adding that the time assigned to the UN-proposed government starts ticking away once it is approved by the HoR, which has not happened yet. He also said that Egypt is biased to one party over the other in Libya, stressing that they agreed with the Egyptian committee to have a Libyan united military institution under a civilian leadership, which necessitates contact between western and eastern officers.

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News Roundup – Tue, Jul 4, 2017 – The Libya Observer

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Rep. Brat deletes photo of ‘Hillary for US Ambassador to Libya’ sign – CNN

“Sign says it all,” the since-deleted post was captioned.

The sign appeared to be mocking the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and suggesting that she herself be put in danger now.

Clinton was serving secretary of state during the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the assault. Clinton has faced significant criticism from Republicans who accused her of being personally responsible for security lapses in Benghazi.

A Clinton spokesman did not immediately return a CNN request for comment Monday night. Brat’s office also didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Still, Brat rejected the idea that the sign in any way suggested Clinton be put in danger.

“No, that’s — that’s laughable, right?” he told the Richmond-based news station.

In a later post to his Instagram account, Brat said he thought the sign has been misinterpreted.

“Dear Instagram friends, an earlier pic today was being misinterpreted so it has been removed,” the post read.

Asked by the new station if the sign bothered him at all, Brat said, “No, I thought the guy was just getting at the Benghazi injustice that everybody knows is a tragedy — it had to do with all these tapes and stuff,” according to the station’s write-up of the interview.

The congressman did not offer a clear explanation as to why the sign said Clinton should be ambassador to Libya.

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Libya oil output at 4-year high adds pressure on Opec – Gulf Times

Libyas oil production has climbed to more than 1mn bpd for the first time in four years, further complicating Opecs struggle to regain control of the oil market. The North African country is pumping 1.005mn bpd, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they arent authorised to speak to the media. That would be the highest since June 2013, when Libya pumped 1.13mn bpd, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The increase adds to the challenge that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers face after agreeing in May to extend their output-cuts deal to counter a supply glut and slippage in prices. Libya, like Nigeria, is exempted from the cuts deal, though its oil production and exports remain vulnerable to disruptions by armed factions and restive workers. Libyaa output has rebounded from only 690,000 bpd at the start of the year, with Sharara, the countrys largest oil field, resuming production last month. State National Oil Corp chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in April he wanted to boost national output to 1.1mn bpd by August. Given ongoing political risks, however, production will probably fall short of government targets for the third quarter, Jan Edelmann, commodities analyst at HSH Nordbank AG in Hamburg, said on Sunday by email. Libyas output is seen rising 300,000 bpd on average for the third quarter compared with the first quarter, he said. Sharara closed on June 7 for two days due to a protest by workers over a colleagues death at the field, halting about 270,000 bpd, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Other fields have reopened, most recently the Abu Attifel deposit which resumed production last month and is now pumping about 81,000 bpd, according to the person who gave the latest production figure. The Majid oil field restarted on July 1, with output at 4,500 bpd. Sharara has been also steady at 270,000 bpd, the person said. Libya, with Africas biggest crude reserves, was pumping about 1.6mn bpd before a political uprising in 2011. The ouster and killing that year of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi led to a collapse in central authority, and many foreign investors withdrew as armed groups fought for control of oil facilities.

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Rep. Brat removes online post calling for Hillary Clinton to be sent to Libya – Richmond.com

Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, removed a post from his Twitter and Instagram accounts in which he endorsed the idea of sending former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya to be the ambassador.

Brat said a new staffer made the post without his approval.

The picture was taken at a gun show in Fredericksburg on Saturday; Brat later posted that he had taken it down.

In the photo, Brat stood smiling next to a man holding a sign that said “Hillary for U.S. ambassador to Libya.”

Brat’s comment read, “Sign says it all.”

Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed in a raid on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September 2012. Many conservatives blame then-Secretary of State Clinton for their deaths. The House Select Committee on Benghazi issued an 800-page report following an investigation.

Brat took heat from critics on social media over his post.

Brat said in an interview Monday that a staffer made the post.

“Ive got new staffers on board and theyre constantly putting posts up on Facebook and whatever, so I didnt vet that,” he said.

Brat said he told his staff to remove it because a staffer told him “people are interpreting it in crazy left, far-left-land logic thats going on right now across the web.”

Brat has repeatedly said he strives to not speak ill of anyone. And he said if someone looks at his Facebook page, they’ll learn that it’s the left that’s using the vitriol.

“Who actually is using the vitriolic language? Me or the hard left? And the answer is right now online,” he said.

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Gunmen attack Tripoli-based Minister of Education in south Libya – The Libya Observer

A statement on the Ministry of Education’s official page on Facebook explained the horrific ordeal that struck the convoy of the Minister of Education of the UN-proposed government earlier on Monday.

The convoy of Minister Othman Abdul-Jaleel was subjected to heavy fire at the Checkpoint 17, which is situated at southern entrance to the city of Sabha when the minister was en route to the city of Murzuq.

The attackers were said to have attempted to detain the minister and his deputy, but their guards managed to extract them from the danger zone. Other members of the ministers entourage were detained for about an hour until local elders intervened and helped secure the release of the detained group.

The minister and his team continued their journey to Murzuq after the ordeal.

Five Presidential Council ministers embarked in a tour to south Libya early this week to attend a ceremony to mark the handover of to the Security Directorate of Sabha, in addition to other visits to government institutions.

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Libya Sectoral Quarterly Reporting Summary: Health (Reporting Period: May 2017) – ReliefWeb

1 – Key Development(s)/Changes Initiatiated restructuring process of Health Emergencies program in WCO. Developed the concept note for Emergecy Health Services (EHS) Libya program. WHO followed assigment of the Director of Emergency Managment Department in MoH Libya so that Dr Kamal Arebi was assigned by H.E. Minsiter. This will faciliate the advancement of health emergency management in Libya. Coordinated response to several emergencies in Libya , i.e., Tripoli clashes, bombing in Bergen, Brak al Shatti and Jufra. 2 – Key Success/Progress Incident report mechanism developed for Tripoli clashes and bombing in Brak al Shatti. An assessment workshop was commissioned by WHO on 9-12 May 2017 in Tunis, as part of the inception phase for the two year project Strengthening Health Information System and Medical Supply Chain Management (SHAMS) funded by the European Union. WHO provided 5 incubators to Al Jala Paediatric Hospital and 1 incubator to El Khadra general Hospital in Libya.

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‘I will never try it again’: Would-be migrant held for ransom in Libya regrets attempt to reach Europe – CBC.ca

The ground is thick with mud and sewage.Wooden planks and tires scatter the slum, making a precarious pathway. “We have to walk,” saysOluwaseunFemiIjitola, a 34-year-old taxi driver known as Seun.”No vehicle can pass through.” There is a look of shame in his eyes as he surveys this forgotten corner of Lagos. On the water’s edgeof Nigeria’s largest city, in the neighbourhood of Oworonshoki, people live in dire poverty with no sanitation, electricity or any other facilities, in ramshackle shanties covered with dirty tarpaulin and cardboard that barely keeps out the seasonal rains. The local church in Oworonshoki. (Anna Cunningham/CBC) Chickens, goats and dog scavenge on mounds of garbage. Empty plastic bottles float on the tide of the Lagos Lagoon. This is what Ijitolarisked his life to escape when he became one of the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants attempting to cross the Sahara desert to get to Europe and the hope of a better life. “I have a dream of schooling abroad, and that is why I went to Libya,” he says. A local elder stops to question us. Strangers don’t come here unless they are officials sent to evict people, he says suspiciously. Ijitolasays the area is “very, very rough and tough” and unlocks a tiny padlock to his wooden shack. His wife and five-year-old daughter aren’t here. “I sent them to be with the mother-in-law,” he says. “I cannot feed them.” Oworonshoki, a slum on the edge of Lagos, Nigeria0:28 Local “area boys” as the criminal gangs that extort money and mete out casual violence are known loiter outside, smoking marijuana and drinking beer. “I won’t be able to sleep heretonight,” Ijitola says. “They will give me hassle.” For Ijitola,the decision to leave Nigeria arose from a mundane problem: his carthe family’s only source of income broke down. In late 2016 he decided it was time to seek a better life. He used what little money had to head north, taking a well-worn route. He took a bus more than 1,100 kilometres to Kano, in northern Nigeria, and from there across the border into Niger. Children play amongst sewage and debris in the Lagos slum. (Anna Cunningham/CBC) In Agadez, a transit town on the fringes of the Sahara that has become a staging post for the legions desperate to leave Africa, he paid traffickers to be taken on the treacherous crossing to Libya. “It was tough. The sun was too much,” he recalled. “We spent five days inside the desert without eating, only drink water, water, water. Anytime we finish, we needed more.” Crammed into a truck with many others, and with temperatures nearing 50 C during the day, he reached Libya and believed he was closer to his dream. But his real nightmare had only just begun. In Sebha, nearly 800 kilometres from the capital, Tripoli, the driver sold them all to a man called Ali, who would then demand money for their release. There has been mounting concern from humanitarian agencies over Libya’s makeshift prisons full of undocumented migrants who then become victims of human traffickers. The prisons are divided into “ghettos,” Ijitola says. He was in the Nigeria ghetto, where he met people from countries all across West and Central Africa. (International Organization for Migration) Women, who were held separately, were forced to sell themselves to their captors to get food, Ijitola says. “Those that refused the guards were raped,” he says, his voice trailing off. Violence was commonplace: “They used to beat us every day. Day by day they flog us with a pipe” a practice referred to as giving the prisoners “morning tea,” he says. Ijitola’s story is increasingly common, says Richard Danzinger, of the International Organization for Migration. The UN body estimates that some 6,000-7,000 undocumented migrants are in detention facilities throughout Libya, where law and order has broken down since the fall ofMoammarGadhafiin 2011. The IOM says the majority of illegal migrants to Europe come through the central Mediterranean route, via Libya: more than 100,000 in 2016, and already more than 85,000 so far this year. Ijitola was picked up by Libyan authorities before he could attempt the crossing to Italy. He was sent back to Nigeria. (Anna Cunningham/CBC) West African governments watch as their young people are being lost to ruthless people-smugglers, who often also have links to organized crime networks involved in the smuggling of arms and drugs. Seun’s horrific ordeal lasted four long months. During that time he watched others die and thought he’d be next. His freedom came at a price of $500, a sum his captors wanted deposited directly into their Nigerian bank account. His wife back in Lagos sold their broken car. The man who bought it borrowed the cash after hearing Seun being beaten during a phone call. Seun had already paid nearly $1,500 to get to Libya for him, a small fortune. After paying the ransom, he spent about a monthworking to fund the next leg of his journeythe boat crossingto Italy when the Libyan authorities caught up with him. He was deported to Nigeria in April. “After the whole pain, the suffering, everything, the beating and all that, the work, everything I’ve done in Libya I’m back to Nigeria with nothing,” saysSeun. Ijitola says he spent five days crammed inside a truck with many others, while temperatures outside neared 50 C. Everyone in the truck was sold for ransom when they reached Libya. (Anna Cunningham/CBC) He always toldhis daughter that he wanted to give her aneducation, thathe hoped she’d go “further than Ido.” How he will do that is unclear. He has no car, no job, no money to buy food. He feels exploited by the people who took his money along the way, calling them “evil,” andlikens the process to “a slave trade buying passengers, buying human beings.” Africans need to know the true picture, he says. “I will never try it again in my life,” he says. “If I have opportunity to go to Europe again, it’s going to be in the normal process.” Seun might now advise against the journey, but Danzinger, of the UN, says most people will ignore his warning and take a chance. “They will until they are provided with an alternative for a dignified and sustainable life in their community of origin,” he said, “or for an opportunity to migrate regularly.”

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July 5, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Qatar, Sudan, Turkey accused of supporting terrorism in Libya – Khaleej Times

“By supporting terrorists, Qatar has committed crimes against humanity in Libya,” Libyan military spokesman said Libyan Ahmed al-Mesmary on Tuesday accused Qatar, Sudan and Turkey of supporting terrorism in the conflict-torn Arab country. “By supporting terrorists, Qatar has committed crimes against humanity in Libya,” Xinhua quoted Mesmary as saying in the Egyptian capital Cairo. The Libyan spokesman said that he has documents proving the involvement of the three countries of providing Libyan terror militia with logistic provisions, saying he will present the documents to the international community. “All we need from the international community is to lift the arms embargo imposed on the Libyan army to fight terrorism,” said the Libyan military spokesman. Qatar responds to list of demands; four Arab nations issue statement He also said that his army achieved progress and controlled vast areas in Libya despite fighting four major categories: Daesh, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood group and criminal gangs which possess weapons and ammunition. “In one week, we controlled three large airbases in central Libya,” Mesmary said, adding that his army managed to completely destroy the Daesh in Benghazi. He clarified that the Daesh presence in Libya is declining while the criminal gangs control large parts in Tripoli.

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July 5, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

‘Take migrants from Libya’ EU Commission tells member states – Sky News

African migrants currently in Libya who qualify as refugees will be legally resettled to the European Union, according to the European Commission. The surprise announcement, one of a number of “immediate measures” made in a new EU Action Plan, is designed to tackle an increasingly urgent phase in the ongoing Mediterranean migration crisis. “All actors now need to intensify and accelerate their efforts in line with the increasing urgency of the situation and the commitments undertaken by EU leaders,” the plan states. The Commission, the executive arm of the EU, published the measures after an overwhelmed Italian government threatened to block entry to Italian ports for all aid ships who rescue and recover migrants trying to cross from Libya to Italy. Migrant arrivals in Italy are up nearly 19% over the same period last year. EU figures estimate that 85,183 people, from countries all over Africa, have been rescued while attempting the deadly crossing. Ninety-five percent leave Africa from the Libyan coastline in flimsy boats. The relocation pledge from Libya is an extension to existing relocation programmes focused on refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, from where 17,000 mostly Syrian refugees have been resettled. “The Commission will launch a new resettlement pledging exercise in conjunction with the UNHCR starting with those in need of international protection from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan” the new pledge states. The commission document, called ‘Action plan on measures to support Italy, reduce pressure along the Central Mediterranean route and increase solidarity’ will form the basis of discussions at an EU interior ministers meeting in Estonia on Thursday. The document contains a series of new measures including renewed impetus on training and equipping Libyan border and coastguard operations, as well as an official code of conduct for charities involved in search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean. Charities have been accused of encouraging the pull of migrants by providing rescue missions. They deny this, pointing out that the migrants were making the journeys in similar numbers before they operated in the region. Other measures in the Action Plan include 35m (30.7m) in extra cash for Italy to help the government in Rome deal with the crisis. Migrants travel to Libya from countries all over Africa – Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan in the east, Mali and Niger in the centre and from Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Gambia in the west. More than 2,000 are known to have died this year alone according to the International Organisation for Migration. Around 50 migrants were missing, feared dead, off the coast of Spain on Tuesday. If confirmed, it would make the voyage the deadliest sea crossing in that part of the Mediterranean this year. Survivors are routinely brought to Italy by charity rescue vessels because Libya is not considered a safe country for them to be returned to. Charities including the Italian Red Cross have repeatedly warned that Italy’s overcrowded reception centres are in a critical state and cannot cope with the overwhelming number of asylum applications. Sky News has spoken to numerous migrants who have walked out of the centres after an initial registration process which includes fingerprinting. Many make their way to Rome en-route to northern Europe. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The dire situation in the Mediterranean is neither a new nor a passing reality.” “We have made enormous progress over the past two and half years towards a genuine EU migration policy but the urgency of the situation now requires us to seriously accelerate our collective work and not leave Italy on its own. “The focus of our efforts has to be on solidarity – with those fleeing war and persecution and with our Member States under the most pressure. “At the same time, we need to act, in support of Libya, to fight smugglers and enhance border control to reduce the number of people taking hazardous journeys to Europe.” Last September, Sky News witnessed the perilous crossings from the deck of a rescue vessel run by the charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS). In the nine months since then, the situation has deteriorated. MOAS and other charities who operate rescue vessels have repeatedly called for “safe and legal routes” for migrants so that they don’t resort to deadly sea crossings fuelled by people traffickers. None of the charities who operate the rescue ships offered any immediate reaction. Expanding on the new resettlement plan, a Commission spokesperson told Sky News: “We support resettlement financially. The amount foreseen for this new call is 377.5m (331m). “EU Member States will receive a lump sum of 10,000 per resettled person if they resettle from the priority countries listed (Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan).” This means that the Commission is envisaging the resettlement of about 37,000 people from those five priority countries. However, the Action Plan throws up numerous new questions. :: How many EU counties will commit to the resettlement plan? The EU Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “I count on solidarity from all member states including the United Kingdom.” :: Who will determine which migrants in Libya or any of the other priority countries are genuine refugees and eligible for resettlement? :: What happens if or when the 37,000 cap is reached? :: How does the EU stop those not eligible for refugee status from coming to Europe? According to the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR), only 30% of the people who arrive in Italy are eligible for asylum, the rest being so-called economic migrants who should be sent back home. :: Will the resettlement plan encourage more migrants to travel to Libya or the other priority counties? :: How can Libyan border guard and coastguard operations be improved in a lawless country with no nationally functioning government? Three competing authorities, including the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), are vying for power in Libya amid increasingly lawlessness. Testimony from migrants talking to Sky News suggests arbitrary detention as well as forced labour, sexual violence and torture are all common. In a statement, Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said: “Long-term goals, however laudable, cannot obscure the current stark reality: with abusive conditions, lack of asylum system, and conflicts there, Libyan authorities cannot effectively guarantee rights or protect people.”

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

News Roundup – Tue, Jul 4, 2017 – The Libya Observer

__________________ __________________ _________________ __________________ Tripoli Medical Center (TMC) received Monday the second cargo of blood diseases and tumors’ medicines for children. National Oil Corporation said the medicines were given to the TMC under the sponsorship of Italian Eni Oil Company as part of development and social responsibility for foreign companies working in Libya. __________________ Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos media office said the operations room securing Sirte had been permitted to reopen the roads of corniche in the city after demining woks ended, thus announcing Sirte coastline as fully secure and ready for beach-goers. __________________ Libyan authorities handed over two IS Tunisian nationals to their Tunisian counterpart via Ras Ajdair border crossing. According to Tunis Afrique Presse, the two were arrested in Libya’s Al-Khums city after running away from Sirte and they will be sent to Tunisian relevant authorities for investigation. __________________ Head of High Council of State (HCS), Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli, and a number of members will travel on Friday to The Hague, Mousa Faraj – the head of the HCS committee for amending the Libyan Political Agreement – said. He added that the invitation came from Holland so that a meeting with HoR members from eastern Libya in the presence of the new UN envoy Ghassan Salame can take place to discuss the political process. __________________ A random bomb fell in the middle of Al-Salmani Martyrs school in Benghazi this afternoon leaving only material damage to stores nearby the school. The exams office in Benghazi had to transfer middle school exams to Al-Waed school in Al-Salmani area. __________________ Member of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Hamza, said he was contacting relevant authorities to help release the two Libyans arrested in Saudi Arabia. The media office of the UN-proposed government said Hamza met a delegation from Al-Zawiya elders and HoR representatives and discussed with them the latest about the two nationals. __________________ Fursan Janzour Brigade said it had finished evacuating the Tourist Village and closed it until a further notice. The village was evacuated from all renters and residents as it needs service and repair works by a company contracted by Janzour Municipality. __________________ HoR member, Fathi Bashagha, said there is no article in the Libyan Political Agreement that specifies duration for the expiration of the Presidential Council, adding that the time assigned to the UN-proposed government starts ticking away once it is approved by the HoR, which has not happened yet. He also said that Egypt is biased to one party over the other in Libya, stressing that they agreed with the Egyptian committee to have a Libyan united military institution under a civilian leadership, which necessitates contact between western and eastern officers.

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Rep. Brat deletes photo of ‘Hillary for US Ambassador to Libya’ sign – CNN

“Sign says it all,” the since-deleted post was captioned. The sign appeared to be mocking the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and suggesting that she herself be put in danger now. Clinton was serving secretary of state during the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the assault. Clinton has faced significant criticism from Republicans who accused her of being personally responsible for security lapses in Benghazi. A Clinton spokesman did not immediately return a CNN request for comment Monday night. Brat’s office also didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Still, Brat rejected the idea that the sign in any way suggested Clinton be put in danger. “No, that’s — that’s laughable, right?” he told the Richmond-based news station. In a later post to his Instagram account, Brat said he thought the sign has been misinterpreted. “Dear Instagram friends, an earlier pic today was being misinterpreted so it has been removed,” the post read. Asked by the new station if the sign bothered him at all, Brat said, “No, I thought the guy was just getting at the Benghazi injustice that everybody knows is a tragedy — it had to do with all these tapes and stuff,” according to the station’s write-up of the interview. The congressman did not offer a clear explanation as to why the sign said Clinton should be ambassador to Libya.

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Libya oil output at 4-year high adds pressure on Opec – Gulf Times

Libyas oil production has climbed to more than 1mn bpd for the first time in four years, further complicating Opecs struggle to regain control of the oil market. The North African country is pumping 1.005mn bpd, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they arent authorised to speak to the media. That would be the highest since June 2013, when Libya pumped 1.13mn bpd, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The increase adds to the challenge that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers face after agreeing in May to extend their output-cuts deal to counter a supply glut and slippage in prices. Libya, like Nigeria, is exempted from the cuts deal, though its oil production and exports remain vulnerable to disruptions by armed factions and restive workers. Libyaa output has rebounded from only 690,000 bpd at the start of the year, with Sharara, the countrys largest oil field, resuming production last month. State National Oil Corp chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in April he wanted to boost national output to 1.1mn bpd by August. Given ongoing political risks, however, production will probably fall short of government targets for the third quarter, Jan Edelmann, commodities analyst at HSH Nordbank AG in Hamburg, said on Sunday by email. Libyas output is seen rising 300,000 bpd on average for the third quarter compared with the first quarter, he said. Sharara closed on June 7 for two days due to a protest by workers over a colleagues death at the field, halting about 270,000 bpd, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Other fields have reopened, most recently the Abu Attifel deposit which resumed production last month and is now pumping about 81,000 bpd, according to the person who gave the latest production figure. The Majid oil field restarted on July 1, with output at 4,500 bpd. Sharara has been also steady at 270,000 bpd, the person said. Libya, with Africas biggest crude reserves, was pumping about 1.6mn bpd before a political uprising in 2011. The ouster and killing that year of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi led to a collapse in central authority, and many foreign investors withdrew as armed groups fought for control of oil facilities.

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July 3, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Rep. Brat removes online post calling for Hillary Clinton to be sent to Libya – Richmond.com

Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, removed a post from his Twitter and Instagram accounts in which he endorsed the idea of sending former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya to be the ambassador. Brat said a new staffer made the post without his approval. The picture was taken at a gun show in Fredericksburg on Saturday; Brat later posted that he had taken it down. In the photo, Brat stood smiling next to a man holding a sign that said “Hillary for U.S. ambassador to Libya.” Brat’s comment read, “Sign says it all.” Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed in a raid on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September 2012. Many conservatives blame then-Secretary of State Clinton for their deaths. The House Select Committee on Benghazi issued an 800-page report following an investigation. Brat took heat from critics on social media over his post. Brat said in an interview Monday that a staffer made the post. “Ive got new staffers on board and theyre constantly putting posts up on Facebook and whatever, so I didnt vet that,” he said. Brat said he told his staff to remove it because a staffer told him “people are interpreting it in crazy left, far-left-land logic thats going on right now across the web.” Brat has repeatedly said he strives to not speak ill of anyone. And he said if someone looks at his Facebook page, they’ll learn that it’s the left that’s using the vitriol. “Who actually is using the vitriolic language? Me or the hard left? And the answer is right now online,” he said.

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July 3, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Gunmen attack Tripoli-based Minister of Education in south Libya – The Libya Observer

A statement on the Ministry of Education’s official page on Facebook explained the horrific ordeal that struck the convoy of the Minister of Education of the UN-proposed government earlier on Monday. The convoy of Minister Othman Abdul-Jaleel was subjected to heavy fire at the Checkpoint 17, which is situated at southern entrance to the city of Sabha when the minister was en route to the city of Murzuq. The attackers were said to have attempted to detain the minister and his deputy, but their guards managed to extract them from the danger zone. Other members of the ministers entourage were detained for about an hour until local elders intervened and helped secure the release of the detained group. The minister and his team continued their journey to Murzuq after the ordeal. Five Presidential Council ministers embarked in a tour to south Libya early this week to attend a ceremony to mark the handover of to the Security Directorate of Sabha, in addition to other visits to government institutions.

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July 3, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed


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