InsightAfter six years under the control of warlord Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s UN-backed government has taken over control of the al Watiya air base. On Monday, Libya’s internationally-recognised and UN-backed Government of National Accord captured the strategic air base, al Watiya, from warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militias. Libya has been in an internationalised civil war since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi during the Arab Spring in 2011. "We proudly announce the liberation of al Watiya air base from criminal militias and terrorist mercenaries," Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj said on Twitter. This is what makes al Watiya airbase so crucial:Al Watiya air base, which was been under Khalifa Haftar’s control for six years.
May 20, 2020 15:11 UTC
Relatives of deceased Eritrean migrants who died as a result of an alleged pushback by the Armed Forces of Malta, are suing the government for damages resulting from human rights breaches. The fishing vessel had left Malta as an “agent of the State”, the lawyers argued, specifically to rescue and offer assistance to the boat full of migrants in distress because the AFM’s resources were unavailable at the time. The deaths were the consequence of the Maltese operation and shortcomings by the State in honouring its international obligations, they argued. It was alleged by the lawyers that the victims had valid reasons to seek asylum, had they not drowned. For these reasons, they called upon the defendants to liquidate damages arising from the violation of their clients’ rights.
May 20, 2020 13:22 UTC
The Speaker of the Tunisian House of Representatives (HoR), Rached Ghannouchi, congratulated the Government of National Accord (GNA), on its capture of the strategically important, Al-Watiya Air Base. Ghannouchi, in a telephone conversation with the head of the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al-Sarraj, discussed developments on the present situation in Libya, expressing his delight at the capture of Al-Watiya and its return into the hands of the legitimate government, as it is so close to the Tunisian border. He went on to say that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya, stressing the need for a return to political dialogue. On his part, Al-Sarraj praised Tunisia’s keenness on security and stability in Libya, expressing his wish to enhance cooperation between both countries.
May 20, 2020 12:56 UTC
The UAE position on the Libyan crisis "has been firm and clear and shared by the majority of the international community," Gargash said. The move came after the Libyan Army destroyed three Russian-made Pantsir type air defense systems used by Haftar's forces that were supplied by the UAE. Haftar’s forces took control of al-Watiya in 2014 and had been using the air base as the command center for their operations in the west. Previously this month, the GNA declared three air bases "occupied" by foreign forces. They told Bloomberg that the two companies supplied "Haftar's forces with helicopters, drones and cyber capabilities through a complex web of shell companies."
May 20, 2020 11:26 UTC
Pakistani netizens on Wednesday eagerly and somewhat thanklessly jumped on the Turkey bandwagon trending 'Boycott UAE' on Twitter after a Turkey-based account asked Pakistani's to trend the hashtag highlighting the strengthening relationship between India and the UAE. Welldone my dear Pakistani brothers & sisters for trending #BoycottUAE but kindly note we own them $30 bn. Today showing love for Turkey, Pakistani keyboard warriors are trending Boycott UAE. — Mohit Jamwal (@MohitJamwal77) May 20, 2020Pakistan is boycotting UAE just bcoz they have strengthened their ties with India to fight COVID 19. Pakistani netizens, on the other hand, jumped on the bandwagon agreeing that Pakistan should impose sanctions against UAE when UAE's relations with India were highlighted.
May 20, 2020 07:18 UTC
Eventually, the AFM gave the boat fuel, a new engine, and directed it to Pozzallo, Sicily. Without talking to us at all.”After the white boat departed, an AFM vessel approached them - an inshore interceptor P02, which is visible in video footage. Between grey and white with Malta flag.”According to survivor testimonies, a second AFM vessel arrived at the scene. A survivor reported that the Maltese forces threatened them even by pointing with several guns at them,” Alarm Phone said. And early in the morning they told us to always go straight ahead, ‘don’t go this way or that way’.
May 20, 2020 07:14 UTC
Malta will veto the appointment of the EU’s Operation Irini’s new force commander unless other EU countries agree to a burden-sharing plan for migrants currently housed on two Captain Morgan boats on Hurds Bank, MaltaToday has learned. It was launched three months ago with its commander being assigned to Italy and Greece every six months alternatively. MaltaToday is informed that unless a response from EU states is forthcoming by Friday, Malta will be vetoing – and therefore blocking – the appointment of Italian Ettore Socci, who was slated to become the force commander of the Irini mission. The force commander is the third most important official in the chain of command. Malta is threatening to veto the appointment of the force commander, not the commander-in-chief, who has already been appointed.
May 20, 2020 06:41 UTC
PATHUM THANI: Emergency workers usually busy attending accidents on Thailand’s roads mill around ambulances parked at a service station – fewer crashes and crimes a welcome outcome for several Asian countries during coronavirus lockdowns. As Asia starts to assess the damage caused by the pandemic, some countries are realising there have been unforeseen benefits. Empty coffinsThailand has one of the highest rates of road fatalities per capita in the world, coming second only to war-torn Libya in 2015. Even Thailand’s coffin makers have seen a dip in demand, with one factory reporting orders are down by a third. Deaths from road accidents in Japan fell by nearly 20% in April, while Malaysia saw daily fatalities decrease from 17 to five, according to official news agency Bernama.
May 20, 2020 05:15 UTC
Let me start by sharing the deep concern that you expressed, Stephanie, at the significant escalation in hostilities in Libya. And attacks in civilian areas, particularly on healthcare facilities, show a complete disregard for international law and must cease. I also want to reiterate our continuing concern, the deteriorating human rights humanitarian situation in Libya. Efforts to illicitly import aviation fuel into Libya are also unacceptable, and all parties must uphold the integrity and unity of the National Oil Corporation. So an inclusive political solution, as set out in the Berlin Conference, offers the best hope for the stability and future prosperity that the Libyan people need and deserve.
May 19, 2020 15:56 UTC
press releasePresident Cyril Ramaphosa will, as Chair of the African Union, participate in a virtual meeting of the AU Contact Group of the High-Level Committee on Libya later today Tuesday, 19 May 2020. The meeting is at the invitation of the President of the Republic of The Congo and Chairman of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya, His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso. The meeting will also assess progress in relation to the National Reconciliation Conference scheduled for July 2020 under the auspices of the African Union. Other Heads of State and Government who will participate in the AU Contact Group meeting include President of Algeria H.E. The Contact Group was established to promote the coordination of international efforts in pursuit of a lasting solution to the Libyan crisis.
May 19, 2020 10:07 UTC
According to the statements, it is stated that the Ministry of National Defense accepted the resignation of Major General Cihat Yaycı. The Turkish Navy has been representing the Turkish Armed Forces' visionary wing for years. The biggest factor of this situation is the visionary and well-trained officers of the Turkish Navy. The architect of this agreement is the Admiral Cihat Yaycı, whose name we often hear today. In Libya today, the Watya airbase has been taken over by the country's legitimate government.
May 19, 2020 09:03 UTC
Malta’s withdrawal from the EU operation Irini last week indeed attracted some form of retaliation. Peter Agius, a Nationalist Party candidate for Europe, and an expert of EU affairs working in Brussels, thinks Malta’s withdrawal from Irini has been rash. The same holds true for France, which thinks stability will come quicker in Libya through a strongman like Haftar. Malta should be wary of Turkey’s interests in Libya too: is it stability that Recep Erdogan wants, or Islamist influence inside the government? This alone illustrates the perils of Malta forging its own path with Turkey and the GNA for the sole end of controlling migratory flows.
May 19, 2020 04:52 UTC
A recent confidential United Nations report identified 33 flights by Syria’s private Cham Wings Airline to Libya this year, believed to be carrying Syrian mercenaries. The UN experts estimated that up to 5,000 Syrian mercenaries may be in Libya, including “those fighters recruited by Turkey in support of the GNA”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes the number to be much higher and says Turkey has sent 9,000 Syrian mercenaries to Libya, including 150 minors. He was unsure of the number of Syrian mercenaries supporting Haftar. Russia had recruited the mercenaries, who fought alongside Wagner group in Libya, Ramani said.
May 19, 2020 02:26 UTC
“Today’s victory is not the end of the battle,” he said in a statement. The development is a heavy setback for the eastern-based militias, the so-called Libyan Arab Armed Forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, after a series of recent losses. In April, the Tripoli-allied forces seized control of the city of Sabrata and the town of Sorman, west of the Libyan capital.
May 19, 2020 01:52 UTC