Khalifa Haftar has funded his "eastern state" with a mix of unofficial bonds, Russia-printed cash and deposits from eastern banks, building up a debt worth around 35 billion Libyan dinars ($25.18 billion) outside the official banking system in Libya, Reuters said in a report on Thursday. Reuters added that according to diplomats and banking sources, Haftar's sources of support could be closing, as the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has taken steps to curtail the operations of banks in the east. The banks in eastern Libya have struggled in recent months to meet minimum deposit requirements, which could give the CBL in Tripoli the excuse to shut off access to hard currency, Reuters said, quoting diplomats. "But they fear the longer the conflict lasts, the harder it will be to unify the central banks and repay debt." “If the offensive fails, Haftar might do this as he feels encouraged by (U.S. President Donald) Trump,” one Western diplomat told Reuters.
April 25, 2019 19:07 UTC
The Libyan Interior Ministry of the Presidential Council's government said Thursday its central investigation apparatus had arrested an ISIS senior leader by the name Yaser Saleh Al-Majiri, A.K.A. The statement added that the arrested militant joined ISIS in 2014 and pledged allegiance to Tripoli Emir Abu Amer Al-Jazrawi. He then took up many positions with ISIS like office secretary of education, Emir of economy office, and Emir of Hisba office. "We won't spare efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremist organizations and we will keep working on prevailing stability and security in Libya and the region." On April 15, the ministry said it had arrested ISIS militant Mohammed Al-Hanid in Tajoura as he was trying to obtain explosive material, while on April 13, one of the ministry's apparatuses apprehended ISIS terrorist Anas Al-Zouki (Abu Abdullah Al-Dernawi).
April 25, 2019 18:45 UTC
The Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui called on his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to push the five permanent countries at the UN Security Council to have a unified stance toward the ongoing fighting in Libya. Abu Dhabi meeting resulted in the need to end transitional phase and uniting all Libya's institutions and then holding elections. Nonetheless, Haftar threw all those agreements behind his back and attacked Tripoli as part of his power grab aspirations. Jhinaoui also told reporters that Le Drian told him that France is working with the Security Council member states to put an end to the fighting in Libya. Both ministers discussed also the need for an immediate ceasefire in Tripoli and for the political process to resume under the auspices of the UN.
April 25, 2019 18:22 UTC
HIGHLIGHTS• On 24 April, UNHCR and IOM evacuated 328 refugees and migrants from the Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre (DC). • Over 3,300 refugees and migrants remain trapped in detention centres located in conflict-affected areas or in areas at risk of armed conflict. The Qasr Bin Ghashir DC is one of the DCs most exposed to conflict. The situation in these detention centres is increasingly desperate – there are reports of guards abandoning their posts and leaving people trapped inside. On 22 April, a woman gave birth without medical assistance in Qasr Bin Ghashir DC due to ambulances refusing to respond to calls for medical assistance there.
April 25, 2019 16:41 UTC
Libya has asked the UN Security Council to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate attacks on civilians in Tripoli, according to a letter released Thursday. Libya's UN-recognized government said forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar had killed and displaced civilians, destroyed property, recruited child soldiers and used heavy artillery and Grad missiles on populated areas. The government requested that the council "delegate a fact-finding mission to investigate the violations committed by the attacking forces in the city of Tripoli," said the letter dated April 18 from Libyan Ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi. The council has been unable to agree on a draft resolution put forward by Britain demanding a ceasefire in Tripoli after Haftar's forces launched an offensive on April 4 to seize the capital. More than 35,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.
April 25, 2019 15:33 UTC
Libya’s U.N.-supported government is asking the Security Council to appoint a “fact-finding mission” to investigate alleged violations by the forces attacking the capital. Ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi said in an April 18 letter to the council president circulated Thursday that the violations include “the killing and displacement of civilian citizens, the destruction of public and private properties, the recruitment of children and involving them in wars and hostilities.”It also cited “targeting the civilian neighbourhoods and populated areas and exposing them to heavy artillery and Grad missiles.”Forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter launched an offensive in Tripoli earlier this month, and are battling militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported government. The U.N. health agency says the fighting has killed more than 270 people, including civilians, and wounded nearly 1,300. The Associated Press
April 25, 2019 15:33 UTC
The Libya crisis is characterised by multiple different narratives, each serving the interests of one or more of the many actors competing on the ground for the remains of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s former Jamahiriya. Qatar offered political - and probably financial - support to mainstream Islamists with non-hostile positions towards the authoritarian monarchies of the Gulf. France's initial support for Qatar in Libya also responded to the need to appease its economic partners in the Gulf. No less complex is the web of narratives and reciprocal accusations among militias, tribes, parties and families. They are scarcely interested in the definition of a collective solution at a national level, instead focusing on local interests.
April 25, 2019 15:22 UTC
Expand Migrant detention center in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura. “Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers detained in appalling conditions now find themselves trapped near or on the front lines of conflict,” said Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director. On April 23, armed men attacked detainees at the Qasr Ben Geshir detention center, about 24 kilometers south of Tripoli, according to reports. Parties to the conflict forcing detained migrants to handle weapons, stockpiling weapons where migrants are detained, and conducting military activities in compounds where migrants are detained would likely violate the laws of armed conflict. The EU should move quickly to act on High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini’s pledge to help evacuate detained migrants and asylum seekers out of Libya or relocate them to safer areas inside Libya.
April 25, 2019 15:22 UTC
Intensified fighting for control of the Libyan capital is turning residential areas of Tripoli into "battlefields", the International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday. Youness Rahoui, the head of office in Tripoli for the ICRC, singled out the impact of the violence, which has focused on Tripoli's southern suburbs, on residents of the capital. Densely-populated residential areas are gradually turning into battlefields," Rahoui said. He also said it was becoming "increasingly dangerous for medical workers to retrieve the wounded, with mounting reports of indiscriminate shelling". Forces loyal to the GNA, which is based in Tripoli, launched a counter-attack last weekend.
April 25, 2019 14:15 UTC
Sudanese migrants who fled fighting and turmoil in Darfur are facing war once again, caught for three weeks in the crossfire as Libyan unity government forces battle strongman Khalifa Haftar. “I fled one war only to find another war,” sighed Alawia, a mother in her forties. The Sudanese woman from Darfur was living in Saadia southwest of Tripoli with her three children when the clashes erupted. For him, like many others at the makeshift shelter, the school is the umpteenth stop of a painful odyssey. ‘I’m Ready to Sell One of My Organs’Most migrants in Libya share the same goal – Europe – hoping their perilous journeys will not have been in vain.
April 25, 2019 14:15 UTC
CAIRO — Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Hifter visited Egypt on April 14 to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and discuss new developments in Libya. Egypt’s support for this army is strategic and it backs the military efforts to reunite the Libyan state. Egypt supports all efforts aimed at restructuring the Libyan military establishment. This would protect the country's border and preserve its unity so that the army serves as a key guarantor of the civilian character of the Libyan state. Hatitah concluded, “By supporting the Libyan army, Egypt is not seeking to protect the Libyans but to protect its border and the security of its people because terrorism in Libya travels across neighboring countries such as Egypt.”
April 25, 2019 13:41 UTC
The humanitarian situation has greatly deteriorated around the Libyan capital Tripoli, where "densely populated residential areas are gradually turning into battlefields," the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said. "It is crucial that hospitals, medical facilities, health staff and vehicles transporting the wounded are allowed to carry out their activities safely," the ICRC said. WHO's emergency medical teams are helping #Libya's frontline hospitals cope with the influx of wounded, who now number 1332. On Wednesday, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) evacuated 325 refugees from a detention centre on the southern outskirts of Tripoli. Both the LNA and GNA have repeatedly carried out air raids against one another and accuse each other's forces of targeting civilians.
April 25, 2019 13:30 UTC
Gen. Haftar would restore order, or so his propaganda machine, now backed by Mr. Trump, as well as Egypt and France, to a certain degree, had declared. Instead, Gen. Haftar handed Libya a fresh civil war, and the body count is rising. Gen. Haftar earned the trust of Col. Gadhafi, who thrust him into the military’s upper ranks and sent him on a disastrous adventure. At that point, he was in effect disowned by Col. Gadhafi, and Gen. Haftar would seek revenge. But today, as his army is stuck on the outskirts of Tripoli, Gen. Haftar’s greatest ambition stands a good chance of failure.
April 25, 2019 12:00 UTC
Eight international NGOs including Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders demanded Thursday that France suspend the delivery of boats to Libya's coastguard on concerns they would be used to intercept migrants. But the offer angered rights groups who said they would be used to block migrant boats seeking to reach Europe, forcing those on board to return to war-torn Libya. The NGOs believe forcing people to return to Libya would expose them to "serious human rights violations". - 'Callous and irresponsible' -Massimo Moratti, regional director for research at Amnesty International, said the pledge to deliver boats to the Libyan coastguard was "an unlawful and reckless decision". The six vessels, which are to be delivered in the coming weeks, are 12-metre, semi-rigid boats made by French specialist Sillinger.
April 25, 2019 11:15 UTC
The Commander of the Naval Hub of the Volcano of Anger operation, Colonel Rida Issa said that any attempt by Haftar's forces to infiltrate by sea will be a suicide. Issa explained, in a press statement that the forces of the Central Military Region have promoted their presence in the sea since the start of the Volcano of Anger operation, and have conducted surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the maritime area stretching from Ras Jedir to Sirte city east of Tripoli, pointing out that the entire area has been declared a military operation zone. He also reaffirmed their readiness to deal with any targets or movements of aggressive forces in the sea, calling on the marines on Haftar's side to spare themselves the consequences of such step.
April 25, 2019 10:18 UTC