The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has expressed concern about the escalation of violence in Libya, saying her office is investigating new personal lawsuits in Libya. "I will not hesitate to expand my investigations and potential prosecutions to cover any new instances of crimes falling within the Court’s jurisdiction, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. No one should doubt my determination in this regard.” Bensouda said in a statement on Tuesday. "I urge all parties to the conflict not to commit any crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction, and in particular, for commanders to ensure that their subordinates do not do so.” She remarked. She reminded as well all commanders, military or civilian, who have effective control, authority and command over their forces that they themselves may be held criminally responsible for crimes committed by their subordinates.
April 16, 2019 17:26 UTC
The U.N. Security Council is considering a British-drafted resolution that would demand a ceasefire in Libya and call on all countries with influence over the warring parties to ensure compliance. "The Secretary-General would welcome a strong and united response from the Security Council on this very issue," he said. The Security Council informally expressed concern on April 5, calling on all forces to de-escalate and halt military activity and specifically calling out the LNA. The draft U.N. Security Council resolution, seen by Reuters, expresses "grave concern at military activity in Libya near Tripoli, which began following the launching of a military offensive by the LNA ... and threatens the stability of Libya." A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China - the so-called permanent five - to pass.
April 16, 2019 17:15 UTC
Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) appealed on Tuesday for Europe’s support against military strongman Khalifa Haftar, warning that continued violence could see 800,000 people try to flee to the West. Haftar’s forces are waging an offensive on Tripoli. “It interests the whole of Europe to see a peaceful and democratic Libya,” GNA vice president Ahmad Maitig told the foreign media press association in Rome. He also said that Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini “shows big support for the peace process” and brushed off reports France favored Haftar, saying “the position of the French government is to support the national accord government,” according to AFP.
April 16, 2019 16:50 UTC
Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini signed a new directive Tuesday against charity vessels rescuing migrants off Libya, targeting the Italian ship Mare Jonio in particular. Salvini, head of the anti-immigrant League party, warned that the Mare Jonio and others must obey the orders of authorities in foreign search and rescue regions -- a reference to the Libyan coastguard. The Italian ship set off on its latest mission on Sunday and was headed to patrol the area off Libya on Tuesday. Mediterranea said an order to hand rescued migrants over to the Libyans would be "an incitement to commit a crime". The Mare Jonio rescued 49 migrants off the North African country in March after refusing to wait for a Libyan coastguard boat that was in the vicinity.
April 16, 2019 15:33 UTC
Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said today that Europe must ensure that Libya does not end up as a foyer for terrorism. The Maltese MEP, in an intervention at the European Parliament on the situation in Libya, said Europeans have the duty to demonstrate that their major interest in Libya is the welfare of the Libyan people. For Europe, what is essential should be that Libya does not end up as a foyer for terrorism." ADVERTISEMENTAlfred Sant said the Libyan people need stability. The Maltese MEP said we should "support all efforts undertaken in good faith to allow all forces in Libya that represent genuine interests to have voice.
April 16, 2019 15:00 UTC
A British-drafted resolution presented to the UN Security Council demands an immediate ceasefire in Libya after forces loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli, according to the text obtained by AFP on Tuesday. The council "demands that all parties in Libya immediately de-escalate the situation, commit to a ceasefire, and engage with the United Nations to ensure a full and comprehensive cessation of hostilities throughout Libya." Haftar backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that is refusing to recognize the authority of the Tripoli government. The draft resolution calls on all sides in Libya "immediately to re-commit" to the UN dialogue and urges all member-states "to use their influence over the parties in Libya" to abide by the resolution. Diplomats have long complained that foreign powers backing rival sides in Libya threatened to turn the conflict into a proxy war.
April 16, 2019 13:41 UTC
Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) appealed Tuesday for Europe's support against military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is waging an offensive on Tripoli, warning continued violence could see 800,000 people try to flee to the West. Some "800,000 people can easily reach Europe," he said, adding that Islamic State group fighters currently held as prisoners could be among them. There were "more than 400 (IS) prisoners" in Libya whose whereabouts could not be secured should Haftar push on to take the capital, he said. At the same time we see some international partners, our international team players, supporting the attack and supporting Haftar. Libya has long been a major transit country for migrants desperate to reach Europe via the Mediterranean.
April 16, 2019 12:56 UTC
The British journalist Alex Crawford, who reported from Tripoli for Sky News on the current fighting, has rejected the manipulation of her report by the UAE-funded and pro-Haftar newspaper, AL Marsad (Observatory). Crawford said on Twitter on Tuesday that she is furious at her Tripoli report being rewritten and twisted to give an entirely false account of what she and her crew in fact did. She also demanded AL Marsad not to confuse her independent reporting with their partisan pro-Haftar agenda. AL Marsad translated Crawford's report and said that the journalist described the Presidential Council's Libyan Army forces as a mess and chaos and that they don't know how to use their weapons. The account of AL Marsad was denied completely by Crawford, who said the newspaper had re-written and twisted her reporting.
April 16, 2019 12:56 UTC
The UN should also encourage the parties to return to the negotiating table by offering a new three-track negotiating format that addresses the warring sides’ core political, military and financial concerns. If outside actors are serious in their calls to stop a full-blown war, now is the time to act. LNA forces also appeared confident that their advance would not face significant resistance from their Tripoli-based adversaries and enjoyed the support of local residents. Currently, fighting is ongoing in and around the non-operational Tripoli International Airport, which they captured on April 6, as well as in neighborhoods on the capital’s southern outskirts. Meanwhile, Russia blocked a UK-initiated UN Security Council statement condemning Haftar’s military offensive, insisting it call on all sides to exercise restraint.
April 16, 2019 12:45 UTC
The google doodle of AflatounCAIRO – 16 April 2019: Google honored acclaimed late Egyptian painter and feminist Inji Aflatoun on April 16 with a Google doodle to celebrate what would have been her 95th birthday.The doodle portrayed the great artist in front of her canvas of surrealist and cubist paintings. Critics described Aflatoun as a "pioneer of modern Egyptian art".The Google doodle honoring Aflatoun is on display in the Middle East and North Africa, and is being shown to users in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and Oman.Aflatoun was a great artist and activist who was born on April 16, 1924 to an upper-class Francophone family in Cairo.Her father was the founder of the entomology department and dean of the Faculty of Science at Cairo University, and her mother, Salha, served in the Women's Committee of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society.Despite coming from an aristocratic family, Aflatoun’s paintings were much inspired by Egyptian working class people.As a young child, Aflatoun wasn’t much concerned with social issues but she was bothered by the class structure in her strict Catholic school.She started to understand and realize life issues and her horizons were broadened at the age of 15, when she went under the mentorship of Egyptian painter Kamel el Telmissany whose work often satirized cultural norms.Aflatoun’s early paints showed a surreal and scary world, portraying females escaping from fires, dark imagery, storms and birds of prey.In addition to being a distinguished painter with an exceptional talent,she was also an active feminist, who fought fiercely for women's rights as Egypt moved away from the British occupation until the UK military left Egypt completely in 1952.In the early 1940s, Aflatoun joined the communist movement, Iskra, and in 1945 she represented a Cairo group of women at the first conference of the Women's International Democratic Federation in Paris.She wrote two popular political pamphlets in 1948 and 1949 that tackled gender and class inequality and highlighted the fact they're both strongly connected to imperialism.In mid 1950s, Aflatoun was imprisoned during the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Some of Aflatoun's friends smuggled crayons and oils to her in prison.In 1957, she painted prisoners in jail and it is now on semi-permanent display in Sharjah until at least 2023.After her release in 1963, she dedicated most of her time to painting, and later in her career she focused on landscapes. Today, Aflatoun's paintings are in many museums and galleries around the world.Aflatoun died on April 17, 1989, just one day after her 65th birthday.
April 16, 2019 12:45 UTC
The Ministry of Education held on Monday an extraordinary meeting devoted to following up the situation of the educational institutions in circumstances of war and the formation of committees to address the situation. One of which is to broadcast TV lessons on the official Libyan channel to help students in the conflict-affected areas to catch up with their lessons. In a statement, the ministry clarified that the meeting touched on the follow-up of implementing the school curriculum and visions and proposals for the areas where schools were forced to close due to the clashes, pointing out that a meeting will be held at the end of the week to follow up what was agreed upon.
April 16, 2019 11:26 UTC
A security source at Ras Ajdir crossing border confirmed that a French diplomatic delegation, which was detained at the port of Ras Agder since Sunday morning was allowed to enter Tunisian territory after handing over their weapons. "The Tunisian authorities transferred the diplomatic delegation to the city of Djerba under heavy guard," the source explained. The Tunisian authorities have prevented, since Sunday morning, the entry of 10 French people travelling from the Libyan side to Tunisia in diplomatic vehicles, after they refused to hand over their weapons to the Tunisian authorities.
April 16, 2019 11:15 UTC
The internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj managed to halt them in southern suburbs, thanks largely to armed groups from various western Libyan factions. For Paris, Haftar, or a perceived stable army in Tripoli, is key to its wider policy against militants in the Sahel. Its support of Haftar will depend on whether it thinks he can win or how civilian casualties can be contained. It will also depend on how UAE support evolves. An internal policy battle in France between the foreign and defence ministries prior to his arrival blurred Paris’ lines.
April 16, 2019 11:15 UTC
At least 174 people have been killed and 758 wounded in the battle for control over the Libyan capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Fighting broke out on April 4 when military strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take Tripoli, the seat of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). At least 14 civilians are among those killed and 36 have been wounded, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told journalists citing local health facilities. Both pro-government forces and Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) accuse each other of targeting civilians, with each launching daily air raids in addition to clashes on the ground. Urgent medical supplies were being delivered to Libya’s health ministry to support those in the worst-hit areas, the UN’s refugee agency said.
April 16, 2019 11:03 UTC
The Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte emphasized the need for Haftar to withdraw his aggressive forces to their bases and the obligation of all parties to cease military operations and focus on the United Nations efforts to advance the political process. This came during his meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council (PC), Ahmed Maiteeq yesterday in Rome. For his part, Maiteeq said that the forces waging the war against Tripoli, bombing civilians, and recruiting children in their ranks are committing a crime under the Libyan and international law. "The PC forces are the ones fighting terrorism and are capable of defeating the coup d'état by Haftar," Maiteeq said.
April 16, 2019 09:45 UTC