Nigerians stuck in Libya return home with a song

Nigerians stuck in Libya return home with a songMore than 150 Nigerians, some of them in tears, broke out in song as they touched down on home soil, after months stuck in Libya waiting to try to get to Europe. “Some are in prison for so long, six months, seven months… I was put in a cell, like four, five months before I came back,” he told AFP. – Increasing numbers –Four plane-loads of Nigerian migrants have now flown back from Libya in less than two months. Since the start of the year, 660 people in total have been helped to return voluntarily. In 2016, a total of 37,551 Nigerians managed to get to the Italian coast, according to the IOM, more than those from Eritrea, Ivory Coast and The Gambia.

March 25, 2017 18:11 UTC

Presidential Council forms 3000-fighter force to secure Sirte

The UN-proposed government's Presidential Council (PC) has issued a new decree ordering the formation of a military force tasked with securing the city of Sirte. The PC's decree No. 18 for 2017 specified the tasks assigned for the new force as four:First, the force will be securing the state institutions in Sirte. Second, the force will be tasked with fighting terrorism and securing the lives and properties of the residents in Sirte. The PC's decree added, saying each personnel of the force will be given 2000 Libyan dinars by the Defense Ministry.

March 25, 2017 15:45 UTC

US Will Keep Ground Troops In Libya For ‘Foreseeable Future’

US Will Keep Ground Troops In Libya For ‘Foreseeable Future’The US intends to keep ground troops in Libya for the foreseeable future to support “friendly forces,” and to “degrade” the ISIS forcesIn a press briefing at the Pentagon today, African Command leader Gen. Thomas Waldhauser announced that the US intends to keep ground troops in Libya for the foreseeable future to support “friendly forces,” and to “degrade” the ISIS forces that remain in the country. Waldhauser did not specify how many US troops are in Libya now, or how many will stay, but did estimate that there were less than 200 ISIS fighters left in Libya. The US had announced the end of the anti-ISIS campaign in Libya back in December, but never fully withdrew from the country. The US forces were in Libya trying to help the “unity” government defeat ISIS in the city of Sirte. US officials repeatedly claimed the city was totally surrounded, and that no ISIS fighters would get away, though when the fighting finally ended, a substantial number of ISIS fighters did in fact get away.

March 25, 2017 15:05 UTC

Derna Shura Council foils Dignity Operation attack on southern Derna

The fighters of the Derna Shura Council thwarted an offensive launched by the forces of Khalifa Haftar-led Dignity Operation's Omar Al-Mukhtar Operation Room on Daher Al-Hamar frontline in southern Derna. "We have hit targets for Dignity Operation forces with a rocket and caused them a number of injuries, including one of the leaders of the offensive." A military source from the Derna Shura Council reported.

March 25, 2017 13:52 UTC

News Roundup - Sat, Mar 25, 2017

Libya national team was missing a number of its top players, especially Al-Ahli Tripoli ones, who couldn't be part of the training camp in Egypt. Libya's coach, Jalal Al-Damja hailed Libya's performance against the fully-prepared Togo team. Gen. Waldhauser added that there are Russians on the ground in the area," adding that Russia's attempts to influence Libya were concerning to the US. It added that they all discussed Tripoli security situation. On Facebook, it added that the reason behind the power outage is related to maintenance at western Tripoli power plant.

March 25, 2017 13:52 UTC

Bu Khamada: Fighters with mental illness are part of east Libya army

Fighters with psychiatric disorder are fighting alongside Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army, the commander of Al-Saiqa Forces Wanis Bu Khamada has declared, while he was addressing a tribal group to give excuses for the shocking videos of crimes committed by the army in Benghazi. Ironically, a photograph posted on Facebook showed Wanis Bu Khamada’s son posing with Jalal al-Makhzoum’s hanged corpse outside Al-Saiqa camp. War crimes were committed by east Libyan army in Ganfouda district including ISIS-style murder of captives, burning and mutilation of bodies and exhumation of corpses of opposition fighters. The heinous crimes in Benghazi were deplored by Human Right Watch and Amnesty International and said they may amount to war crimes. Al-Mismari indicated that ISIS has planted brutal killings in their thoughts while army fighters had not attended training in psychology.

March 24, 2017 14:26 UTC

Around 250 feared dead on ‘Black Day’ in Mediterranean

ROME: Over 250 African migrants were feared drowned in the Mediterranean Thursday after a charity’s rescue boat found five corpses close to two sinking rubber dinghies off Libya. They had drowned in the 24 hours prior to them being discovered shortly after dawn on Thursday in waters directly north of the Libyan port of Sabrata, according to the rescue boat s medical staff. Despite the growing risks, migrants trying to reach Europe still stand a good chance of making it by getting on a trafficker s boat. More than half a million got to Italy in that fashion between late 2013 and the end of last year. “Defeating the business model of traffickers requires the existence of credible legal pathways for those in need of international protection,” UNHCR’s Cochetel said.

March 24, 2017 03:11 UTC

155 Nigerians deported from Libya arrive Lagos Airport

155 Nigerians deported from Libya arrive Lagos AirportBy Lawani Mikairiu155 Nigerians were Thursday assisted by International Organisation for Migration,IOM, to return to Nigeria from Libya. The deportees arrived Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos ,aboard a chartered flight from Libya after they were unable to cross the war-torn north African country to Europe for greener pastures. The returnees, mainly in their 20s and 30s, according to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, were picked up from various prisons and detention camps in Libya by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Public Information Officer of IOM, Julia Burpee, said theirs were cases of people stranded in Libya and unable to proceed as economic migrants to Europe. The post 155 Nigerians deported from Libya arrive Lagos Airport appeared first on Vanguard News.

March 23, 2017 20:48 UTC

Spanish aid group: More than 200 migrants feared dead after boats sink off Libya

Five bodies recovered as hundreds are feared dead off the coast of Libya • NGO spots two sunken boatsFive migrants were found dead in the sea off Libya on Thursday after the boats they were traveling in sank, likely carrying hundreds more to their deaths, an aid organization said.Proactiva Open Arms, one of several groups operating in the area, said it was notified that an inflatable boat was sinking early on Thursday and found another going down shortly afterwards. "We brought on board five corpses recovered from the sea, but no lives. It is a harsh reality check of the suffering here that is invisible in Europe," the group wrote on Facebook.Given the size of the boats, which are often packed with people by smugglers in Libya, there were probably more than 100 people in each, Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza said.A spokesman for Italy's coast guard, which coordinates and participates in rescues, confirmed the five bodies were on board Proactiva's ship, the Golfo Azzurro, which he said would remain in the area in case of any emergency calls.A rising number of migrants is attempting to cross the central Mediterranean this year after a deal between the European Union and Turkey largely shut down a route to Greece.A total of 559 deaths have been recorded in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration. About 5,000 were recorded for the whole of 2016.

March 23, 2017 18:56 UTC

Human rights organization says east Libya army may have committed war crimes

Amnesty International said on Thursday that execution-style killings carried out by fighters from the “Libyan National Army (LNA)” against captured fighters from the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR) in the Ganfouda may amount to war crimes. The human rights organization said it had verified two shocking videos showing fatal shooting of defenceless captives by LNA fighters. Both incidents took place in the Ganfouda area of Benghazi, formerly one of the last strongholds held by the SCBR forces. Ganfouda had been under military blockade for months, with LNA forces controlling the roads in and out of the area. The so-called Libya National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, claimed these killing incidents are isolated and do not represent the army.

March 23, 2017 15:44 UTC

Nigerian migrants flown home from Libya

Nigerian migrants flown home from LibyaLibyan authorities on Thursday flew home 159 Nigerian migrants stranded after failing to reach Europe, in the second such voluntary repatriation operation this week. IOM head William Lacy Swing, who was in Tripoli on Wednesday, visited a reception centre for migrants accompanied by the UN special envoy for Libya, Martin Kobler. “We can no longer turn our back on the communities affected by the current migration crisis” in Libya, said Swing, who met with Libyan officials. Kobler said it was “a humanitarian imperative” to improve the living conditions of migrants and help with repatriations. A group of 150 nationals of the Ivory Coast, gathered from detention centres around Libya, were flown home on Tuesday.

March 23, 2017 15:11 UTC

Libya increases oil production

Libya’s oil production has reached 700.000 bpd, member of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Corporation Jadallah Al-Okali has declared, adding the NOC is working to increase the production to 800.000 bpd by the end of April. Al-Okali also indicated that the NOC aims to push the production to 1.1 million bpd in August 2017.

March 23, 2017 12:45 UTC

Court ruling blocks Libya-Italy MoU on stemming illegal immigration

Tripoli Appeals Court's administrative division ruled Wednesday to block the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Libya and Italy to fight the growing influx of illegal immigrants and the issue of human trafficking as well as to help Libya secure its southern borders. "The MoU will be blocked urgently until the lawsuit is tackled in full." The court ruling stated.

March 22, 2017 18:45 UTC

Human Rights Watch: Haftar's forces guilty of war crimes in Benghazi

Dignity Operation forces, led by Khalifa Haftar, may have committed war crimes, including killing and beating civilians, and summarily executing and desecrating bodies of opposition fighters in the eastern city of Benghazi on and around March 18, 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday. In its report, titled "Summary Executions, Attacks on Civilians, Desecration of Corpses," Human Rights Watch said that the forces of Khalifa Haftar's Dignity Operation intercepted civilians trying to flee a besieged neighborhood of Ganfouda, some accompanied by opposition fighters, and the whereabouts of some civilians are unknown. "Khalifa Hiftar, the commander of the Dignity Operation forces in eastern Libya, should order a full and transparent investigation into recent alleged crimes by forces under his command, including attacks on civilians, alleged summary executions, and the mutilation and desecration of corpses, and hold those responsible to account." "Dignity Operation fighters intercepted about seven families after one of their cars broke down and attacked and killed some of them and arrested others," HRW quoted the relatives of Ganfouda families who fled the district as saying. Meanwhile, many political and social entities in Libya and overseas had condemned the inhumane crimes committed by Haftar's forces in Benghazi during and after the evacuation of the civilian families from Ganfouda by the Benghazi Shura Council fighters, who lost over 20 persons in the operation.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

IOM Director General Visits Tripoli as Crisis Worsens for Libyans and Vulnerable Migrants

Libya - Today (22/03), IOM Director General William Lacy Swing arrived in Tripoli, Libya, to meet with Libyan authorities regarding the complex migration and displacement situation within the country. “As humanitarians, we can no longer turn our back on the communities affected by the current migration crisis in Libya. Due to the situation in the country, many migrants are turning to IOM to help them get home. IOM is launching an Action Plan for Libya to work with the Libyan authorities to address the many challenges faced by migrants, IDPs, returnees and the affected Libyan population. For further information, please contactLeonard Doyle, Tel: +41 79 2857123, Email: , Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email:, or Christine Petré in IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:

March 22, 2017 03:00 UTC

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