Rescued migrants being held on board ships outside territorial waters must be “urgently disembarked”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. The appeal came in the wake of Malta’s decision to keep more than 160 rescued migrants on two Captain Morgan ships just outside territorial waters. The Italian authorities have sequestered the rescue ships Alan Kurdi and Aita Mari, which are currently stuck at the port in Palermo pending investigations. It noted that migrants escaping Libya had a diverse range of protection needs under both international human rights and refugee law, including the principle of non-refoulement. The human rights commissioner called for a moratorium on all interceptions by the Libyan coastguard and returns to Libya where migrants are placed in “arbitrary detention facilities and face horrendous conditions including torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, lack of health care and other human rights violations”.
May 08, 2020 15:33 UTC
Attorney General’s Office investigating embassy’s role in repatriating 9 Libyans on Istanbul flight – without prior testing and quarantineBy Sami Zaptia. London, 8 May 2020:Libya’s Attorney General’s Office is investigating the Libyan Consulate in Istanbul for allowing 9 members of the same family to board a repatriation flight to Libya – without having undergone the prescribed testing and quarantine procedure. The family were stopped at Misrata airport and reported to the Anti-Coronavirus Committee which in turn set off a flurry of letters and investigations leading to the Attorney General’s Office to launch its investigation. The documents also reveal that he has been recalled to Tripoli for investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. On 12 April Libya’s Tripoli based Foreign Ministry had announced detailed plans for the repatriation of stranded citizens.
May 08, 2020 13:18 UTC
× Expand Reese Erlich A group of Afghan refugeesWe all know that President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has been a disaster. “Biden represents the return of the classical foreign policy establishment,” Alan Minsky, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, tells me. “I would bring American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term,” Biden tells the Council on Foreign Relations. Younger voters have seen the country at war their entire lives, says Erik Sperling, executive director of the advocacy group Just Foreign Policy. If Biden wins on November 3, then starting on November 4 progressives should be pressuring Biden to do more than “restore” U.S. foreign policy.
May 08, 2020 12:00 UTC
Tripoli government extends curfew for ten days – until 18 MayBy Sami Zaptia. London, 8 May 2020:The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli yesterday extended the current 6pm to 6am curfew in areas under its effective authority for another 10 days from today – until 18 May. The curfew allows food retailers and chemists to open during these hours and allows for travel on foot to local shops – but restricts car movements between districts and cities. “Now is not the time to reduce caution,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO’s representative in Libya said in the statement. At the time of publication, Libya had a total of 64 Coronavirus cases, with 24 recoveries and 3 deaths.
May 08, 2020 10:52 UTC
A forty-foot full-load container which was supposedly carrying toys and plastic balls was found by Customs to have in fact been loaded with a huge consignment of pyrotechnic goods. The container, which originated from China, was unloaded at Malta Freeport, in transit to Libya and was one of several containers scanned by Malta's Customs on Thursday. The scan image revealed several inconsistencies, and, when physically examining the container, Customs officials found a stack of branded sport shoes covering a huge concealed consignment of over 900 cartons of fireworks, exceeding 24,000kg in weight, the Customs department said in a statement. The container has been seized for further investigation. "In delicate times like these, Customs officials are still making sure that our borders are safe from any illicit activities in the supply chain," the department said.
May 08, 2020 07:41 UTC
Malta has formally given notice to the European Commission that will no longer commit any military assets to the EU’s Operation Irini, a naval mission launched to enforce the arms embargo to Libya in a bid to stifle warring parties in the North African country. Malta wants to keep its ports shut to migrants rescued at sea because of the coronavirus pandemic. Malta has now told the Special Athena Committee it will veto decisions on Operation Irini that concern spending procedures for disembarkation of migrants, port diversions, and the eligibility of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). Egypt and the UAE have backed Haftar for many years, and more recently Russia has also provided him with support. And this has angered Greece, which is logistically running Operation Irini, because it cuts into its Exclusive Economic Zone around Crete.
May 08, 2020 06:59 UTC
Malta has formally given notice to the European Commission that will no longer commit any military assets to the EU’s Operation Irini, a naval mission launched to enforce the arms embargo to Libya in a bid to stifle warring parties in the North African country. Malta wants to keep its ports shut to migrants rescued at sea because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the country is also suffering from a lack of a migrant relocation framework that shares the responsibility of rescued people at sea among all EU member states. Egypt and the UAE have backed Haftar for many years, and more recently Russia has also provided him with support. And this has angered Greece, which is logistically running Operation Irini, because it cuts into its Exclusive Economic Zone around Crete.
May 08, 2020 06:56 UTC
The coronavirus pandemic may have exacerbated global tensions, especially between the US and China. “We face a common challenge,” said Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann, from the hardline Democratic Unionist Party. But senior Emirati aid official Sultan Mohammed al-Shamsi said that “aid should reach all people regardless of their background”. Despite their disagreements, the UAE and neighbouring Iran have close trading links, and tens of thousands of Iranians live in Dubai. “I think the deliveries were pragmatic more than anything else – if your neighbours get the virus, you’re in the firing line too,” he said.
May 08, 2020 02:48 UTC
Nairobi: The novel coronavirus could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in Africa in the first year and infect between 29 million and 44 million in the first year if it is not contained, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. A health care worker prepares a colleague's protective gear at an Ebola virus clinic in Sierra Leone in 2015. Credit:APThe projections are contained in a new WHO Africa study based on assumptions that no containment measures are put in place, which has fortunately not been the case, WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti told reporters in a teleconference. Most countries on the continent have imposed restrictions on public gatherings, international travel and curfews among other measures meant to curb the spread of the virus. The virus hit Africa later than other continents and transmission rates are lower than elsewhere. Still, this could translate into a prolonged, years-long outbreak, WHO said.
May 07, 2020 20:15 UTC
The United States on Thursday accused Moscow of worsening the Libya conflict and urged diplomacy after a UN report confirmed that Russian mercenaries were fighting on behalf of a rebel warlord. Russian support to Haftar "has led to a significant escalation of the conflict and a worsening of the humanitarian situation in Libya," said Chris Robinson, a State Department official who focuses on Russia. "No one should think that Russia is going to pack up and leave now that they've invested in the Libyan conflict," Wooster said. "The way to end the Russian and other foreign interference in Libya is to first end the Tripoli conflict," he said. The United States itself has sent mixed signals, with Trump in April last year speaking to Haftar by telephone and praising him.
May 07, 2020 20:03 UTC
Nine years on – and one pandemic later – the Libyan “shit show” has gone full mercenary…and few notice. Nonetheless, it’s worth summarizing the broad contours of a never-ending and – over the past year – escalating civil war that’s proved confoundingly complex for even expert observers. In fact, the traditional descriptor of “civil war” – which usually implies two discrete sides – only vaguely applies. While the mercenary presence provides some throwback romantic flavor, the Libyan civil conflagration has become a decidedly distressing full-on regional proxy war. Out of the Libyan chaos, combatants streamed south and helped enflame a Ghadafi-arms-dumps-infused Tuareg ethnic rebellion in Mali.
May 07, 2020 15:00 UTC
A second Captain Morgan ship has been chartered to host 105 migrants rescued overnight in two operations coordinated by Malta, MaltaToday has learnt. The Armed Forces of Malta was involved in two rescue operations within the country’s search and rescue area, government sources said. The second rescue was carried out by a private fishing vessel that was directed by the AFM to the site of another migrant boat in distress. However, the remaining 105 will be transferred on a second Captain Morgan vessel that will be anchored just outside Maltese territorial waters at 13 nautical miles. Another Captain Morgan vessel, the Europa II, chartered by the government last week, is already housing 57 migrants and is situated 13 nautical miles off the coast on Hurd’s Bank.
May 07, 2020 14:37 UTC
They inform the Malta rescue centre when they see boats in the SAR area… but search and rescue is a national competence,” Johannson said. Malta yesterday sent a note verbale to the Libyan government to take steps against human traffickers sending migrants out at sea. Johannson did however call for greater solidarity between member states to help Malta, Italy and Spain. Many called for meaningful European solutions for frontline states like Malta and Italy and for a European solution on search and rescue. Spanish socialist MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said such countries needed binding solidarity and migrant relocation solutions.
May 07, 2020 14:37 UTC
A few years before our visit to Habib to read his letters from Bishop Samuel, we opened up our own airmail from Egypt. Now, newly ordained and assigned to a Coptic Orthodox Church in New Jersey, we received the warm words of Abadir’s letter. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Bishop Samuel, Abadir maintained the relationships he built through letter-writing. Bishoy Lamie Mikhail is a priest at St. Antonious & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He is also the coordinator of the ordained diaconate service for the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.
May 07, 2020 14:15 UTC
Shareholders voted Thursday to maintain a bylaw provision that allows the engineering firm to move to another province. Underscoring SNC's open horizon was the rejection by shareholders of a proposal from Montreal-based investor rights group MEDAC at the company's annual general meeting Thursday. The board recommended shareholders vote against the proposal, highlighting its commitment to Canada's second-largest city through 2024. "(W)e are deeply committed to remain a Montreal-based global Canadian company with our head office in Quebec," SNC states in its proxy circular. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 25 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
May 07, 2020 12:40 UTC