The group is said to be responsible for the sudden drop in migrant arrivals to Italy in recent monthsAn armed group is stopping migrant boats from making the journey from Tripoli in Libya to Europe, according to a report on Reuters.The city has been a key point of departure for human smugglers and the group’s activities are believed to be behind the recent drop in migrant arrivals, which have falled by more than 50% in July and August.Citing sources on the ground in Sabratha, located some 70km west of Tripoli, the report said the armed group was preventing migrants from leaving Libya, often locking them up in the process.“[The group] works on the ground, the beach, to prevent the migrants leaving on boats towards Italy,” one civil society organizer from the city was quoted saying, adding that it was made up of several hundred “civilians, policemen and army figures”.A second unidentified source is also quoted as saying that the “very strong campaign“ being undertaken by the group, had been launched by a “former mafia boss”.The sources said the unnamed group was also running a detention centre for migrants who are turned back or taken from smugglers, with one having “sent a picture with hundreds of migrants sitting in the sand in front of a high wall”.Moreover, one of the sources also told Reuters that he believed the group was seeking legitimacy and financial support from Tripoli. In recent months, the European Commission has tried to work with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to stem migrant flows.Last month, Fayez al-Serraj, the head of the GNA, was reported to have requested Italian naval support in its battle against human smugglers operating in its territorial waters. Despite Serraj’s subsequent denial, GNA foreign minister Mohamed Siala is reported to have said that a request for “logistical, technical and operational support to the Libyan coast guard” had in fact been made.Italy has been trying to bolster the GNA's ability to stop people smuggling with cash, training and by sending a ship to help repair Tripoli's coastguard and navy vessels.In February, during the Malta Summit, EU leaders agreed on a plan to forge ahead with a €200 million package – modelled on the EU-Turkey deal - that was to include stopping refugee boats from Libya by offering training and support the Libyan coast guard and intensifying defence on the North African state’s southern border.The agreement was described by Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as the European Union’s “first decent shot at a proper management of migratory flows in the central Mediterranean”.Libya has remained in a state of conflict since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted six years ago, with rival governments and groups across its territory all vying for power.Last month, the country’s two leading political rivals, Serraj and General Khalifa Haftar, who control much of the the east of the country, agreed to a ceasefire and fresh elections next year.
August 21, 2017 17:37 UTC
July and August are peak months for migrant boats because of favorable sea conditions. A third source with contacts in Libya, who also asked not to be named, said the Sabratha group was making "a significant effort to police the area". The two Sabratha sources said the group was running a detention center for migrants who are turned back or taken from smugglers. The Sabratha sources were not aware of any clashes. Last week smugglers moved departures to east of Tripoli, near Al Khoms, Chris Catrambone, co-founder of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) charity, told Reuters.
August 21, 2017 16:18 UTC
56 young Algerians were detained for three weeks in Al Nasr detention centre in the Libyan city of Zawiya after being captured off the coast. When Djamel returned to Algeria after spending ten days in a Libyan detention centre, the look in his eyes was different. They were taken to Al Nasr detention centre for aspiring refugees in the port town of Zawiya, about 50 kilometres west of Tripoli. According to our witnesses, a small group of people acting as a militia, who call themselves the Al Nasr Brigade, controls Al Nasr detention centre. As for Abdelghani and Djamel, they escaped from Al Nasr detention centre after ten days.
August 21, 2017 15:11 UTC
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) distributed 500 health bags to needy and low-income families in the city of Sirte. A source from Sirte Municipality said that the aid was part of a project organized and supervised by UNICEF, funded by the Office of the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Echo. It was distributed under the supervision of Misrata Supply Charity and the Libyan Red Crescent in coordination with the city council of Sirte.
August 21, 2017 14:10 UTC
Chief of the Presidential Guard of the UN-proposed government, Najmi al-Nakou, has declared that an Algerian-Libyan agreement had been reached to train Presidential Guard personnel. "We have agreed to open up with Algeria for training members of the Presidential Guard and an agreement on this issue will soon be signed. A number of Algerian security gendarmes will visit Libya in order to train members of the Presidential Guard”. Nakou said in a press statement.
August 21, 2017 14:03 UTC
There are currently between 700,000 and 1 million migrants in Libya. (File/Photo)The Libyan Express report today that the German Foreign Ministry are pushing for the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) to allow NGOs to work from its waters in order to conduct rescue missions in its territorial waters for migrants setting off to Europe. Earlier this month the Libyan government banned foreign vessels from entering a stretch of water off the coast of the country. According to the International Migration Organization (IOM) there are currently between 700,000 and 1 million migrants in Libya from a range of nationalities including Egypt, Niger, Sudan and Nigeria.
August 21, 2017 14:03 UTC
The Undersecretary of Defense, Uhida Najem, met with British Ambassador to Libya Peter Millett at the ministry's headquarters, in the presence of Defense Ministry officials. Najem said that he had held meetings with several international bodies, but found no intention of supporting the military establishment. He added that the ministry has a clear vision on structuring the military institution and securing borders in addition to integrate armed groups in various state institutions. On his side, Ambassador Millett said that he would strive to urge his authorities to open up avenues for joint cooperation between the defenses ministries of the two countries.
An unknown armed group kidnapped Dr. Lamine Abu Fares a staff member of the Senousi University in Bayda city on Sunday. According to security sources, Abu Fares was taken to infamous Qirnada prison. The motives behind his abduction is still unknown. However, relatives of Abu Fares say that it is likely to be of his unconformity with the Salafist group of Al-Madakhila who control the religious institutions in the eastern region.
The National Oil Corporation has announced the opening of registration to new trainees at the Oil Institute for Rehabilitation and Training, and the Qualitative Center for Training in Oil Industries in Zawiya city starting on Monday. The NOC added on its Facebook page that 15 committees distributed across all Libyan regions will receive applications of the trainees who will undergo the due process of written and oral tests and personal interviews in order to determine the number of students required for the new school year.
But for those who live in Sky Village, the inconvenience is well worth it for one simple reason: complete and utter darkness. Newton spends about half the year running a bed and breakfast with his wife in Osoyoos, British Columbia, and the other half in Sky Village. And there’s just one rule in Sky Village — where the streets have names like Starlight Drive and Hubble Way. “We are party central USA,” said Rick Beno, a former software engineer who moved to Sky Village from Florida in 2003. Sky Village, nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains, has one rule that applies to everyone who lives there: Turn off your lights.
August 21, 2017 13:39 UTC
Ezeala is a member of a band set up by medical charity Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) to help migrants who experienced torture and extreme violence before fleeing to a new life. MUSIC AS THERAPYAlmost 600,000 migrants arrived in Italy over the past four years. As Ezeala recovered, his family put him on a flight to Italy where he applied for asylum, he said. "Unfortunately in Libya today ... violence and torture are practiced on industrial scale," said Barbieri. Toure, the cultural mediator who also plays with the group, said music was helping Jalloh and his band mates recover.
August 21, 2017 12:56 UTC
Crude production at Sharara oil field, southwestern Libya, was halted on Sunday after a tribal militia from the mountain town of Zintan closed Al-Rayana pipeline connecting the country’s largest oilfield with Zawiya oil terminal a day before. The National Oil Corporation declared force majeure on the oil field, a week after production reached 230.000 bpd. The demands of the armed group are yet to be known. The Zintani militia had closed Sharara oil field several times before. Sharara oil field is run by the NOC in a joint venture with Spain’s Repsol.
August 21, 2017 12:00 UTC
In return, Italy pledged to pay $5bn to the Gaddafi regime in compensation for the colonial crimes Italy committed during its decades-long rule of Libya. In response, Europe is resorting to its old ways in resolving its issues with Libya – striking a deal with Libyan leadership. While France and Italy led in unison the 2011 military campaign against Gaddafi, today the two countries are playing a tug-of-war in Libya, which is further destabilising the country. Unfortunately, eight years on, Italy and the rest of the EU intend to dump again an international problem on Libya. READ MORE: Libya mired in 'culture of impunity'This strategy would practically transform Libya into a buffer zone "protecting" Europe from sub-Saharan migrants.
August 21, 2017 09:11 UTC
Photographers celebrating the World Photography Day in Shahhat, the city of history and civilization, known as Cyrene, sent a message to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that the monuments are not at risk. Al-Annabi added that the Benghazi Classic Motorcycle Club and several photographers from the Green Mountain attended the revival of the day, in addition to other satellite channels that were present to cover the event. "We have spent a wonderful time meeting with newcomers from the same field, in addition to benefitting by exchanging information in between," he said. He pointed out that the celebration of the International Day of Photography contributes to change the world's opinion on Libya and to show the activities of its youth, especially their cautiousness on the heritage of the country away from the usual atmosphere of war. August 19 each year marks the World Photography Day, where celebrators take pictures from different parts of the world reflecting the nature and culture of different countries.
August 21, 2017 09:00 UTC
Although there was strong support to prevent prices falling, analysts said there were was also little to drive oil higher. Brent crude futures, LCOc1 the international benchmark for oil prices, were at US$52.70 per barrel at 0302 GMT, down a cent from their last close. Also, US commercial crude inventories have fallen by almost 13 percent from their March peaks, to 466.5 million barrels. C-STK-T-EIAAnalysts said that falling crude inventories, despite rising output, indicate the market is already tightening. Although there was strong support to prevent prices falling, analysts said there were was also little to drive oil higher.
August 21, 2017 03:00 UTC