Western war on Libya

angelburst29

The Living Force
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08.05.2018 - Libyan Military Chief Haftar announces Offensive to take Derna
Libyan Military Chief Haftar Announces Offensive to Take Derna

Libyan National Army’s (LNA) Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has announced the start of a military operation to liberate Derna, which has been under terrorists' siege since the overthrow of country’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, LNA’s spokesman Ahmed Mismari said.

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has announced the start of operation to liberate Derna," Mismari said.

According to Mismari, the military warned local residents of the need to observe security measures, and in particular, called on the civilian population not to approach the places of concentration of militants.

Derna is located 620 miles to the east from Tripoli and it is controlled by terrorist groups linked to Al Qaeda (terror group banned in Russia). Previously, the city was controlled by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, outlawed in Russia. This city is considered to be the last stronghold of Islamic militants in the east of the country, which is controlled by Haftar's forces.


08.05.2018 - Forces of Libyan Military Chief Haftar Liberate East of Derna from Terrorists
Forces of Libyan Military Chief Haftar Liberate East of Derna From Terrorists

The forces of the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, liberated eastern districts of the city of Derna from terrorists, a Libyan military source told Sputnik, adding that four Libyan army soldiers were killed in the clashes.

"Four Libyan army soldiers died in the clashes near terrorist positions in the eastern Libyan city of Derna," the source said, adding the the army had liberated two districts previously controlled by terrorists late on Monday.

On Monday, Haftar announced the start of a military operation to liberate Derna, which has been under siege by terrorists since the overthrow of the country’s longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.
 

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The Living Force
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Mon May 21, 2018 - Libyan Security Forces Detain Members of Group with Links to Qaddafi's Son
Farsnews

The special Libyan security forces detained members of a group named the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya (PFLL) which supports Saif al-Islam, Qaddafi's son.

The Arabic-language Russia al-Youm news website reported on Monday that a number of officials and supporters of the former regime in Libya founded the PFLL in December 2016 with the aim of returning the country to the situation before 2011 during which Qaddafi's regime was ousted.

The PFLL has links with Saif al-Islam and considers him as its symbolic leader.

Reports said earlier this year that nearly seven years after the bloody NATO-backed uprising overthrew Colonel Gaddafi, his son, Saif Al-Islam is reportedly seeking to run in the Libyan presidential elections this year to “rescue” his country from the turmoil.

The second son of the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity, is seeking to run in the country's presidential election, which is set to be held sometime before the end of this year.

The 45-year-old, currently hiding in Tunisia, launched his presidential campaign as a member of the PFLL.

“Saif al-Islam Qaddafi has decided to run in the upcoming presidential elections and does not aspire to power in its traditional sense,” PFLL spokesman Ayman Abu Ras announced during a press conference in Tunis in March.


Mon May 21, 2018 - Gaddafi-linked Terror Cell Arrested in Tripoli Over Plotting Attacks - Reports
Gaddafi-Linked Terror Cell Arrested in Tripoli Over Plotting Attacks - Reports

Seven members of a terror cell, believed to have links to Libyan late leader Muammar Gaddafi, were arrested on Monday on suspicions of plotting terrorist acts in Tripoli, The Libya Observer reported.

According to The Libya Observer, those arrested were planning to carry out several terrorist attacks in the capital. The interrogations revealed that the plotters had a zero hour for their military action and intended to activate their sleeper cells to facilitate the operation, the media reported, citing the Special Deterrence Force.

The media outlet added that the Anti-Terrorism Unit of the Central Security Agency dismantled on Saturday two explosive devices, which the security services linked to the arrested cell.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Sources said there have been intensive talks and consultations between the United Arab Emirates and Libyan groups to secure support for those close to Major General Khalifa Belgacem Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), in the upcoming elections.

June, 03, 2018 - UAE Spending Huge Money to Back Pro-Haftar Nominees in Libyan Elections: Report
UAE Spending Huge Money to Back Pro-Haftar Nominees in Libyan Elections: Report - Tasnim News Agency

The Libyan sources said the UAE is spending large sums of money to finance the electoral campaign of nominees who are close to Major General Haftar, the Arabic-language Al-Araby Al-Jadeed daily reported.

According to the sources, Egypt, the UAE, Oman, and Tunisia have recently held secret talks to secure support for the nomination of their favorite candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya later this year. Khalifa Haftar will not personally run for the upcoming elections, but will nominate a number of his main advocates with the support of his allies in Egypt, the UAE and France, the report said.

On Tuesday, four main Libyan political leaders attended a peace conference in Paris and agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on December 10.

Libya is split between rival governments in the East and West, each backed by an array of tribal militias.

Egypt, Russia and the UAE, who back General Haftar in the East, also attended the peace conference in Paris, as well as the UN Special envoy Ghassan Salame.


June 6, 2018 - Libya’s Presidential Council, Central Bank agree on economic reforms
Libya’s Presidential Council, Central Bank agree on economic reforms

Libya’s Presidential Council and the Central Bank yesterday agreed on economic reforms, in an effort to end fuel price instability and boost the country’s currency, according to the Libya Observer.

In a meeting brokered by Tunisia, officials agreed on measures that would reduce subsidies on fuel and restart regular grants to families of 100 Libyan dinars ($73) per child.

“Even if the reforms would bring some burdens on the citizens at first, then there will be some measures taken in line with the reforms to keep the citizens well provided for and at decent living standards,” council member Fathi Al-Mijibri said.

Central Bank governor Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer expressed optimism on the agreement, which would also increase the foreign currency allowance from $500 to $1,000 per person.

“What we have arrived at today is the best that could be achieved in view of the current Libyan circumstances, and we really hope that we will move beyond this stage and that, with all the reforms, we may, as far as possible, raise the suffering of the Libyan citizen,” he concluded.

The US Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Williams who was present at the meeting also praised the decision taking, emphasising that a united stance was crucial in helping the government provide for all citizens.

“Libya is facing challenges and the reforms are needed in the economic sector so Libyans’ lives can become more stable and the US is in full support for the new steps.” Williams added.

However the measures did not see universal support. House of Representatives’ member Fathi Bash Agha, who boycotted the meeting, took to Twitter, complaining that the measures were only a means to contain public anger, citing a hike in dollar exchange rates at the time of the meeting as evidence of a negative economic outlook.

Similarly, the Tripoli-based Audit Bureau, which usually attends, did not participate. The bureau has previously strongly criticised the central bank, which it accuses of being directly responsible for Libya’s current economic austerity measures.

An ambitious target was set for the implementation of the plan, with the economic reforms scheduled to be in place by the end of July 2018.

Libya has continued to suffer from a recession since 2016, with its current GDP at half of its pre-revolution level. The lengthy and ongoing conflict is taking a heavy toll on the Libyan economy and the well-being of the population, with the UN expressing concern last month at the intensity of fighting in the city of Derna.

Libyan factions agreed to proceed with elections scheduled for 10 December at last week’s international conference hosted in Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron, which it is hoped will unify the divided country after years of infighting.


June 6, 2018 - Saudi willing to play a role in supporting stability in Libya
Saudi willing to play a role in supporting stability in Libya

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced that his country is ready to play a role in supporting a Libyan national project which represents the people and fulfils their wishes.

This came after a meeting between Bin Salman and the President of the Presidential Council of the Government of the Libyan Accord, Fayez Al-Sarraj, on Monday in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by Al-Sarraj’s information office.

During their meeting, the two officials discussed the latest developments in Libya and the possibility of further establishing bilateral relations between the two countries. “Stability in Libya will have a positive impact on its neighbours and the entire region. It will also encourage the opening of new horizons for joint cooperation,” said Bin Salman.

Al-Sarraj said “his ultimate goal is to establish a democratic, civilian state of Libya,” according to the statement.

He pointed out that “to be realised, this goal requires regional and international support”.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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June, 03, 2018 - UAE Spending Huge Money to Back Pro-Haftar Nominees in Libyan Elections: Report
UAE Spending Huge Money to Back Pro-Haftar Nominees in Libyan Elections: Report - Tasnim News Agency

Sources said there have been intensive talks and consultations between the United Arab Emirates and Libyan groups to secure support for those close to Major General Khalifa Belgacem Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), in the upcoming elections.

The Libyan sources said the UAE is spending large sums of money to finance the electoral campaign of nominees who are close to Major General Haftar, the Arabic-language Al-Araby Al-Jadeed daily reported.

According to the sources, Egypt, the UAE, Oman, and Tunisia have recently held secret talks to secure support for the nomination of their favorite candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya later this year.

Khalifa Haftar will not personally run for the upcoming elections, but will nominate a number of his main advocates with the support of his allies in Egypt, the UAE and France, the report said.

On Tuesday, four main Libyan political leaders attended a peace conference in Paris and agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on December 10.

Libya is split between rival governments in the East and West, each backed by an array of tribal militias.

Egypt, Russia and the UAE, who back General Haftar in the East, also attended the peace conference in Paris, as well as the UN Special envoy Ghassan Salame.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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22.06.2018 - United States Conducted at Least 550 Drone Attacks on Libya Since 2011 - Reports
United States Conducted at Least 550 Drone Attacks on Libya Since 2011 - Reports

The findings were made by the Intercept media outlet and Italy's La Repubblica newspaper after carrying out an investigation, based on interviews with US military officials and an analysis of open-source data.

The amount of the US drone strikes on Libya, since the start of its campaign in the north African nation in 2011, reportedly exceeds the number of US airstrikes since 2001 in Yemen, Pakistan or Somalia, media reported Thursday.

"Our Predators shot 243 Hellfire missiles in the six months of OUP [NATO operation Operation Unified Protector], over 20 percent of the total of all Hellfires expended in the 14 years of the system’s deployment," retired Lt. Col. Gary Peppers, the commander of the 324th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron during the OUP, told The Intercept.

Nor the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) or the US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa could confirm his figures, according to media outlet.

The investigation pointed at the failure of the US military to tally the number of drone strikes accurately.

According to the media outlet, chief of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) Gen. Thomas Waldhauser provided an incorrect number of airstrikes in Libya in 2016 before a congressional committee in March.

"Probably very few people outside the U.S. government are even aware the U.S. is fighting in Libya, let alone conducting hundreds of lethal drone strikes there. And the U.S. seems to be quite selective about which strikes it publicizes and which it doesn’t," Daphne Eviatar, the director of security with human rights at Amnesty International USA, told The Intercept.

The US strikes in Libya continued under the administration of US President Donald Trump, with the latest one being conducted on June 6 near the town of Bani Walid.


21.06.2018 - Libyan Haftar-led Forces Retook Sidr, Ras Lanuf Ports from Militants - Reports
Libyan Haftar-Led Forces Retook Sidr, Ras Lanuf Ports From Militants - Reports

The Libyan army led by military commander Khalifa Haftar liberated the oil ports of Sidr and Ras Lanuf on the Mediterranean coast from armed militants, the Sky News Arabia TV channel reported, citing the army spokesman Ahmed Mismari.

Militants, affiliated with al-Qaeda terrorist group* attacked and captured the ports of Sidr and Ras Lanuf on June 14. According to Sanalla, the assaults on the ports resulted in Libyan oil production cuts amounting to 400,000 barrels per day. Moreover, two oil storage tanks, located in the ports, had been destroyed by the militants.

The offensive to recapture the oil facilities lasted less than 24 hours, the outlet added, noting that Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), announced the operation earlier on Thursday. Sanalla reportedly said that the ports would resume their work in two days.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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03.07.2018 - Libyan Navy: Dozens Reported Missing After Migrant Boat Sunk Off Libyan Coast
Libyan Navy: Dozens Reported Missing After Migrant Boat Sunk Off Libyan Coast

Over 60 people went missing after a boat carrying migrants sank off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea, a representative of the Libyan Navy told Sputnik on Tuesday.

According to the Libyan Navy's representative, the boat was carrying a total of 104 migrants, with at least 63 of them now being missing.

Meanwhile, the Libyan coast guard has managed to rescue as many as 276 individuals from three migrant vessels detected near the country's coast, including 41 migrants from the sunken boat, the representative added. There are citizens of several countries among those rescued.

The European Union has been experiencing a large-scale migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to the information provided by the International Migration Organization (IOM), nearly 41,000 migrant sea arrivals have been detected in Europe in the period from January 1 to June 20, with at least 960 attempts to reach the European continent by sea having resulted in deaths.


02.07.2018 - Libya's Oil Exports Grind to Halt as Haftar's Army Block Eastern Terminals - NOC
Libya's Oil Exports Grind to Halt as Haftar's Army Block Eastern Terminals - NOC

Libya's oil exports have come to a virtual standstill after Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) blocked the remaining oil ports of Hariga and Zuwaytinah in a bid to wrestle control over the war-torn country's oil exports from the National Oil Corporation (NOC), the latter said Monday.

"Despite our warning of the consequences and attempts to reason with the LNA General Command, two legitimate allocations were blocked from loading at Hariga and Zuetina this weekend. The storage tanks are full and production will now go offline," NOC head Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a company statement.

In late June, Haftar's forces started seizing the so-called oil crescent and soon declared full control over the area stretching from Tobruk to Sidr, including the port in Ras Lanuf. The LNA said control would be handed over to the eastern government based in Tobruk instead of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

In Monday's statement, NOC said production losses amounted to some 850,000 barrels per day, wiping out nearly all of Libya's output. The corporation, which has so far dominated Libya's energy sector and is the main internationally recognized exporter of oil from the North African country, warned of massive supply disruptions and revenue losses due to the LNA campaign.

"The total daily revenue loss associated with the shutdown is estimated at $67.4 million. The financial loss to the public purse since the attack on Es Sidra and Ras Lanuf on 14 June by Ibrahim Jadhran is more than $650 million," the company said, calling on the LNA to end the blockade, and stressing that it was the only Libyan entity entitled to explore, produce and export oil.

The Tobruk government and the UN-recognized GNA have been the two main entities governing Libya since the GNA was established in 2015. Prior to that, the west of the country was under the control of the General National Congress. The duality emerged in the aftermath of the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 in the course of the Libyan Civil War.


23.06.2018 - Scholar Explains How Conflict-Torn Libya Could Find a Political Solution
Scholar Explains How Conflict-Torn Libya Could Find a Political Solution

Forces loyal to Libyan General Khalifa Haftar have announced that they’ve retaken the country’s northeastern oil ports from the control of a renegade armed group. Oil production – the war-torn country’s most vital economic lifeline – dropped this week from around one million barrels per day to 450,000 this week as a result of fighting.

Sputnik spoke to Dr. Ilia Xypolia, from the Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Aberdeen, to find out what needs to be done to get Libya’s oil-based economy back on its feet.

Sputnik: What really needs to be done to stabilize the oil production in Libya, considering that it’s a critical lifeline for the Libyan economy?

Dr Ilia Xypolia: This is one of the big questions that we’re currently facing during this conflict. It is not the first time that actually the first time that the areas in the oil crescent have been attacked from the militias and Haftar forces.

As you said, it was last week that the forces affiliated with Ibrahim Jadran claimed that they gained control of the main ports in the Libyan oil crescent but Haftar forces managed to recapture the control. The issue with these areas is that it is very very difficult actually for any of the opposing factions to actually have a sustainable strong hold of this area.

It is, if you see, the geography of the area, the close proximity to the sea and the desert and the pipelines, it is very very difficult for establishing a strong military force over there. To answer your question, I think the only hope for stability in this area for the oil industry, will be the establishment of a strong united government who can work together to protect the area.

Sputnik: Do you see the French-backed initiative that we saw hashed out in Paris a few weeks ago as coming to fruition? Is there a chance of reconciliation between the two sides?

Dr Ilia Xypolia: Yes we have seen over the past few months a renewal by the European powers initiatives, especially from the French president Emmanual Macron to establish a forum that can bring together the opposing sides.

There is not too much room for hope that this will bring the conflict to an end but working together with the UN initiatives the only thing we can realistically hope is that to have elections by the end of the year.

Elections that can be held to set standard of fairness and a free election, which could be a very positive step for the political situation in the country.

The views expressed in this article are those of Dr. Ilia Xypolia and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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The Tobruk-based parliament in Libya on Wednesday accused Qatar of supporting militants that had attacked Libyan oil ports in June, local media reported.

05.07.2018 - East Libya's Govt Slams Qatar for Aiding Militant Attacks on Oil Ports - Reports
East Libya's Govt Slams Qatar for Aiding Militant Attacks on Oil Ports - Reports

According to the Libyan News Agency, the statement was made by the defense and national security committee of the House of Representatives, the Libyan parliament based in Tobruk.

"The State of Qatar is complicit in preparing the attack on [Libyan] oil fields and ports," the statement was quoted by the media outlet.

In mid-June, militants with links to the Al Qaeda terrorist group attacked and captured the ports. In late June, the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) started seizing the so-called oil crescent and soon declared full control over the area stretching from Tobruk to Sidr, including the port in Ras Lanuf. The LNA said control would be handed over to the eastern government based in Tobruk instead of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

According to the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), the militants’ assaults on the ports resulted in Libyan oil production cuts amounting to 400,000 barrels per day. Moreover, two oil storage tanks, located in the ports, were destroyed. Production then came to a near halt after the capture by the LNA.

The Tobruk government and the UN-recognized GNA have been the two main entities governing Libya since the GNA was established in 2015. Prior to that, the west of the country was under the control of the General National Congress. The duality emerged in the aftermath of the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 in the course of the Libyan conflict.

Qatar has been under diplomatic and economic blockade since June 2017 when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut off diplomatic relations and communication with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. The Maldives, Mauritius, and Mauritania followed suit, while Jordan and Djibouti reduced the level of their diplomatic missions in Qatar. Doha has refuted the allegations.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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The security situation in Libya remains tense ever since the civil war, which began in 2011, wrought havoc on the country.

09.07.2018 - Libya's Tripoli Security Chief Kidnapped by Local Militia - Reports
Libya's Tripoli Security Chief Kidnapped by Local Militia - Reports

Mohammed Al Damja, the head of the central security agency in Libya's capital, Tripoli, has been kidnapped from his house by militants from the Tripoli Brigade, the Libya24 broadcaster reported.


09.07.2018 - Italy Keen to Work with Russia on Securing Libya to Fix Migration Issues
Italy Keen to Work With Russia on Securing Libya to Fix Migration Issues

Italy wants to work together with Russia on settling the Libyan conflict as stability in the war-torn country needed to deal with the migration crisis, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Guglielmo Picchi told Sputnik on Monday.

"There is an ongoing debate on how to protect the EU southern borders. The plan that proposed Salvini was supported by many countries. He proposed to establish camps. Libya could be one of the countries where we have such camps. We are working hard to stabilize Libya and the Russian role is very important to achieve the stability in the country. We are keen to work with Russia to stabilize Libya. We need stability in the country to establish those camps," Picchi said.

Last week, the European Council summit agreed on several aspects of the bloc's migration policy, including the establishment of "regional disembarkation platforms in close cooperation with relevant third countries" and controlled centers in the EU member states. The resettlement or relocation of migrants across the bloc is expected to be done on voluntary basis.

Meanwhile, Austria has placed temporary border checks over the informal meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Innsbruck on July 12-13, the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten newspaper reported.

"We are looking for possible troublemakers, not specifically for migrants," a police spokesman said as quoted by the newspaper, stressing that the measure had nothing to do with the ongoing migration crisis.

The media also said that temporary 5-day border checks would be imposed around September 20 due to the informal meeting of EU heads of state or government in Salzburg.

Migration has been the source of internal tensions in the European Union. Under the Dublin Regulation, the state through which an asylum applicant entered the bloc, is usually designated as responsible for processing the application, which means that refugees may be sent back to that state. Italy, which often serves as the country of first entry to the bloc for many migrants crossing over the Mediterranean Sea from Africa, has urged other EU members to do more to accommodate thousands of new arrivals.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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September 14, 2018 - Libya: Ex-Gaddafi supporters, opposition and Haftar forces discuss peace
Libya: Ex-Gaddafi supporters, opposition and Haftar forces discuss peace


A joint press conference after the national reconciliation initiative was embarked by 'Libya Peace Group' in Tunis, Tunisia on 13 September 2018 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan Peace Group on Wednesday launched an initiative aimed at achieving comprehensive national reconciliation to end the crisis in Libya.

The group includes representatives of the February 17th Martyrs Brigade who overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, leaders of the Gaddafi regime and the Karama process launched by Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

In a press conference, member of the initiative, Ashour Al-Arifi, said that “the best solution is to create a national authority which represents all the segments of the Libyan people. This would “adopt a genuine national project, which the Libyan people can rally around, and provides national leaders able to find a solution in Libya under the slogan of comprehensive national reconciliation,” he added.

Since the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, Libya has been plagued by security chaos and a struggle for legitimacy and authority, which is now centered between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in the capital Tripoli, and the “interim government” backed by Khalifa Haftar in the east.

Al-Arifi, who is a representative of the February 17th Martyrs Brigade went on to say: “It is necessary to begin with preliminary steps to overcome the current crisis through a series of stages, beginning with the pressure on the presidential council (the Government of National Accord) by delegating its powers to the head of a small national government of technocrats which adopts a time-bound work programme that achieves goals to resolve the crisis.”

He explained that the stages of achieving the initiative are to “end the war, dissolve all armed groups, ceasefire, keep only the regime police forces, and authorize the head of the executive government to be a crisis government with a clear and time-bound work program.”

Yousif Kashouna, head of the Gaddafi backing Libyan Peace Group, said: “This initiative, which brings together leaders from the Karama process, the former regime and the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, stems from the cries of the citizens, the tears of the poor and the displaced, and from the clutches of corruption and terrorism.”

The United Nations is making efforts to resolve the Libyan conflict as part of a road map that includes holding parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of this year, but Libyan and foreign parties are questioning the possibility of holding elections amidst continued unrest in the country.


September 14, 2018 - Haftar’s son moves millions from Central Bank of Libya
Haftar’s son moves millions from Central Bank of Libya

Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar’s son transferred large sums of money and silver from the Central Bank of Libya to unknown destinations in 2017, a new report has revealed.

A panel of experts on Libya released the details that the 106 Infantry Battalion of the Libya National Army, led by Haftar’s son Saddam, took control of the bank’s Benghazi branch late last year.

The report, which was issued on 5 September and submitted to the the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), confirmed that the contents of the bank which were confiscated by the battalion is estimated at 639,975,00 Libyan dinars ($465,696,030), in addition to €159,700,000 ($187,154,947), $1.9 million and 5,869 silver coins.

The report pointed out that individuals affiliated with Haftar’s forces confirmed that the Battalion had assisted in securing the transfer of money and silver coins without specifying its final destination.

The report asserted that the Central Bank of Libya’s Benghazi branch confirmed the sum of funds which had been kept on site, but pointed out that sewage flooded the area and only €150 million was recovered in addition to 224,690,000 Libyan dinars ($263,312,056).

According to the report, the Central Bank in Eastern Libya declared that the silver coins and about 375 million Libyan dinars ($272.9 million) are still deposited in the treasury of the bank’s Benghazi branch.


September 19, 2018 - Clashes erupt as armed groups break UN ceasefire in Libya capital
Clashes erupt as armed groups break UN ceasefire in Libya capital


Libyan militias [Ahmet İzgi/Anadolu Agency]

Clashes have erupted in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, breaking a UN mission-led ceasefire deal reached earlier this month, according to the Libya Observer.

Fighting broke out once again yesterday on the Airport Road between Liwaa Al-Summod forces led by former Libyan Dawn leader Salah Badi, and Central Security Department forces, led by Abdelghani Al-Kikli. Both parties have accused the other of being the first to break the ceasefire.

The clashes resulted in damage to several power units in South Hadba, creating a blackout from Tripoli to Ras Ajdair, before the power was gradually restored.

Tripoli University students taking their exams also faced disruption due to the violence, with many failing to reach their exam halls. Education Minister Othman Abdeljalil affirmed yesterday that exams would be held in safer areas, adding that the ministry will rectify the absence of the students who did not manage to arrive yesterday.

Fighting initially erupted in late August between the Seventh Brigade from the town of Tarhouna and two Tripoli-based militias, the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades and the Nawasi, over the distribution of resources. At least 63 people were left dead in the clashes, hundreds injured, and an attack on the city’s only functioning airport caused all flights to be suspended.

A ceasefire deal was subsequently brokered by the UN Mission in Libya, although tensions continued to simmer between warring groups in the capital.

Since the protests against the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi in 2011, the country has faced chronic instability and violence.

In 2014, Libya split between rival camps with General Khalifa Haftar gradually emerging as the dominant figure in the east aligned with a regional parliament and government, and opposing the internationally recognised government in the western capital, Tripoli.

Foreign interference has also complicated internal divisions, with Haftar’s forces backed by Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Whilst the UAE publicly supports UN resolutions, their backing of Haftar has been attributed to their desire to bolster the Libyan commander as an alternative to the Islamist forces in the region, thought to be backed by Qatar and Turkey.

The country has also seen the rise of militia units exploiting the lack of control of state institutions, making sudden clashes common in many districts.

In May, Libyan factions agreed to proceed with elections scheduled for 10 December, and the UN is leading efforts to stabilise the country in the run up to the vote.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
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PressTV-Mass grave found near Libya's Sirte

Libyan officials say a mass grave containing 75 bodies has been found near Sirte, the former bastion of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the North African country.

Mohamad al-Amial, the coastal city's municipal council spokesman said on Wednesday that the mass grave was uncovered in an agricultural area of al-Daheir, west of Sirte.

"Seventy-five decomposed bodies were recovered" in the presence of the public prosecutor, Sirte's security force and the Red Crescent.

Amial said the find was made "a few days ago" and that the bodies were believed to be of Daesh members , although there was no confirmation.

DNA samples had been taken for analysis.

Daesh exploited the disarray that emerged in Libya following the 2011 overthrow and death of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, taking over a strip of coastal land, including Sirte, in June 2015.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, the city was the main urban center that Daesh managed to seize outside Iraq and Syria.

Forces of Libya's UN-backed unity government, known as GNA, expelled Daesh from the coastal city in December 2016 after eight months of deadly combat. The group has since pulled back to desert outposts.

Since their defeat in Sirte, the militants have kept up the fight from rural areas of western Libya. In April, the Tripoli-based unity government launched a campaign to flush them out.

The terrorist group claimed responsibility for a an attack last month on the Tripoli headquarters of Libya's National Oil Corporation that killed two staffers as well as an assault in May on the country's electoral commission in which 14 people died.

Despite the formation of the internationally-recognized GNA, which emerged from two competing governments in Libya in December 2015, the country has yet to become administratively unified. Military factions allied with renegade General Khalifa Haftar continue to act on their own and without coordination with GNA. There have been reports that Haftar loyalists have been in contact with foreign forces conducting drone operations in Libya as well.

Forces from several Western countries, including the United States, France and Britain, are in Libya in a purported drone war on Daesh.

GNA has denounced the presence of the foreign forces, saying it violates Libya’s sovereignty.


Libya Seeks Intl Community's Aid to Solve Country's Ongoing Crisis - Envoy to US

Tripoli does not expect any new initiatives to be proposed at the conference on Libya in Palermo, Italy, next month as the event will be aimed at supporting the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the country’s ambassador to the United States, Wafa Bughaighis, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"There is still no apparent agenda except that it [the conference] will support the UNSMIL mission on the political, security and economical tracks," Bughaighis said. "I don’t expect any new initiatives. It will be basically to support the UN efforts in Libya."
Bughaighis, however, emphasized the importance of organizing the conference as part of international efforts to solve the crisis in Libya.

"This conference will be hopefully showing more unification in position toward Libya," Bughaighis said. "All unification efforts are important for Libya. This will be great help to solving the conflict and to [enabling] Libyans… reach a solution because at the end it will be a Libyan solution."

Earlier on Tuesday, Italian Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio told Sputnik that Italy is talking with US officials about the US level of participation at the upcoming conference on Libya in Palermo.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in September that US President Donald Trump will take part in the conference provided that he finds time in the midst of the midterm elections. Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said Monday that the conference will be mainly focused on securing elections in the crisis-torn country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia would certainly attend the conference, but would later determine the level of its participation, adding that Moscow only received the invitation on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Tripoli wants world powers to align their positions in order to resolve the ongoing conflict in Libya, Libyan Ambassador to the United States told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"It’s so important that the international community unifies its position on Libya," Bughaighis said. "We want the international community to align its positions toward Libya."

Bughaighis also said no new initiatives were being discussed with the United States, which still backs the peace efforts led by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), headed by Ghassan Salame.

The United States makes it very clear that they support Ghassan Salame, that they support UNSMIL and they wish not to see many countries with new initiatives and different initiatives,” the ambassador explained. “They want just one plan for Libya that can succeed, and that’s what I hear from them.”

Bughaighis said Russia could still play an important role in peacemaking in Libya.

“We ask of Russia what we ask from all the international and regional countries and partners, which is to help us to be in alignment with each other, to unify the positions and to help to stop proxy wars, to stop conflict between countries in Libya so that the Libyans can reach a solution,” she said. “I believe very much that it will be in the end a Libyan solution that will get us out of this conflict.”

Libya has been torn apart by conflict since longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. The eastern part of the country is governed by the Tobruk-based parliament, backed by the Libyan National Army (LNA). The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli.
 

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08.10.2018 - UN Backed Libyan Leader reshuffles Cabinet - Reports
UN-Backed Libyan Leader Reshuffles Cabinet – Reports

The head of Libya’s UN-backed government, Fayez Sarraj, on Sunday announced a cabinet reshuffle after armed clashes in Tripoli in August required international mediation.

Fathi Bashagha was named interior minister, Ali Al-Essawi was given the post of economy chief, Faraj Bumatari became the new finance minister, and Bashir Gantri was named youth and sport minister, according to the Libya Observer, a local news website.

Since late August, Tripoli has been hit by multiple clashes between rival militant groups. In September the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) declared a state of emergency in the capital city and its surroundings.

Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow of its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. It is divided between two governments — in Tripoli and in the country's east. The UN-endorsed Government of National Accord in the west is led by Prime Minister Sarraj.
 
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