Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

U-12 Libyan chess player ranked number 1 in Africa – The Libya Observer


The Libya Observer
U-12 Libyan chess player ranked number 1 in Africa
The Libya Observer
Libyan chess player Yousef Al-Hassadi has been ranked number 1 under the age of 12 at the African level, according to Chess-DB, a web-based database of chess players around the world. But despite raising the flag of Libya high in international sporting …

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Canary Wharf victim reassured by Donaldson on Libya-IRA compensation – Belfast Newsletter

07:59 Monday 03 July 2017

The leader of an English terror victims group has welcomed assurances from the DUP that they will be pressing hard for compensation for victims, despite the issue not being mentioned in the Tory-DUP deal.

Docklands Victims Association chairman Jonathan Ganesh was injured in the IRAs 1996 Canary Wharf bomb, which used Semtex supplied to the IRA by Libya.

Some victims and their representatives expressed disappointment that there was no mention in the Tory-DUP deal of their campaign to secure compensation from Libya for arming the IRA.

But Mr Ganesh has now welcomed assurances given to him by DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

The MP said in an email that the DUP has many members that are themselves innocent victims of terrorism from the Troubles: This includes our party leader Arlene Foster who not only was injured in an IRA bomb attack on her school bus but also witnessed her father having been shot by the IRA.

The suggestion from some that the DUP would abandon innocent victims is deeply offensive to us and is completely and utterly wrong.

His party has supported compensation from the outset and he and Nigel Dodds have visited Libya and met government frequently about the issue, he said.

He added: In our current discussions with the government, we have raised in two separate meetings the need for this issue to be addressed in the current parliamentary term.

We have secured a commitment from the government to convene a further meeting involving the relevant minister(s) to discuss how we might take the matter forward, including on the issue of frozen Libyan assets in the UK.

We are establishing a coordination committee between our two parties that will enable this type of issue to be addressed at ministerial level.

The reason this matter is not explicitly mentioned in the agreement between the DUP and the government is because we have not yet reached an agreed position or established the legal basis for accessing Libyan assets given that these are the subject of international sanctions and covered by international law.

We remain committed to supporting the wider campaign by innocent victims to secure recompense and reparation from Libya and will seek to use our influence to secure a positive outcome.

Mr Ganesh said he felt reassured.

I have been working closely with Jeffrey and Nigel for 10 years and feel good that they have put this in writing, he said.

Lawyer Matt Jury, who is acting for Libya-IRA victims, initially expressed disappointment with the deal.

The DUP has assured us that the issue of compensation to the variety of victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism throughout the UK is very much on the agenda and that the government has agreed a mechanism through which discussions will be taken forward at a ministerial level on how a resolution with Libya can be best negotiated, he said.

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With Funds From Home Cut off, a Libyan Student Turns to Fundraising to Cover Kent State Tuition – WKSU News

Paying for school is a challenge for most every college student, but for students in the U.S. from Libya, many have the money but can’t access it.Libya has become increasingly unstable and it’s harder for citizens to get money to the U.S.

WOSU’s Esther Honig reports on one student from Kent State University who is doing all he can to complete his degree before he’s forced to drop out.

Libyan student’s struggles

A few blocks from the Kent State University campus, IbrahimAlbadrishares a small apartment with a roommate and his orange tabby namedZena.The living room is sparsely furnished: Theres a couch, a dining room table and a few fold-out chairs. In the corner, the red and green Libya flag hangs on the wall.

Albadris just come from his job at the schools IT departmentaccording to his student visa, hes only permitted to work for the school — and for no more than 20 hours a week. He folds open his laptop to check on his online fundraising campaign.

Bad but how bad? He says school administrators suggested the idea to him when it became evident his money for tuition would not arrive on time.

I knew Libya was bad, Albadri says. I just didnt know it was that bad.

Paying for college is a challenge for nearly any student. In his case,Albedri has the money, he just cant access it. As Albadri’s home country devolves into increasing instability, it has become all but impossible for citizens living abroad to access their money held in Libyan banks.

In the first few days, Albadri’sGoFundMe campaigndid receive several donations. A month later, though, he’s still tens of thousands of dollars away from his goal of $50,000.

It may seem farfetched, but this is Albadris last option, and hes determined to continue school in the fall. He still hasnt considered what hell do with his cat if hes forced to leave in August.

Limits on currency leaving the country Albadri came to the U.S. in 2014 to study computer engineering. At the time the conflict in Libya had subsided, but as Albadri finished his sophomore year, fighting resumed. The county started to limit the amount of currency leaving its borders.

Administrators at Kent State say theyve seen this issue before. Right now, both their Iraqi and Libyan students face a similar struggle. Theyve managed to put some in touch with emergency loans or allowed them to enroll in good faith, hoping the money will eventually arrive.

Of course, theres not much else the school can do.

Doesn’t look like the money’s going to come from Libya, because it’s just getting worse and worse, Albadri says.

Threats back home At this point, Albadri owes the university tuition for two semesters. In March, his inability to pay meant he was forced to drop his classes. If by August he is still unable to produce the necessary funds, he won’t be allowed to enroll and will subsequently lose his student visa.

Libya is not an ideal destination for a young person trying to get an education. Albadri says in the city where he lives, people dont leave their homes at night. There have been kidnappings and the local law enforcement is unresponsive.

Albadri says his cousin was kidnapped; a fisherman found his body chopped into small pieces.

Any of my friends that I call, they tell me dont come back,” Albadri says.

Libya no longer hosts an American embassy, and the Trump administration has complicated travel from Muslim-majority countries including Libya.

JonathanWiner, a former special envoy for Libya, says if Albadri loses his student visa, theres a good chance he wont be able to get another one.

If I was a Libyan student who had the right to be here, I would try and make it work, too, Winer says.

A meltdown for the Arab spring Its been several years since the country had an effective government, Winer says. In 2011, Arab-Spring protests led to the ouster of former dictatorMuammer Gaddafi and two subsequent civil wars. The intense conflicts have subsided, but basic services like healthcare, education and electricity are crumbling.

Winer says the collapse of the oil industry has led to an economic crisis. The country has spent more money than it is able to generate, and the government is afraid of running out of hard currency.

If they run out of dollars, the country goes into immediate humanitarian catastrophe,Winer says.

Helping back home About 1,500 students from Libya go to school in the U.S., and their education is critical to the countys future. Winer says that if more young people are able to earn their degrees — whether in the States, the European Union or Canada — they can return to their country and help rebuild it.

I would like to see as many Libyan students as possible to complete educations here, Winer says.

It may be too late for Albadri, whos only a year away from graduating. Back home, he wont have access to the same level of education. Poor internet, unreliable electricity and lack of computers means students there often learn to code with pen and paper.

“You know when you [have] a dream, and youre halfway through and you wake up from the dream?” Albadri says. “Thats basically what will happen.”

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With Funds From Home Cut off, a Libyan Student Turns to Fundraising to Cover Kent State Tuition – WKSU News

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Italian company to launch large projects in Libya’s Zliten – The Libya Observer


The Libya Observer
Italian company to launch large projects in Libya's Zliten
The Libya Observer
Zliten city's municipality said MST Technology from Italy had talked of intentions to carry out large investments in the city. On its Facebook page, the municipality said MST Technology delivered proposals to set up two projects – one to build a power

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Historical amnesia and Europe’s migration relations with Libya – Open Democracy

Migrants are seen before being rescued by “Save the Children” NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast, June 15, 2017. Picture by STEFANO RELLANDINI/Reuters/PA Images. All rights reserved.The debate around migration in the Mediterranean suffers from a puzzling amnesia, particularly from critics of Europes dealings in Libya. For example, recently Refugees Deeply published a piece stating the EU must not fuel the hellish situation there. While moral outrage about outsourcing human rights abuses is justified and indeed crucial, critics would do well to understand its historical and political context if they are to offer alternatives.

Cutting deals with transit states to stop migrants has always been central to EU policy. Irregular migration was a top concern as Europe developed its open border regime and foreign policy in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Foreign policy was driven by domestic political distaste for asylum and uncontrolled migration given new South-North migration dynamics, wars in the former Yugoslavia, and EU enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe.

In Libya, Europe faced a confluence of two major strategic concerns: controlling migration and diversifying energy supplies away from Russia. Then as now, Italy took the lead. The focus allowed Qaddafi to leverage his geopolitical position and rehabilitate his reputation through what the ICMPD describes as Italys increased and calculated pro-Libya advocacy.

Italy and Libya first signed a Memorandum of Intent around trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and migrant smuggling in 2000. In July 2003 they agreed to exchange information on migration flows, though the text of the agreement was never made public.

Italian advocacy opened the door for broader European cooperation. A 2003 Commission exploratory mission found Libya ready and willing to cooperate on irregular migration, and Libya announced an end to its WMD program. In 2004 the Council announced a policy of engagement and sent its first technical mission for the expressed purpose of stemming irregular migration. In 2005 it launched an ad-hoc dialogue on irregular migration. The EU lifted sanctions in mid October, and immediately allocated 2 million for securing Libyas southern borders and 3.2 million for the coastguard.

On August 30th 2008 Italy and Libya signed a Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between the Italian Republic and Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or the Friendship Pact, with funding for border patrols split between Italy and the Commission. Italy immediately transferred three patrol boats to the Libyan Coastguard. The deal included $5 billion USD in reparations over 25 years, funding a range of infrastructure projects including detention facilitees and surveillance systems. Berlusconi argued that the deal would offer more oil and fewer migrants.

The Commission, Italian Interior Ministry, and UK Border Agency funded deterrence campaigns and Assisted Voluntary Return operations in Libya through the International Organization for Migration. The Commission channeled 4.5 million for southern border surveillance from 2008-2009. The UK first floated plans for Regional Protection Zones and Transit Processing Centres in 2003, borrowing directly from Australias Pacific Solution of warehousing asylum seekers on offshore islands. In 2004 and 2005 Germany and Italy jointly advocated for establishing asylum processing camps in Libya, which they repeated again through 2016 and 2017.

The hard fact is that the Friendship Pact and EU funding worked. In 2008 almost 40,000 migrants crossed the Central Mediterranean from Libya to Italy and Malta. From 2008 onward Italy returned asylum seekers, and cooperated to push back migrants at sea. Migrants were trapped in Libya or pushed to the emerging route in the Sinai, the site of its own heinous abuses. Central Mediterranean crossings dropped to 11,000 in 2009, and then to a low of 4,500 in 2010.

But the main reason the deal worked is because direct payments and opportunities for trade were sufficient to offset lost smuggling revenues for the regime and its patronage networks. Those with close ties to the regime, including Qaddafis sons, were directly involved in trafficking, providing protection, and running detention centres.

My research has involved a series of visits to Brussels to discuss fieldwork findings. EU Parliamentarians, members of the Council of Europe, and rights groups consistently stress that theyve brought the situation to the Commission and Member States attention. Human Rights Watch offered a detailed account of the impacts of the deal in 2009. The scale of journalistic attention now makes any claims to ignorance absurd.

EU personnel who work on migration and border issues are intelligent and knowledgeable people who actively follow journalistic and scholarly debates. As unpalatable as it might be, the need for solutions outweighs concerns of their impacts. As one senior civil servant in the Council who worked closely on ministerial negotiations on migration dialogues told me in 2015:

Of course the Commission and Council knew what Italy was up to with Libya. [] Every Member State has the right to enter into bilateral relationships and to control their borders and no state would dare to transgress this right. The difference in the EU is we have a common interest in controlling external borders. Do academics believe that they dont discuss these plans in the Council? Who would say no? France, the UK, Germany? Better the migration is managed in North Africa than in Calais. Can you imagine? Calais is an unregulated refugee camp in France, right out in the open, with NGOs offering humanitarian aid. Its two hours from [Brussels]. Its a total embarrassment.

Suggesting policy alternatives might begin with the fact relying on dictators to stem migration opens the EU to blackmail. Qaddafi sought to leverage Europes exposure through what Kelly Greenhill calls Coercive Engineered Migration. In 2010 he visited Rome and delivered an infamous ultimatum after demanding 5 billion per year to keep irregular migrants at bay. Standing beside Italian PM Berlusconi, the architect of the Friendship Pact, Qaddafi warned:

Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in [] What will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans [] We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.

Toppling Qaddafi in 2011 has proved a grave mistake from the perspective of stopping irregular migration. Europe is now confined to working with unreliable militias in the fractured Libyan state. As the same civil servant from the Council told me:

Everyone knows we have to do something. Its a crisis and were making decisions like its a crisis. Libya is anarchy. ISIS is there, and Italy is still trying to make deals. [EU foreign policy chief] Mogherini wants to pick a group and make concessions. Think of it: pick some Islamist rebels, probably full of people from the Qaddafi regime, who we just killed, recognize them, and pay them to stop the boats. That is the plan! Now it seems like a dream to have a strong dictator you could make a deal with.

Indeed, the EU seems to be grasping at straws and paying off smugglers who continue to operate. In 2014 Libyan Army brigades diverted materiel and weapons from the Tripoli International Airport destined for the EU Border Assistance Mission. A 2015 report from the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Libya noted that trafficking networks are embedded within Libyan armed groups controlling territory along the smuggling routes. Controls on Libyas southern borders rely on cooperation with militias who run the smuggling rings.

In March 2017 the Commission, EEAS, and representatives of eight Member States met with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (based in Tripoli) in Rome to sign a commitment for sending 90 million in support to the Interior Ministry and Coast Guard. The deal included yet another plan to set up camps for asylum processing in full respect of peoples rights. The EU directly funds the Directorate for the Combat of Illegal Immigration (DCIM), which runs 29 detention facilities associated with human rights abuses.

The UN Support Mission for Libya detailed extensive cases where the DCIM and Coast Guard collaborated with and were indistinguishable from militias, and profited from forced labour and trade in migrants. In 2017 the NGO Sea-Watch reported coastguard boats firing on rescue ships and migrants at sea. Video footage shows coastguards whipping and flogging migrants. MSF reported uniformed Coast Guards on Italian-supplied ships looting cash and phones. The UN has reported migrants being sold at slave auctions.

These dynamics represent continuity from the Qaddafi years. What has changed is the fact that Europe no longer has a strong and (somewhat) credible partner in Libya. Different militias vie for control of lucrative smuggling hubs on the coast and at southern borders.

In a bizarre twist, the Italian government embarked on a smear campaign on NGOs conducting Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean. They moved from the claim that SAR acts as a pull factor for migrants, to the claim that NGOs actively collude with smugglers and traffickers. Not only are the claims unfounded, but if the EU and Member States are concerned with collusion they need look no further than their own bilateral relations with regimes and militias across Africa and the Middle East.

Driven by domestic politics and the need to be seen to be doing something, Europe has locked itself in a cycle of dodgy deals. The much-maligned EU / Turkey deal is misconstrued as an emergency measure to stop the 2015 migration crisis and close the Western Balkan route. In light of the lessons from Libya (and indeed from the Western Mediterranean), it should instead be understood as an instance of EU policy learning. While normatively troubling, strong and stable authoritarian regimes can stop irregular migration flows. The EU understands this quite well.

Transit states also learn from history. Regimes across Africa, the Middle East, and indeed Central and Eastern Europe have learned to speak the language of securitized migration controls in order to leverage EU funding. Europe is truly stuck between a rock and hard place, partly of their own making. In the absence of stability and opportunity in sending states, the remaining policy options are limited. In the meantime, smugglers and militias get richer and migrants suffer terrible fates.

The Italian oil and gas firm ENI had a near monopoly in Libya. See Lutterbeck, Derek. 2009. Migrants, Weapons, and Oil: Europe and Libya after the Sanctions. Journal of North African Studies 142 (2): 16984.See also Muchi, Alberto. 2016. Italys Search for a New Libyan Savior, Politico Europe. http://www.politico.eu/article/italys-search-for-a-new-libyan-savior/

Paoletti, Emanuela. 2011. Power Relations and International Migration: The Case of Italy and Libya. Political Studies 59 (2): 26989.

Bosse, Giselle. 2013. European Union Policy towards Belarus and Libya: Old and New Double Standards? In The European Union Neighbourhood: Challenges and Opportunities, edited by Teresa Cierco. The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series. Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, VT: CEPESE/Ashgate.

Hamood, Sara. 2011. EU-Libya Cooperation on Migration: A Raw Deal for Refugees and Migrants? Journal of Refugee Studies. 21 (1): 1942.

Paoletti 2011: 274 (quoting Il Manifesto).

Schuster, Liza. 2005. The Realities of a New Asylum Paradigm. Working Paper. Oxford, United Kingdom: COMPAS.

Coluccello, Salvatore, and Simon Massey. 2007. Out of Africa: The Human Trade between Libya and Lampedusa. Trends in Organized Crime 10 (4): 7790.

Greenhill, Kelly M. 2010. Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

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‘They are not treated like humans’ – Washington Post

Abdulrazag Shneeti, a spokesman for the governments Department for Combating Illegal Migration, did not respond to repeated calls for comment.

The Zawiyah facility known as the al-Nasr detention center was set up by the al-Nasr Brigade, a militia involved in oil and human smuggling that has links to the coast guard, U.N. investigators said in a report released in June. Christine Petre, an IOM spokeswoman, said the facility is now being run by the Western-backed government, but migrants and coast guard members said the militia and its tribesmen are still in charge.

Migrants sleep and eat on the dirty floors. Lunch is a six-inch loaf of bread. Dinner is a plate of macaroni.

On a recent day, the mattresses had been taken away from a group in a cell as punishment for fighting, said Fathi al-Far, the centers director. Last year, he said, four migrants were killed and a guard was injured in clashes.

An inmate in poor health is tended to by a friend after passing out at the al-Nasr detention center on May 24.

Two migrants died of treatable problems in the past two years, Far said. He has been awaiting a water purifier for months. Nearby, an Algerian migrant lay on the floor against a wall, clutching his stomach and writhing in pain. But there was no doctor to help him.

Guards are quick to give beatings, several migrants said.

It happens, Far said.

In their report, U.N. investigators described Far as a former army colonel and said that the center is used to sell migrants to other smugglers.

Far acknowledged that smugglers come to the center to take migrants but said he is unable to stop them. Guards or militia members call the migrants families to extort cash if they pay, the migrant is released and put back on a boat to Europe.

The guards can do anything, Far said. They have the keys to the cells.

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News Roundup – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The Ministry of Education of the UN proposed government announced the formation of 2621 committees in an effort to monitor and supervise the exams of the secondary school certificate. The ministry added that they will adopt 132 centers to distribute the exam questionnaires, 164 supervisors and 48 observers. The ministry noted that they are keen to take all measures to ensure proper conditions for those sitting their exams that start today and continue until Thursday in all private and public schools and at the levels of the 48 educational zones within the country.

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The Libyan Association for Prisoners of Thought called on the Attorney-General in Tripoli to formally and judicially disclose the results investigations into the Abu Salim prison massacre and to expedite the trial in a manner that preserves the rights of the accused. This came during a protest held by the Assembly in Tripoli on Thursday. The Association added that the delay in the trial of the accused in the case harms the rights of the victims’ families and exposes the rights of the detainees.

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Brigadier Hassan AlMadani, a security official in the Gaddafi regime and resident of Sirte was released on Saturday morning from the city of Misrata. 46 other detainees from Tawergha, Zliten, Tripoli and Sirte have been released from Misrata Military Prison since 2011 after more than half of their sentence was carried out.

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The Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee which operates under the Brega Oil Marketing Company announced that the Central Security Forces seized more than 100 boxes of car oils destined to be smuggled to Tunisia via the Ras Ajdair border crossing. The Committee stated via their Facebook page that the forces stormed several sites belonging to smugglers in cooperation with the committee to combat the smuggling of goods outside Libya.

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The office of information of the General Electricity Company stated that an armed group attacked the team which is stationed at the Ka’am plant in Khoms. The statement added that the attack resulted in the injury of one of the workers who was taken to the hospital as a result of his injuries. The information office pointed out that repeated attacks on employees of the General Electricity Company is leading to the workers departing their sites for fear of their security and safety. It is noteworthy that Khoms area is one of the areas that refuse to enter the program designed to share electricity loads which was adopted by the Electricity Company to maintain a form of stability in the public electricity grid.

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A number of ministers of the UN proposed government held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the difficulties facing facilities and service sectors in the southern region of Libya. The visit of these ministers to the southern region as part of efforts to reopen Sebha International Airport and facilitate the provision of services to the southern regions affected from the various crises that is hitting the country. The weeklong visit of the ministers to the southern region is to visit a number of municipalities and cities in the region.

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Sources from the Accord Committee of the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) confirmed that they postponed todays meeting to next Sunday as a result of what they described as security threats. Media sources said the postponement came after statements by pro-Hefter media stating that “The constitution will only be revealed on a pool of blood”. The sources added that the Chairman of the committee has requested a postponement of the meeting until adequate protection is provided to its members, noting that the committee will have to relocate meetings to another city if the situation remains unsafe.

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The Algerian Football Federation has set August 12 to be the date for the match between Libya and Algeria in the African Nations Cup qualifier for local players which is due to be held in Kenya in 2018. According to sources, the match is scheduled to take place on the grounds of the Hamlawi stadium in the eastern Algerian city of Constantine.

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In a statement issued by the elders and rights groups of the Tebu and Kufra, they called out in protest against the discrimination at the University of Benghazi. The calls were so that students of different backgrounds would receive fair treatment as covered by the laws in force at colleagues regarding placements etc.

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Libya’s Crude Output Hits a New High Just as Oil Prices Rebound – Bloomberg

Libyas oil production has climbed to more than 1 million barrels a day for the first time in four years just as oil prices capped the longest run of gains in six months after U.S. shale explorers paused a record drilling expansion.

Output is 1.005 million barrels a day, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they arent authorized to speak to the media. That would be the highest since June 2013, whenLibya pumped 1.13 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil futures advanced for a seventh consecutive day on Friday, as shale explorers broke the longest stretch of uninterrupted growth in three decades. Brent prices have still dropped 16 percent this year as rising supply from OPEC members Libya and Nigeria along with the U.S. is offsetting cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners.

Libyaa oil output has rebounded from only 690,000 barrels a day 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 1.1 million barrels a day by August.

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 barrels a day, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Libya, with Africas biggest crude reserves, was pumping about 1.6 million barrels a day before a political uprising in 2011.

Other fields have reopened, most recently the Abu Attifel deposit which resumed production last month and is now pumping about 81,000 barrels of oil a day, according to the person who gave the latest production figure. The Majid oil field restarted on July 1, with output at 4,500 barrels a day. Sharara has been also steady at 270,000 barrels a day, the person said.

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Resolving the Gulf crisis through Libya – The Hill (blog)

The rift within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is one of the most significant foreign policy challenges facing the Trump administration.

The conflict between Qatar on the one side, against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, as well as Egypt, is based on divisions over key issues including political Islam and Irans quest for regional influence.

A clear example of how these tensions have played out on the global stage is the ongoing proxy wrangling over Libya.

Libya has been suffering from a civil war that began in 2014 when the country split between rival factions based in the east and west, respectively. The United States supported a U.N.-led negotiation effort that resulted in the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement in late 2015 and the establishment of an internationally recognized Presidential Council (PC). However, it has been unable to solidify its hold on the capital in Tripoli, let alone the rest of the country. It faces a major challenge from eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with the House of Representatives (HOR) in the east.

It is against this backdrop that the divisions in the Gulf have played out most clearly in a proxy conflict. As a result of personal relations between the Qatari elite, authoritative figures in the Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamist-leaning intellectuals and personalities, Doha in 2011 openly supported the Libyan revolution and worked to strengthen forces in the country close to its Islamist allies. While Qatar briefly suspended its support for proxies in Libya in 2015 due to U.S. and U.N. pressure, it resumed this support in 2016.

The UAE and Egypt, while ostensibly supportive of the PC in official rhetoric, have provided Haftar with military support in his campaign to free the country from all Islamists. These states support Haftars anti-Islamist rhetoric because they have sought to isolate and crack down on certain Islamist groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. The HOR joined the Saudi-UAE bloc in cutting ties with Doha, and Haftars Libyan National Army (LNA) accused Qatar of deploying forces in Libya and financing radical groups.

The Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB), which has been battling Haftars army and has fought alongside PC-backed forces, was one of the organizations on a terrorist sanctions list issued by the Saudi-UAE bloc accused of receiving financing from Qatar.

The proxy support provided by the Gulf to Libyas rival parties is no secret. In March 2013, the U.N. panel tasked with monitoring the arms embargo on Libya said that in 2011-2012, Qatar violated the embargo by providing military material to the revolutionary forces through the organization of a large number of flights and the deliveries of a range of arms and ammunition.

The U.N.s most recent report in June found that the UAE violated the embargo from 2014 to 2017 by providing aircraft and other military assets to Haftar. UAE airpower was also likely decisive in helping Haftar retake key oil facilities from the BDB in March.

The conflict in Libya presents the United States with an opportunity to mediate between the conflicting parties in the GCC rift. The United States is the only country capable of leveraging enough authority to convince Doha and Abu Dhabi to cease support for their respective proxies on the ground in Libya and come to the table in earnest search of a credible solution to the crisis in the country.

Progress on this front would establish a level of positive cooperation between the Qatar and the Saudi-UAE bloc that could lead to a more productive, U.S.-led dialogue aimed at ending the Gulf crisis.

While the State Department has been correctly reluctant to throw its weight behind the Saudi-UAE bloc, the current policy of keeping at an arms length is ineffective. Days before the Saudi-UAE bloc released its demands to Qatar, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert noted that The more time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and whether they were about concerns of Qatari funding for terrorism or longstanding grievances.

This was a welcome shift from the immediate support expressed by President Trump for the Saudi-UAE bloc. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Riyadh to ensure that its demands to Doha were reasonable and actionable. However, Qatar is unlikely to bow to the heavy list of demands issued on June 23. Doha insists that it will not negotiate with the Saudi-UAE bloc while faced with punitive diplomatic and economic measures.

In this context, rather than pressure Qatar to submit to the demands or call out the Saudi-UAE bloc for what are unlikely the reasonable and actionable demands Tillerson envisioned, the United States should present Libya as an opportunity to address the competing interests of the Gulf states.

By bringing the Gulf rivals together around the negotiation table on Libya, the United States could foster common ground between the Saudi-UAE bloc and Qatar. An improvement in relations surrounding the Libya issue could help build trust and find solutions for other major disagreements. Indeed, recent progress in Libya could provide an opening, such as the decision by the BDB, condemned by Haftar and his Gulf supporters, to demobilize and agree to join a formal, legitimate national army.

One of the demands issued by Saudi-UAE bloc to Qatar is to cease interference in the affairs of sovereign countries. This is a standard that must be met by all regional actors engaged in Libya; the proxy war has exacerbated tensions within the country and made dim any prospect for a peaceful solution.

By recognizing the conflict in Libya as one manifestation of Gulf regional competition, the Trump administration, in coordination with the U.N., could exert U.S. leadership to obtain Gulf rapprochement through the resolution of divisions over Libya.

Karim Mezranis a resident senior fellow with the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.Elissa Milleris an assistant director at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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Resolving the Gulf crisis through Libya – The Hill (blog)

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U-12 Libyan chess player ranked number 1 in Africa – The Libya Observer

The Libya Observer U-12 Libyan chess player ranked number 1 in Africa The Libya Observer Libyan chess player Yousef Al-Hassadi has been ranked number 1 under the age of 12 at the African level, according to Chess-DB, a web-based database of chess players around the world. But despite raising the flag of Libya high in international sporting …

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Canary Wharf victim reassured by Donaldson on Libya-IRA compensation – Belfast Newsletter

07:59 Monday 03 July 2017 The leader of an English terror victims group has welcomed assurances from the DUP that they will be pressing hard for compensation for victims, despite the issue not being mentioned in the Tory-DUP deal. Docklands Victims Association chairman Jonathan Ganesh was injured in the IRAs 1996 Canary Wharf bomb, which used Semtex supplied to the IRA by Libya. Some victims and their representatives expressed disappointment that there was no mention in the Tory-DUP deal of their campaign to secure compensation from Libya for arming the IRA. But Mr Ganesh has now welcomed assurances given to him by DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. The MP said in an email that the DUP has many members that are themselves innocent victims of terrorism from the Troubles: This includes our party leader Arlene Foster who not only was injured in an IRA bomb attack on her school bus but also witnessed her father having been shot by the IRA. The suggestion from some that the DUP would abandon innocent victims is deeply offensive to us and is completely and utterly wrong. His party has supported compensation from the outset and he and Nigel Dodds have visited Libya and met government frequently about the issue, he said. He added: In our current discussions with the government, we have raised in two separate meetings the need for this issue to be addressed in the current parliamentary term. We have secured a commitment from the government to convene a further meeting involving the relevant minister(s) to discuss how we might take the matter forward, including on the issue of frozen Libyan assets in the UK. We are establishing a coordination committee between our two parties that will enable this type of issue to be addressed at ministerial level. The reason this matter is not explicitly mentioned in the agreement between the DUP and the government is because we have not yet reached an agreed position or established the legal basis for accessing Libyan assets given that these are the subject of international sanctions and covered by international law. We remain committed to supporting the wider campaign by innocent victims to secure recompense and reparation from Libya and will seek to use our influence to secure a positive outcome. Mr Ganesh said he felt reassured. I have been working closely with Jeffrey and Nigel for 10 years and feel good that they have put this in writing, he said. Lawyer Matt Jury, who is acting for Libya-IRA victims, initially expressed disappointment with the deal. The DUP has assured us that the issue of compensation to the variety of victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism throughout the UK is very much on the agenda and that the government has agreed a mechanism through which discussions will be taken forward at a ministerial level on how a resolution with Libya can be best negotiated, he said.

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With Funds From Home Cut off, a Libyan Student Turns to Fundraising to Cover Kent State Tuition – WKSU News

Paying for school is a challenge for most every college student, but for students in the U.S. from Libya, many have the money but can’t access it.Libya has become increasingly unstable and it’s harder for citizens to get money to the U.S. WOSU’s Esther Honig reports on one student from Kent State University who is doing all he can to complete his degree before he’s forced to drop out. Libyan student’s struggles A few blocks from the Kent State University campus, IbrahimAlbadrishares a small apartment with a roommate and his orange tabby namedZena.The living room is sparsely furnished: Theres a couch, a dining room table and a few fold-out chairs. In the corner, the red and green Libya flag hangs on the wall. Albadris just come from his job at the schools IT departmentaccording to his student visa, hes only permitted to work for the school — and for no more than 20 hours a week. He folds open his laptop to check on his online fundraising campaign. Bad but how bad? He says school administrators suggested the idea to him when it became evident his money for tuition would not arrive on time. I knew Libya was bad, Albadri says. I just didnt know it was that bad. Paying for college is a challenge for nearly any student. In his case,Albedri has the money, he just cant access it. As Albadri’s home country devolves into increasing instability, it has become all but impossible for citizens living abroad to access their money held in Libyan banks. In the first few days, Albadri’sGoFundMe campaigndid receive several donations. A month later, though, he’s still tens of thousands of dollars away from his goal of $50,000. It may seem farfetched, but this is Albadris last option, and hes determined to continue school in the fall. He still hasnt considered what hell do with his cat if hes forced to leave in August. Limits on currency leaving the country Albadri came to the U.S. in 2014 to study computer engineering. At the time the conflict in Libya had subsided, but as Albadri finished his sophomore year, fighting resumed. The county started to limit the amount of currency leaving its borders. Administrators at Kent State say theyve seen this issue before. Right now, both their Iraqi and Libyan students face a similar struggle. Theyve managed to put some in touch with emergency loans or allowed them to enroll in good faith, hoping the money will eventually arrive. Of course, theres not much else the school can do. Doesn’t look like the money’s going to come from Libya, because it’s just getting worse and worse, Albadri says. Threats back home At this point, Albadri owes the university tuition for two semesters. In March, his inability to pay meant he was forced to drop his classes. If by August he is still unable to produce the necessary funds, he won’t be allowed to enroll and will subsequently lose his student visa. Libya is not an ideal destination for a young person trying to get an education. Albadri says in the city where he lives, people dont leave their homes at night. There have been kidnappings and the local law enforcement is unresponsive. Albadri says his cousin was kidnapped; a fisherman found his body chopped into small pieces. Any of my friends that I call, they tell me dont come back,” Albadri says. Libya no longer hosts an American embassy, and the Trump administration has complicated travel from Muslim-majority countries including Libya. JonathanWiner, a former special envoy for Libya, says if Albadri loses his student visa, theres a good chance he wont be able to get another one. If I was a Libyan student who had the right to be here, I would try and make it work, too, Winer says. A meltdown for the Arab spring Its been several years since the country had an effective government, Winer says. In 2011, Arab-Spring protests led to the ouster of former dictatorMuammer Gaddafi and two subsequent civil wars. The intense conflicts have subsided, but basic services like healthcare, education and electricity are crumbling. Winer says the collapse of the oil industry has led to an economic crisis. The country has spent more money than it is able to generate, and the government is afraid of running out of hard currency. If they run out of dollars, the country goes into immediate humanitarian catastrophe,Winer says. Helping back home About 1,500 students from Libya go to school in the U.S., and their education is critical to the countys future. Winer says that if more young people are able to earn their degrees — whether in the States, the European Union or Canada — they can return to their country and help rebuild it. I would like to see as many Libyan students as possible to complete educations here, Winer says. It may be too late for Albadri, whos only a year away from graduating. Back home, he wont have access to the same level of education. Poor internet, unreliable electricity and lack of computers means students there often learn to code with pen and paper. “You know when you [have] a dream, and youre halfway through and you wake up from the dream?” Albadri says. “Thats basically what will happen.”

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Italian company to launch large projects in Libya’s Zliten – The Libya Observer

The Libya Observer Italian company to launch large projects in Libya's Zliten The Libya Observer Zliten city's municipality said MST Technology from Italy had talked of intentions to carry out large investments in the city. On its Facebook page, the municipality said MST Technology delivered proposals to set up two projects – one to build a power …

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Historical amnesia and Europe’s migration relations with Libya – Open Democracy

Migrants are seen before being rescued by “Save the Children” NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast, June 15, 2017. Picture by STEFANO RELLANDINI/Reuters/PA Images. All rights reserved.The debate around migration in the Mediterranean suffers from a puzzling amnesia, particularly from critics of Europes dealings in Libya. For example, recently Refugees Deeply published a piece stating the EU must not fuel the hellish situation there. While moral outrage about outsourcing human rights abuses is justified and indeed crucial, critics would do well to understand its historical and political context if they are to offer alternatives. Cutting deals with transit states to stop migrants has always been central to EU policy. Irregular migration was a top concern as Europe developed its open border regime and foreign policy in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Foreign policy was driven by domestic political distaste for asylum and uncontrolled migration given new South-North migration dynamics, wars in the former Yugoslavia, and EU enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe. In Libya, Europe faced a confluence of two major strategic concerns: controlling migration and diversifying energy supplies away from Russia. Then as now, Italy took the lead. The focus allowed Qaddafi to leverage his geopolitical position and rehabilitate his reputation through what the ICMPD describes as Italys increased and calculated pro-Libya advocacy. Italy and Libya first signed a Memorandum of Intent around trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and migrant smuggling in 2000. In July 2003 they agreed to exchange information on migration flows, though the text of the agreement was never made public. Italian advocacy opened the door for broader European cooperation. A 2003 Commission exploratory mission found Libya ready and willing to cooperate on irregular migration, and Libya announced an end to its WMD program. In 2004 the Council announced a policy of engagement and sent its first technical mission for the expressed purpose of stemming irregular migration. In 2005 it launched an ad-hoc dialogue on irregular migration. The EU lifted sanctions in mid October, and immediately allocated 2 million for securing Libyas southern borders and 3.2 million for the coastguard. On August 30th 2008 Italy and Libya signed a Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between the Italian Republic and Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or the Friendship Pact, with funding for border patrols split between Italy and the Commission. Italy immediately transferred three patrol boats to the Libyan Coastguard. The deal included $5 billion USD in reparations over 25 years, funding a range of infrastructure projects including detention facilitees and surveillance systems. Berlusconi argued that the deal would offer more oil and fewer migrants. The Commission, Italian Interior Ministry, and UK Border Agency funded deterrence campaigns and Assisted Voluntary Return operations in Libya through the International Organization for Migration. The Commission channeled 4.5 million for southern border surveillance from 2008-2009. The UK first floated plans for Regional Protection Zones and Transit Processing Centres in 2003, borrowing directly from Australias Pacific Solution of warehousing asylum seekers on offshore islands. In 2004 and 2005 Germany and Italy jointly advocated for establishing asylum processing camps in Libya, which they repeated again through 2016 and 2017. The hard fact is that the Friendship Pact and EU funding worked. In 2008 almost 40,000 migrants crossed the Central Mediterranean from Libya to Italy and Malta. From 2008 onward Italy returned asylum seekers, and cooperated to push back migrants at sea. Migrants were trapped in Libya or pushed to the emerging route in the Sinai, the site of its own heinous abuses. Central Mediterranean crossings dropped to 11,000 in 2009, and then to a low of 4,500 in 2010. But the main reason the deal worked is because direct payments and opportunities for trade were sufficient to offset lost smuggling revenues for the regime and its patronage networks. Those with close ties to the regime, including Qaddafis sons, were directly involved in trafficking, providing protection, and running detention centres. My research has involved a series of visits to Brussels to discuss fieldwork findings. EU Parliamentarians, members of the Council of Europe, and rights groups consistently stress that theyve brought the situation to the Commission and Member States attention. Human Rights Watch offered a detailed account of the impacts of the deal in 2009. The scale of journalistic attention now makes any claims to ignorance absurd. EU personnel who work on migration and border issues are intelligent and knowledgeable people who actively follow journalistic and scholarly debates. As unpalatable as it might be, the need for solutions outweighs concerns of their impacts. As one senior civil servant in the Council who worked closely on ministerial negotiations on migration dialogues told me in 2015: Of course the Commission and Council knew what Italy was up to with Libya. [] Every Member State has the right to enter into bilateral relationships and to control their borders and no state would dare to transgress this right. The difference in the EU is we have a common interest in controlling external borders. Do academics believe that they dont discuss these plans in the Council? Who would say no? France, the UK, Germany? Better the migration is managed in North Africa than in Calais. Can you imagine? Calais is an unregulated refugee camp in France, right out in the open, with NGOs offering humanitarian aid. Its two hours from [Brussels]. Its a total embarrassment. Suggesting policy alternatives might begin with the fact relying on dictators to stem migration opens the EU to blackmail. Qaddafi sought to leverage Europes exposure through what Kelly Greenhill calls Coercive Engineered Migration. In 2010 he visited Rome and delivered an infamous ultimatum after demanding 5 billion per year to keep irregular migrants at bay. Standing beside Italian PM Berlusconi, the architect of the Friendship Pact, Qaddafi warned: Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in [] What will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans [] We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions. Toppling Qaddafi in 2011 has proved a grave mistake from the perspective of stopping irregular migration. Europe is now confined to working with unreliable militias in the fractured Libyan state. As the same civil servant from the Council told me: Everyone knows we have to do something. Its a crisis and were making decisions like its a crisis. Libya is anarchy. ISIS is there, and Italy is still trying to make deals. [EU foreign policy chief] Mogherini wants to pick a group and make concessions. Think of it: pick some Islamist rebels, probably full of people from the Qaddafi regime, who we just killed, recognize them, and pay them to stop the boats. That is the plan! Now it seems like a dream to have a strong dictator you could make a deal with. Indeed, the EU seems to be grasping at straws and paying off smugglers who continue to operate. In 2014 Libyan Army brigades diverted materiel and weapons from the Tripoli International Airport destined for the EU Border Assistance Mission. A 2015 report from the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Libya noted that trafficking networks are embedded within Libyan armed groups controlling territory along the smuggling routes. Controls on Libyas southern borders rely on cooperation with militias who run the smuggling rings. In March 2017 the Commission, EEAS, and representatives of eight Member States met with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (based in Tripoli) in Rome to sign a commitment for sending 90 million in support to the Interior Ministry and Coast Guard. The deal included yet another plan to set up camps for asylum processing in full respect of peoples rights. The EU directly funds the Directorate for the Combat of Illegal Immigration (DCIM), which runs 29 detention facilities associated with human rights abuses. The UN Support Mission for Libya detailed extensive cases where the DCIM and Coast Guard collaborated with and were indistinguishable from militias, and profited from forced labour and trade in migrants. In 2017 the NGO Sea-Watch reported coastguard boats firing on rescue ships and migrants at sea. Video footage shows coastguards whipping and flogging migrants. MSF reported uniformed Coast Guards on Italian-supplied ships looting cash and phones. The UN has reported migrants being sold at slave auctions. These dynamics represent continuity from the Qaddafi years. What has changed is the fact that Europe no longer has a strong and (somewhat) credible partner in Libya. Different militias vie for control of lucrative smuggling hubs on the coast and at southern borders. In a bizarre twist, the Italian government embarked on a smear campaign on NGOs conducting Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean. They moved from the claim that SAR acts as a pull factor for migrants, to the claim that NGOs actively collude with smugglers and traffickers. Not only are the claims unfounded, but if the EU and Member States are concerned with collusion they need look no further than their own bilateral relations with regimes and militias across Africa and the Middle East. Driven by domestic politics and the need to be seen to be doing something, Europe has locked itself in a cycle of dodgy deals. The much-maligned EU / Turkey deal is misconstrued as an emergency measure to stop the 2015 migration crisis and close the Western Balkan route. In light of the lessons from Libya (and indeed from the Western Mediterranean), it should instead be understood as an instance of EU policy learning. While normatively troubling, strong and stable authoritarian regimes can stop irregular migration flows. The EU understands this quite well. Transit states also learn from history. Regimes across Africa, the Middle East, and indeed Central and Eastern Europe have learned to speak the language of securitized migration controls in order to leverage EU funding. Europe is truly stuck between a rock and hard place, partly of their own making. In the absence of stability and opportunity in sending states, the remaining policy options are limited. In the meantime, smugglers and militias get richer and migrants suffer terrible fates. The Italian oil and gas firm ENI had a near monopoly in Libya. See Lutterbeck, Derek. 2009. Migrants, Weapons, and Oil: Europe and Libya after the Sanctions. Journal of North African Studies 142 (2): 16984.See also Muchi, Alberto. 2016. Italys Search for a New Libyan Savior, Politico Europe. http://www.politico.eu/article/italys-search-for-a-new-libyan-savior/ Paoletti, Emanuela. 2011. Power Relations and International Migration: The Case of Italy and Libya. Political Studies 59 (2): 26989. Bosse, Giselle. 2013. European Union Policy towards Belarus and Libya: Old and New Double Standards? In The European Union Neighbourhood: Challenges and Opportunities, edited by Teresa Cierco. The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series. Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, VT: CEPESE/Ashgate. Hamood, Sara. 2011. EU-Libya Cooperation on Migration: A Raw Deal for Refugees and Migrants? Journal of Refugee Studies. 21 (1): 1942. Paoletti 2011: 274 (quoting Il Manifesto). Schuster, Liza. 2005. The Realities of a New Asylum Paradigm. Working Paper. Oxford, United Kingdom: COMPAS. Coluccello, Salvatore, and Simon Massey. 2007. Out of Africa: The Human Trade between Libya and Lampedusa. Trends in Organized Crime 10 (4): 7790. Greenhill, Kelly M. 2010. Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

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‘They are not treated like humans’ – Washington Post

Abdulrazag Shneeti, a spokesman for the governments Department for Combating Illegal Migration, did not respond to repeated calls for comment. The Zawiyah facility known as the al-Nasr detention center was set up by the al-Nasr Brigade, a militia involved in oil and human smuggling that has links to the coast guard, U.N. investigators said in a report released in June. Christine Petre, an IOM spokeswoman, said the facility is now being run by the Western-backed government, but migrants and coast guard members said the militia and its tribesmen are still in charge. Migrants sleep and eat on the dirty floors. Lunch is a six-inch loaf of bread. Dinner is a plate of macaroni. On a recent day, the mattresses had been taken away from a group in a cell as punishment for fighting, said Fathi al-Far, the centers director. Last year, he said, four migrants were killed and a guard was injured in clashes. An inmate in poor health is tended to by a friend after passing out at the al-Nasr detention center on May 24. Two migrants died of treatable problems in the past two years, Far said. He has been awaiting a water purifier for months. Nearby, an Algerian migrant lay on the floor against a wall, clutching his stomach and writhing in pain. But there was no doctor to help him. Guards are quick to give beatings, several migrants said. It happens, Far said. In their report, U.N. investigators described Far as a former army colonel and said that the center is used to sell migrants to other smugglers. Far acknowledged that smugglers come to the center to take migrants but said he is unable to stop them. Guards or militia members call the migrants families to extort cash if they pay, the migrant is released and put back on a boat to Europe. The guards can do anything, Far said. They have the keys to the cells.

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News Roundup – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 – The Libya Observer

The Ministry of Education of the UN proposed government announced the formation of 2621 committees in an effort to monitor and supervise the exams of the secondary school certificate. The ministry added that they will adopt 132 centers to distribute the exam questionnaires, 164 supervisors and 48 observers. The ministry noted that they are keen to take all measures to ensure proper conditions for those sitting their exams that start today and continue until Thursday in all private and public schools and at the levels of the 48 educational zones within the country. ———————————————– The Libyan Association for Prisoners of Thought called on the Attorney-General in Tripoli to formally and judicially disclose the results investigations into the Abu Salim prison massacre and to expedite the trial in a manner that preserves the rights of the accused. This came during a protest held by the Assembly in Tripoli on Thursday. The Association added that the delay in the trial of the accused in the case harms the rights of the victims’ families and exposes the rights of the detainees. ———————————————– Brigadier Hassan AlMadani, a security official in the Gaddafi regime and resident of Sirte was released on Saturday morning from the city of Misrata. 46 other detainees from Tawergha, Zliten, Tripoli and Sirte have been released from Misrata Military Prison since 2011 after more than half of their sentence was carried out. ———————————————– The Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee which operates under the Brega Oil Marketing Company announced that the Central Security Forces seized more than 100 boxes of car oils destined to be smuggled to Tunisia via the Ras Ajdair border crossing. The Committee stated via their Facebook page that the forces stormed several sites belonging to smugglers in cooperation with the committee to combat the smuggling of goods outside Libya. ———————————————– The office of information of the General Electricity Company stated that an armed group attacked the team which is stationed at the Ka’am plant in Khoms. The statement added that the attack resulted in the injury of one of the workers who was taken to the hospital as a result of his injuries. The information office pointed out that repeated attacks on employees of the General Electricity Company is leading to the workers departing their sites for fear of their security and safety. It is noteworthy that Khoms area is one of the areas that refuse to enter the program designed to share electricity loads which was adopted by the Electricity Company to maintain a form of stability in the public electricity grid. ———————————————– A number of ministers of the UN proposed government held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the difficulties facing facilities and service sectors in the southern region of Libya. The visit of these ministers to the southern region as part of efforts to reopen Sebha International Airport and facilitate the provision of services to the southern regions affected from the various crises that is hitting the country. The weeklong visit of the ministers to the southern region is to visit a number of municipalities and cities in the region. ———————————————– Sources from the Accord Committee of the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) confirmed that they postponed todays meeting to next Sunday as a result of what they described as security threats. Media sources said the postponement came after statements by pro-Hefter media stating that “The constitution will only be revealed on a pool of blood”. The sources added that the Chairman of the committee has requested a postponement of the meeting until adequate protection is provided to its members, noting that the committee will have to relocate meetings to another city if the situation remains unsafe. ———————————————– The Algerian Football Federation has set August 12 to be the date for the match between Libya and Algeria in the African Nations Cup qualifier for local players which is due to be held in Kenya in 2018. According to sources, the match is scheduled to take place on the grounds of the Hamlawi stadium in the eastern Algerian city of Constantine. ———————————————– In a statement issued by the elders and rights groups of the Tebu and Kufra, they called out in protest against the discrimination at the University of Benghazi. The calls were so that students of different backgrounds would receive fair treatment as covered by the laws in force at colleagues regarding placements etc.

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Libya’s Crude Output Hits a New High Just as Oil Prices Rebound – Bloomberg

Libyas oil production has climbed to more than 1 million barrels a day for the first time in four years just as oil prices capped the longest run of gains in six months after U.S. shale explorers paused a record drilling expansion. Output is 1.005 million barrels a day, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they arent authorized to speak to the media. That would be the highest since June 2013, whenLibya pumped 1.13 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oil futures advanced for a seventh consecutive day on Friday, as shale explorers broke the longest stretch of uninterrupted growth in three decades. Brent prices have still dropped 16 percent this year as rising supply from OPEC members Libya and Nigeria along with the U.S. is offsetting cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners. Libyaa oil output has rebounded from only 690,000 barrels a day 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 1.1 million barrels a day by August. 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 barrels a day, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Libya, with Africas biggest crude reserves, was pumping about 1.6 million barrels a day before a political uprising in 2011. Other fields have reopened, most recently the Abu Attifel deposit which resumed production last month and is now pumping about 81,000 barrels of oil a day, according to the person who gave the latest production figure. The Majid oil field restarted on July 1, with output at 4,500 barrels a day. Sharara has been also steady at 270,000 barrels a day, the person said.

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Resolving the Gulf crisis through Libya – The Hill (blog)

The rift within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is one of the most significant foreign policy challenges facing the Trump administration. The conflict between Qatar on the one side, against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, as well as Egypt, is based on divisions over key issues including political Islam and Irans quest for regional influence. A clear example of how these tensions have played out on the global stage is the ongoing proxy wrangling over Libya. Libya has been suffering from a civil war that began in 2014 when the country split between rival factions based in the east and west, respectively. The United States supported a U.N.-led negotiation effort that resulted in the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement in late 2015 and the establishment of an internationally recognized Presidential Council (PC). However, it has been unable to solidify its hold on the capital in Tripoli, let alone the rest of the country. It faces a major challenge from eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with the House of Representatives (HOR) in the east. It is against this backdrop that the divisions in the Gulf have played out most clearly in a proxy conflict. As a result of personal relations between the Qatari elite, authoritative figures in the Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamist-leaning intellectuals and personalities, Doha in 2011 openly supported the Libyan revolution and worked to strengthen forces in the country close to its Islamist allies. While Qatar briefly suspended its support for proxies in Libya in 2015 due to U.S. and U.N. pressure, it resumed this support in 2016. The UAE and Egypt, while ostensibly supportive of the PC in official rhetoric, have provided Haftar with military support in his campaign to free the country from all Islamists. These states support Haftars anti-Islamist rhetoric because they have sought to isolate and crack down on certain Islamist groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. The HOR joined the Saudi-UAE bloc in cutting ties with Doha, and Haftars Libyan National Army (LNA) accused Qatar of deploying forces in Libya and financing radical groups. The Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB), which has been battling Haftars army and has fought alongside PC-backed forces, was one of the organizations on a terrorist sanctions list issued by the Saudi-UAE bloc accused of receiving financing from Qatar. The proxy support provided by the Gulf to Libyas rival parties is no secret. In March 2013, the U.N. panel tasked with monitoring the arms embargo on Libya said that in 2011-2012, Qatar violated the embargo by providing military material to the revolutionary forces through the organization of a large number of flights and the deliveries of a range of arms and ammunition. The U.N.s most recent report in June found that the UAE violated the embargo from 2014 to 2017 by providing aircraft and other military assets to Haftar. UAE airpower was also likely decisive in helping Haftar retake key oil facilities from the BDB in March. The conflict in Libya presents the United States with an opportunity to mediate between the conflicting parties in the GCC rift. The United States is the only country capable of leveraging enough authority to convince Doha and Abu Dhabi to cease support for their respective proxies on the ground in Libya and come to the table in earnest search of a credible solution to the crisis in the country. Progress on this front would establish a level of positive cooperation between the Qatar and the Saudi-UAE bloc that could lead to a more productive, U.S.-led dialogue aimed at ending the Gulf crisis. While the State Department has been correctly reluctant to throw its weight behind the Saudi-UAE bloc, the current policy of keeping at an arms length is ineffective. Days before the Saudi-UAE bloc released its demands to Qatar, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert noted that The more time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and whether they were about concerns of Qatari funding for terrorism or longstanding grievances. This was a welcome shift from the immediate support expressed by President Trump for the Saudi-UAE bloc. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Riyadh to ensure that its demands to Doha were reasonable and actionable. However, Qatar is unlikely to bow to the heavy list of demands issued on June 23. Doha insists that it will not negotiate with the Saudi-UAE bloc while faced with punitive diplomatic and economic measures. In this context, rather than pressure Qatar to submit to the demands or call out the Saudi-UAE bloc for what are unlikely the reasonable and actionable demands Tillerson envisioned, the United States should present Libya as an opportunity to address the competing interests of the Gulf states. By bringing the Gulf rivals together around the negotiation table on Libya, the United States could foster common ground between the Saudi-UAE bloc and Qatar. An improvement in relations surrounding the Libya issue could help build trust and find solutions for other major disagreements. Indeed, recent progress in Libya could provide an opening, such as the decision by the BDB, condemned by Haftar and his Gulf supporters, to demobilize and agree to join a formal, legitimate national army. One of the demands issued by Saudi-UAE bloc to Qatar is to cease interference in the affairs of sovereign countries. This is a standard that must be met by all regional actors engaged in Libya; the proxy war has exacerbated tensions within the country and made dim any prospect for a peaceful solution. By recognizing the conflict in Libya as one manifestation of Gulf regional competition, the Trump administration, in coordination with the U.N., could exert U.S. leadership to obtain Gulf rapprochement through the resolution of divisions over Libya. Karim Mezranis a resident senior fellow with the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.Elissa Milleris an assistant director at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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