Eight years after the revolt in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi's authoritarian regime, a modern and democratic state remains a distant dream in a country that has been sliding from crisis to crisis. In the latest emergency, military strongman Gen. Khalifa Haftar has launched a military push in southern Libya which he says is aimed at rooting out "terrorists" and foreign fighters. A power struggle between the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and a parallel administration backed by Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army in the east has left the country's vast desert south a lawless no-man's land. Tripoli militias have condemned Haftar's operation as a power grab, although the GNA itself has not been as explicit in its opposition.
February 17, 2019 21:56 UTC
Members of the Libyan army's special forces celebrate after the liberation of the last region of Islamist militants in their last stronghold in Benghazi, Libya, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-FetoriTUNIS - 17 February 2019: Fourteen Tunisian workers kidnapped by armed men in western Libya three days ago were released on Sunday, the Tunisian foreign ministry said in a statement.The gunmen said they would exchange the workers if a Libyan held in jail in Tunisia was freed in return, the ministry said, without saying whether the Libyan had been released.The 14 were seized in the small town of Zawiya, west of the capital Tripoli, on their way to an oil refinery, a human rights activist said on Friday.
February 17, 2019 20:26 UTC
The UNSMIL has called on Libyans and all Libyan parties to rally around the efforts aiming to end the suffering of the people. In a statement Saturday, congratulating Libyans on the 8th anniversary of February 17 revolution, the UNSMIL called for accord among all Libyan parties to reach state building and democracy. Likewise, the US embassy in Libya reiterated support for Libyans and congratulated them on the revolution day. While the UK ambassador Frank Baker said on Twitter that Libyans should unite for the stability they sacrificed for in February revolution. Libyans celebrate today the 8th anniversary of the February 17 revolution in all public squares in the capital Tripoli and the rest of the cities.
February 17, 2019 19:18 UTC
The Presidential Council (PC) rejected in a statement Sunday using "war on terrorism" as a pretext to gain political benefits, implying the military operation of Khalifa Haftar's forces in southern Libya. The PC said it had urged for military and security coordination to fight terrorism and organized crime in the southern region and all across Libya, indicating that using war as a means to political ends is totally rejected. "We reject individual military actions and we call on those who launch military operations to take into consideration the region's social fabric." It added that Libya is now in need for comprehensive national reconciliation amid the current negative foreign interventions. The statement reads, urging Libyans to work toward a constitution that exacts law and order in the country.
February 17, 2019 19:18 UTC
Militiamen have kidnapped a group of Tunisian workers near the Libyan capital and are demanding the release of a comrade held in Tunisia, a rights activist said on Saturday. A diplomatic source and Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said 14 workers had been taken hostage. “The foreign ministry is following the case of the Tunisian citizens… kidnapped by armed Libyan elements near Zawiya”, Tunisia’s foreign ministry said on its Facebook page. Activist Abdelkebir, who is based in southern Tunisia near the Libyan border, said the Tunisian workers were being held in a district of Zawiya. Tunisia reopened a consulate in Libya in 2018, after shutting it three years earlier following the kidnapping of 10 Tunisian diplomats.
February 17, 2019 12:00 UTC
A modern and democratic state remains a distant dream in Libya years after the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's authoritarian regime. Post-Gaddafi Libya has remained a battleground, both on the terrain and in politics, between a myriad of rival militias and political factions operating with impunity. On the other hand, a new coalition of former rebels who rose against Gaddafi are now opposing the Haftar," added Abdelwahid. The offensive has fuelled new tensions in a country already wracked by violence and torn between rival administrations since the overthrow and killing of Gaddafi. Emad Badi, a Libyan analyst, warned that "current developments are conducive to escalation and actors' military confrontation rather than dialogue".
February 17, 2019 11:15 UTC
Chairman of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj expressed his hope to stop all negative foreign interventions that derail the transmission to democracy. Al-Sarraj said during his meeting with French Defense Minister Florence Parly that the solution to the current crisis lies in holding elections on a sound constitutional groundwork that imposes a resolution upon disputing parties. For her part, the French minister emphasized her country's keenness to achieve stability in Libya, pointing out that France will provide the Libyan Coast Guard with six equipped boats, by June next year.
February 17, 2019 10:52 UTC
Interior Minister Fathi Pashaga emphasized during an interview with Al-Hurra TV channel on Friday, his government's rejection to any military move without consultations with it, saying that Hafter's forces' acts in the south are being committed outside the state's legitimacy. "The movements of Hafter's forces might be acceptable from a national point of view, in terms of fighting criminal gangs and terrorism," Pashaga told Al-Hurra channel, warning of any attempt to exploit this move politically. He also welcomed the security and economic partnership with the United States of America to stop negative foreign interference in Libyan affairs, considering this point the most important issue he put forward in his visit to the US.
February 17, 2019 10:30 UTC
Brega Oil Marketing Company said it had completed preparations for the sixth fuel convoy, which is to set off from Misurata depot towards Sabha oil depots by today. For his part, the Chairman of Brega management committee, Emad Bin Koura said that the measures taken by the company have contributed to ending the congestion and queues in front of gas stations in most areas, calling on citizens, especially of the southern region, to report any violations at fuel stations in order to minimize the fuel smuggling phenomenon, according to Brega Facebook.
February 17, 2019 09:33 UTC
Minister of Economy and Industry Ali Al-Issawi opened with the board of directors of the National Company for Cement; the second production line at Zliten plant, with a production capacity of one million tons annually. Al-Issawi said that the step will mark the beginning of an industrial renaissance in the country and contribute to creating new employment opportunities for young people. "The new line will enable the National Cement Company to raise the total capacity of its production to more than four million tons annually, for the first time," the minister explained.
February 17, 2019 09:33 UTC
China, Germany call for steady development in tiesYang said on Saturday that China and Germany should maintain strategic resolve and the steady and healthy development of bilateral relations in the face of today's complicated world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with Senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi (R) during the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019. /Xinhua Photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with Senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi (R) during the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019. Senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi (2nd R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) during the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019. /Xinhua Photo Senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi (2nd R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) during the 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019.
February 17, 2019 02:21 UTC
Post-Qadhafi Libya slides from crisis to crisis eight years onTRIPOLI: Eight years after the revolt in Libya against Moamer Qadhafi’s authoritarian regime, a modern and democratic state remains a distant dream in a country which has been sliding from crisis to crisis. Post-Qadhafi Libya has remained a battleground, both on the terrain and in politics, between a myriad of rival militias and political factions operating with impunity. "The political and military divides... are deepening and efforts to bring rival constituencies to the table have thus far failed," said Claudia Gazzini, an analyst with the International Crisis Group. The vacuum has been exploited by unscrupulous people traffickers taking full advantage of the migration crisis. The LNA in mid-January announced the start of its offensive to "purge the south of terrorists and criminal groups".
February 17, 2019 00:15 UTC
Post-Qaddafi Libya slides from crisis to crisisTRIPOLI: Eight years after the revolt in Libya against Moamer Qaddafi´s authoritarian regime, a modern and democratic state remains a distant dream in a country which has been sliding from crisis to crisis. Post-Qaddafi Libya has remained a battleground, both on the terrain and in politics, between a myriad of rival militias and political factions operating with impunity. “The political and military divides... are deepening and efforts to bring rival constituencies to the table have thus far failed,” said Claudia Gazzini, an analyst with the International Crisis Group. “There is no quick recipe to solve Libya´s multilayered crisis,” Gazzini said. The vacuum has been exploited by unscrupulous people traffickers taking full advantage of the migration crisis.
February 17, 2019 00:11 UTC
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda said in a meeting with the Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sirraj on Saturday - on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference - that the ICC is keen on pursuing legal actions on all the criminals of whom the court had issued arrest warrants. According to Al-Sirraj's media office, Bensouda talked about the obstacles her office is facing regarding the apprehension of the wanted criminals in Libya. "We are glad to have such a good cooperation with the government which is supporting the ICC's efforts to bring to justice the wanted criminals." Meanwhile, Al-Sirraj reiterated his government and its judicial institutions' full cooperation with the ICC, saying he is aware of the difficulties due to the political division in Libya. Al-Sirraj invited Bensouda to visit Libya to review the cases with the Libyan Public Prosecutor's Office, his media office reports, adding that Bensouda agreed on the visit, whose date will be set later.
February 16, 2019 19:07 UTC
But along the way, SNC-Lavalin has found its share of critics and drawn itself into plenty of controversy. If convicted of the charges, SNC-Lavalin could face a 10-year ban on bidding on federal government contracts. While some supporters of the firm have dismissed bribes such as this as just part of doing business in the third world, SNC-Lavalin isn’t immune to bribery allegations here at home. Trudeau admits he and his team spoke to Wilson-Raybould but deny they did anything wrong, simply standing up for an important company. Just last week it was prosecutors in Quebec, aided by the RCMP, that were found to be investigating the company on bribery charges related to a Montreal bridge project.
February 16, 2019 18:56 UTC