Category Archives: Maghreb

Tripoli in whirlwind of violence

The United States, France, Italy and Britain condemned what they described an escalation of violence in and around the Libyan capital Tripoli, warning that armed groups which undermined Libyan stability would be made accountable. The confrontation resulted in closure of Tripoli airport after some rockets were fired in its direction, a spokesman for the state airline Libyan Airlines said.

“These attempts to weaken the legitimate Libyan authorities and hinder the ongoing political process are not acceptable,” Washington, Paris, Rome and London said in a joint statement published by the French foreign ministry.

“We are calling on the armed groups to immediately stop all military action and warn those who seek to undermine stability, in Tripoli or elsewhere in Libya, that they will be made accountable for it,” the statement said.

Reportedly two missiles hit an hotel next to Italian Embassy in Tripoli:

 

 

 

 

Illegal migrants storm fences in Spain

A several hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa entered Spain after storming a double barrier between Morocco and the Spanish territory of Ceuta, with some attacking security forces with quicklime, police reported.

The scramble over the barrier is the biggest in Ceuta since February 2017, when more than 850 migrants entered the overseas territory over four days. Today around 600 illegals migrantes participated in breaking into Spanish territory.

At present Spain becomes the number one destination for illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat, surpassing Italy with 19,586 arrivals so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

A spokesman for the Guardia Civil police force in #Ceuta told AFP the migrants managed to climb over the double barrier, which is covered in small blades, early on Thursday morning, June 26.

They scrambled over “all of a sudden, with much violence,” and some attacked police with quicklime they had in tubes and bottles.

As a result, “more than a dozen police” were injured, four of whom had to go to hospital for burns in the face and arms.

“There is no possible justification for an organized, illegal, massive and violent assault on a border like today’s : 600 young and strong men have wounded viciously and used quicklime against  22 agents. All my support and admiration for the Guardia Civil” – wrote in her Twitter microblog Beatriz Becerra, MEP, vice-chair of the Subcommittee of Human rights of the European Parliament.

Spanish citizens are waiting for the reaction of government on this outbreak of violence.

AMENDMENT: Spanish newspaper El Pais reports total more than “800 illegal migrants from sub-Sanitarian Africa without documents” early morning hours stormed the border between Ceuta and Marocco.

 

Tripoli rejects EU illegal migrants platforms

Tripoli rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers and it will not be attracted by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said.

Rejection of  Fayez al-Sarraj aborted the Italian proposal to organise reception and identification platforms for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015 Italy hosted.

Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on dinky inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.

“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview. “We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day – our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.

 

Mogherini inaugurates EU premises in Tripoli

EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini visited Libya today to inaugurate the premises of the European Union Delegation to Libya and the EU Border Assistance Mission in Tripoli, and in view of the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday where the situation in Libya is on the agenda.

In Libya, the European Union is the main humanitarian aid provider, the main supporter of the UN agencies’ programmes, the main bilateral cooperation donor as well as the first economic partner. The return of the diplomatic presence of the EU in Libya will further strengthen the cooperation with the government, the local authorities and the United Nations, and the implementation of projects on the ground.

During her visit, Federica Mogherini met with ChairmanFayez Sarraj, accompanied by the Foreign Minister Siala, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé, representatives of UN agencies – IOM, UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF – and some of the beneficiaries of EU financed projects.

In her meetings, Mogherini discussed the EU’s support to the country and the most effective ways to further strengthen it. She also addressed the most recent developments in Libya,  including in the Oil Crescent. High Representative Mogherini restated the European Union’s support for the Libyan political process, in the framework provided by the United Nations, including preparations for elections. She stressed the need to prepare elections on a solid legal and constitutional basis, and the need that the results are accepted by all.  Mogherini discussed during the meetings the support the EU is already providing for the preparation of elections and the additional assistance it is ready to mobilise to accompany this process.

On top of its political support to Libya, the European Union is the main provider of assistance to improve the lives of Libyan citizens and help them to rebuild their country politically, socially and economically. During the meetings, new initiatives in the areas of health, education, media, youth, support to municipalities, governance and security were discussed.

The close cooperation of the EU with the Libyan authorities and the United Nations agencies – namely the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) –  has allowed for assistance and protection to refugees, migrants and internally displaced people in the country, to save lives at sea and assist thousands of people to voluntarily return to their countries, while fighting against the trafficking of human beings. Federica Mogherini discussed with Prime Minister Sarraj the EU’s training of the Libyan coast guard through Operation Sophia, and the cooperation through EUBAM in supporting the authorities to manage the land borders, particularly in the South, also in the framework of regional initiatives.

They also discussed the successful work done by the Task Force established by the European Union, the African Union and the UN at the EU-African Union summit in Abidjan last November, that has led to assisted voluntary return of 20.000 irregular migrants from Libya to their countries of origin.

EU expects Egypt to respect fundamental freedoms

“With the new presidential mandate starting, we reiterate our support for Egypt’s sustainable stability, social and economic reforms as well as development, building on the ongoing constructive dialogue under our joint Partnership Priorities” – the European External Action Service (EEAS) reacted.

“Sustainable stability and security can only go hand in hand with the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in line with Egypt’s Constitution and international obligations” – the EEAS statement continues.

“The increasing number of arrests of human rights defenders, political activists and bloggers in the latest weeks in Egypt is therefore a worrying development”.

“In a moment when Egypt is seeking to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, the respect for peaceful expression of opinion and of criticism is important. Those standing for fundamental rights and democracy should not be fearing reprisals. We expect the Egyptian authorities to respect Egypt’s Constitution and international obligations”.

 

 

Libya Quartet to meet in Cairo

EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini will be attending meeting of Libya Quartet hosted by the League of Arab States in Cairo. (Image: Tuyuri neighborhood in Sebha, south Libya, courtesy Claudia Gazzini)

The aim of the Libya Quartet is to support UN mediation and regional efforts and to accompany the process of the political transition in Libya, in full respect of Libyan ownership. On Monday, the Libya Quartet will  discuss progress in the UN mediation efforts, led by UNSG Special Representative Ghassan Salamé, and explore ways in which these key regional groupings can keep supporting this work.

A joint press conference will take place after the plenary meeting on Monday evening at 19.30 CET. EBS will provide audio-visual coverage.

NATO to enhance cooperation with Tunisia

NATO continues to work with Tunisia on a defence-capacity building package and this including the support  for the development of special operation forces, intelligence, – said Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO. “..We are also looking into other areas, like for instance border control and other areas which are relevant for the fight against terrorism” – Stoltenberg continued.

” The whole idea is that the best tool, or one of the best weapons we have against terrorism is to train local forces, to enable local governments to stabilise their own countries and to fight terrorism themselves. And therefore, the whole idea of projecting stability, stabilising our neighbourhood by training local forces, is one of the most important weapons we have against terrorism”.

« Older Entries