The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj has called on the Libyan Army forces under his command to adhere to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights as they fight off Khalifa Haftar's forces on the outskirts of Tripoli. The Libyan Army forces under Al-Sarraj's command said Saturday that they started a counteroffensive against Haftar's forces in all frontlines, with fierce clashes in Wadi Rabea, Airport Road, Ain Zara and Khalit Al-Furjan. The spokesman for the media office of the Volcano of Rage Operation Mustafa Al-Majye said Saturday that their forces had started attacking Haftar's forces and had seized many locations. Locations seized on Saturday from Haftar's forces include Al-Tuaisha, Wadi Rabea and Ain Zara with news saying Libyan Army forces are hours away from fully seizing Qasir Benghashir, which was used by Haftar's forces for Grad launchers to attack civilians in residential areas over the last few days. In the meantime, the Libyan Army said Saturday's clashes are the most violent since day one of the attack as they managed to secure more areas around Tripoli and start the counteroffensive.
April 20, 2019 19:41 UTC
The UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame hailed Saturday the keenness of Libyans to hold municipal elections despite the current conflict in the country. On Twitter, Salame said that seven municipalities hold today elections and he hails their persistence for taking part in them. Brak Al-Shati, Edri Al-Shati, Al-Rahibat, Ubari, Al-Garda Al-Shati, Al-Shwairif, and Zelton all held municipal elections on Saturday. The Central Commission of Municipal Councils Elections (CCMCE) tweeted that the voters were received starting 9.00 AM and would at 6.00 PM local time, saying the time could be extended for two more hours if the turnout was more than expected. CCMCE held municipal elections in 9 municipalities in southern and western Libya in late March, hoping to hold elections in 68 municipalities this year.
April 20, 2019 19:07 UTC
The former Italian Interior Minister Marco Minitti said Khalifa Haftar's attack on Tripoli will have long term consequences, not only in Libya but also in Italy. Minitti told an Italian newspaper Friday that the consequences include the influx of illegal immigrants, which are real and cannot be resolved by shutting ports but should be solved in Libya. Minitti said Libya is the scene for international tensions at the moment as when Haftar's forces started the attack, US forces left Tripoli, adding that Haftar then went to Moscow. "There's also a big gap amid the players in the Libyan status quo with Turkey and Qatar on one hand, and UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the other." He referred to Italy as choosing a political isolation by using illegal immigration as conflict point with the rest of Europe.
April 20, 2019 18:22 UTC
Tunisian Foreign Minister, Khemaies Jhinaoui called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and to stop the bloodshed of Libyans. In a telephone call with Khalifa Haftar, Jhinaoui stressed the need to complete the stages of the political process under the auspices of the United Nations as soon as possible. "The settlement to the Libyan crisis can only be reached through dialogue and negotiation," Juhainawi told Haftar, according to the Tunisian Foreign Ministry.
April 20, 2019 11:26 UTC
Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, deplored the deadlock in the Security Council and the lack of consensus of its members towards the recent developments in Tripoli. In an interview with Arabic BBC, Al-Sarraj condemned the silence of his international allies regarding the advance of Haftar's forces towards Tripoli, pointing out that the divisions in the international community may lead to the re-scenario of 2011 where the international community turned its back on Libya, as he put it. Al-Sarraj also emphasized the need to hold Haftar and his forces accountable for the brutal and barbaric attacks on the capital, warning at the same time of the use of ISIS extremist group to the state of chaos caused by the forces of Haftar, as he described.
April 20, 2019 11:15 UTC
FILE: Foreign Minister Sameh ShoukryCAIRO - 20 April 2019: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will meet his South African counterpart Lindiwe Sisulu on Saturday, according to a statement issued by the ministry.The statement also reported that the minister will meet a member of the Senate intelligence committee, US Senator Ron Wyden at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.On 14 April, Shoukry and his South African counterpart reviewed issues of mutual concern and the latest developments in Africa during a phone call as part of joint coordination between Egypt and South Africa.The two sides discussed the current situation in Libya in light of Egypt's central role in Africa.
April 20, 2019 10:52 UTC
"Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar believes he has to fight until the end. File photo Fighters loyal to Khalifa Haftar attend their graduation ceremony on Thursday. Abdullah Doma/AFP Ghassan Salame, UN special envoy for Libya, speaks with media at his office in the capital Tripoli on Thursday. Mahmud Turkia/AFP Libyans check a street in the capital Tripoli on Wednesday in the aftermath of several rocket attacks the previous night. File/Reuters This grab obtained from a video shows fighters riding atop a tank reportedly in a southern suburb of the capital Tripoli.
April 20, 2019 10:30 UTC
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) categorically denied Friday, the statements attributed to its head, Ghassan Salame at the closed session of the Security Council on Libya held on Thursday. The mission vowed that it would prosecute all those who try to fabricate false statements and rumours, according to the missions Twitter account. Several media outlets published alleged statements attributed to Ghassan Salame saying Khalifa Haftar moves freely in the western region while Chairman of Presidential Council Fayez Sarraj moves under the protection of militias. Salame also allegedly said the ongoing war in Tripoli will enhance control of militia groups in the capital.
April 20, 2019 09:56 UTC
The French embassy in Libya expressed its surprise of the statements made by the Libyan Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha with respect to halting of security cooperation between the countries and accusing France of supporting Hafter's aggression against Tripoli. The embassy confirmed via its Twitter account its support for the Government of National Accord (GNA) and its rejection to the current attack, reaffirming it calls for a cease-fire and the return to political dialogue. Bashagha had directed the Director of International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Interior to stop security cooperation with France against the backdrop of the French government support for Hafter.
April 20, 2019 09:56 UTC
The Foreign Ministry said that the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in New York had addressed a letter to the Security Council requesting the formation of an international fact-finding mission to investigate the violations committed by Haftar's forces during their attack on Tripoli. The step comes on the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the violations, which included the killing and displacement of innocent civilians, destruction of private and public property, the recruitment of children, and the targeting of densely populated neighbourhoods with heavy weapons, according to the media department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
April 20, 2019 09:55 UTC
Tens of thousands of Libyans poured into the streets in Tripoli, Misrata, and other cities for the second Friday to express their rejection of the aggression of warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces on Tripoli. "Yes to a civil state, no return to military rule and dictatorship" protesters chanted in the massive demonstration. Hundreds of demonstrators wore yellow vests to express their rejection of what they called the French government interference in Libya and its support for Khalifa Haftar in his quest to seize power in Libya.
April 20, 2019 09:00 UTC
President George Vella has called on the United Nations and the West not to turn a blind eye on Libya, warning that failure to do so would cost them dear. “Why are the UN and the Western world turning a blind eye to the humanitarian disaster developing in Tripoli Libya. Why are the UN and the Western world turning a blind eye to the humanitarian disaster developing in Tripoli Libya. During a visit yesterday to areas hit by Haftar’s forces, Serraj said that his government intended to file documents at the International Criminal Court over war crimes he said Haftar’s forces had committed. Russia said it was not helping Haftar's forces and it supported a negotiated political settlement that ruled out any new bloodshed.
April 20, 2019 08:25 UTC
By TOM ODHIAMBOMore by this AuthorIf there is a phenomenon that gave the digital world global fame, it was the Arab Spring. But how much influence does the digital world, more so social media, have on African politics or on democracy in Africa? But the most significant influence of the internet has been in its ability to ‘connect’ citizens to the political world. By the elections of 2013 and subsequently 2017, the digital world seriously offered an alternative space to the offline world that the politicians occupied. This is the basis of Nanjala’s argument that although the digital world in Kenya has ‘democratised’, the political class is still analogue.
April 20, 2019 06:00 UTC
The escalation in Libya has driven a wedge between Lega and the Five Star Movement in Italy. The Five Star Movement doesn’t share Salvini’s hard line with regard to closing ports. What risks does the Libyan issue entail for Italy? For its part, the Five Star Movement is showing quite a different stance in order to show their independence from the Lega to voters. For example, Fayez al-Sarraj, chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, recently said that about 800,000 Libyan migrants could possibly flow into Europe.
April 20, 2019 05:15 UTC
Fighters from the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army loyal to Khalifa Hifter attend their graduation ceremony in Benghazi on April 18, 2019. Amid heavy fighting that threatens all-out urban warfare, the United Nations and many countries — including the United States — have called for an immediate cease-fire. Several Libya experts compared the call, and the White House statement, to previous times when Trump appeared to contradict stated foreign policy. Both the United States and Europe have expressed concern about terrorist expansion in North Africa and the extent to which Libyan lawlessness has contributed to the flow of migrants from Africa. Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman for Hifter’s Libyan National Army, said American leaders “know well what is going on in Libya.
April 20, 2019 00:18 UTC