Tag Archives: Libya

UN staff killed in explosion

“The U.N. does not intend to evacuate from Libya,” the assistant secretary-general for peace operations, Bintou Keita, told the UN Security Council, which condemned the recent attack in Benghazi, Libya.

A car bomb explosion in Benghazi killed three U.N. staff members and two other mission members on, the United Nations said.The attack came as the United Nations was negotiating a truce in the capital Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) force launched an military operation in April.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, a spokesman said in a statement. 

The United Nations gave no further details, indicating some of its casualties had been members working in Benghazi, the. LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari told press two of those killed were guards with the U.N. Libya mission, and 10 people had been wounded, including young children.

The explosion happened in front of a crowded shopping mall and bank. One burned-out U.N. car could be seen in the street.

Around the time of the blast, LNA commander Khalifa Haftar announced a halt to military operations for 48 hours during the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebrations, which started on July 10.

Before the weekend, the government in Tripoli confirmed that they had already accepted a U.N. proposal for a ceasefire during the holiday.

Libya: dozens killed in Murzuq airstrike

More than 30 individuals have been killed in an air strike on the southern Libyan oasis town of Murzuq in the historic region of Fezzan, populated mostly by Dawada people, but also by Tuareg. (Image above: illustration).

Eastern Libyan (historicaly region of Cirenaica) forces under the leadership  of Marshall Khalifa Haftar confirmed an assault on August 4, but denied any responsibility for the death of civilians.

Despite expected movement  for unity among the Tuareg and other southern Libyan minorities, at present the situation in Fezzan  stays fragile, and the future of the province remains obscure.

In reality Fezzan is unstable in absence of unity among Tuareg communities vis-à-vis the events in TripoliThe Tuareg are hugely disappointed with the results of the regime change, which did not fulfill any from the multiple promises made by the West.

Population of Fezzan is plagued by lack of basic healthcare, access to water, education and jobs – all resulting in low living standards, depression and crime. The infrastructures, including developed by state electric grids erected during Colonel Gaddafi rule, have dilapidated without maintenance, and are out of use, and there no opportunities to restore them until the conflict is ravaging Libya.
Many men left Fezzan to join different battling militant groups in search for earnings.

Both Fayez Al Sarraj in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi are struggling  for alliance with different tribes in Fezzan: Tuareg and Toubou (Teda and Dazagra). 

Like the supported by the West government of  Al-Sarraj, Haftar has equally alliances among Tuareg, multiplying promises.

For Europe significance of Fezzan has risen dramatically  after  Libyan state collapse, which left southern borders unattended, and opened a broad gate for illegal migration from from the Sahel to Mediterranean coast – the so called sub-Saharan migrant route.

AMENDED:

“Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated residential areas may amount to war crimes and must cease immediately. As High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini stated on behalf of the EU on 2 August, those committing war crimes and those breaching International Humanitarian Law must be brought to justice and held to account” the European External Action Service reacted on Murzuq attack on its official Twitter account.

EU reminds Libya humanitarian law obligation

An attack on a field hospital this weekend on the Airport Road cost the lives of four doctors and one paramedic and injured eight medical personnel. A school in Al-Alamain was also hit. Such civilian infrastructure is protected under international law. We remind all parties of their obligation to uphold international humanitarian law and we expect a thorough and independent investigation so that those responsible are held accountable” the European External Action Service spokesperson said.

The fighting in and around Tripoli has taken too many lives. The interest of the Libyan people must be put first by de-escalating the situation and resuming dialogue in order to identify a lasting political solution to the conflict as part of the UN-led process” the statement continues.

The field hospital located on the airport road was hit by an air raid,” said Tripoli health ministry spokesperson Lamine al-Hashemi.

“Five doctors were killed and seven other people, including rescuers wounded” in the attack that al-Hashemi accused of warplane of Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar.

EU blames Libya Al Khoms shipwreck tragedy

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of a shipwreck off the coast of Al Khoms where over 100 persons may have lost their lives. This is a terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those making this dangerous journey to Europe. Every life lost is one too many. Our aim has always been to prevent lives being lost at sea and we will continue our work to prevent these perilous journeys taking place in the first place” , wrote in a joint statement EU top diplomat Federica Mogerini, and Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Dimitris Avramopoulos on the shipwreck off the coast of Libya. (Image above: illustration).

“Our EU Delegation is in contact with the Libyan authorities, UN agencies and the NGOs to make sure that those rescued and disembarked receive protection and direct emergency assistance” the statement continues.

“Ensuring adequate search and rescue capacity, providing safe and dignified alternatives to dangerous sea-crossings to EU in the form of resettlements and voluntary returns out of Libya are essential to prevent further losses of lives and must be accelerated. At the same time, predictable and sustainable solutions for search and rescue are urgently needed in the Mediterranean”, the EU top executives said.

However the current situation in Libya is the direct result of the “Operation Freedom Falcon” led by  NATO armed forces, conducting in March 2011 the overthrowing of the four decades ruler Colonel Gaddafi. The assassination of Gaddafi degenerated  the statehood,  fueled the protracted conflict, and  threw nation into chaos.

A big round of applause for Obama, Hillary, McCain, Cameron and Sarkozy for plunging Libya into chaos and turning a once prosperous and stable country into a human trafficking hub and war-torn failed state where roving terrorists operate open air slave markets” wrote in her Twitter micro blog Sarah Abdallah, an ndependent Lebanese geopolitical commentator.

 

Pope Francis calls to assist migrants

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the VI anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa on July 8, a small Italian island 90 miles off the coast of Tunisia.

Pontifex called for an end to the rhetoric which views migrants as ‘other,’ saying they are human beings and among those Christ has commanded his disciples to love and assist.

“They are persons; these are not mere social or migrant issues!Pope continued “This is not just about migrants,’ in the twofold sense that migrants are first of all human persons, and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.”

These least ones are abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert; these least ones are tortured, abused and violated in detention camps; these least ones face the waves of an unforgiving sea; these least ones are left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary,Pope stated.

“In the spirit of the Beatitudes we are called to comfort them in their affliction and offer them mercy,” he urged, “to sate their hunger and thirst for justice; to let them experience God’s caring fatherliness; to show them the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

At present the numbers of Christians in Africa are at rise, by 2025, one-sixth – 230 million of the world’s Catholics are expected to be Africans. Half of the African population lives in poverty without access to basic human needs, such as nutrition, clean water, shelter and more.

While Africa is globally the poorest continent, it is also home to the highest birth rate: by 2050, a quarter of the world will be African, with the continent’s population likely to rise from 1.2-billion today to 2.5-billion in 2050.

Mogherini “shocked” by Tajoura attack

The shocking attack on the Tajoura detention centre that caused the death of dozens of refugees and migrants and injured many more, including children and women, is a stark reminder of how the war in Libya is affecting civilians. We condemn it in the strongest terms. All violence against civilians is unacceptable. We welcome any fact finding mission undertaken by the UN and look forward to its results” says the text of the Declaration issued by the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini on behalf of the bloc on the latest developments in Libya.

We call for an immediate de-escalation and for an end to the fighting, and we urge actors to refrain from the systematic use of incitement to violence and promptly return to the UN led mediation process. We reiterate that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Libya and we call on all UN Member States to fully respect their obligations to contribute to Libya’s peace and stability, prevent destabilizing arms shipments, safeguard Libya’s oil resources and protect its infrastructure in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The ongoing conflict is destabilising Libya and the entire region and has increased the risk of terrorism and of the tragic loss of human lives, also at sea.

“We fully support UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salamé in his efforts to restore confidence, achieve a cessation of hostilities, promote inclusive dialogue and create the conditions for the resumption of the UN led political process. It is indispensable to relaunch the UN led mediation process to promote an inclusive government representing all Libyans, prepare for credible parliamentary and presidential elections, ensure a fair and transparent distribution of national wealth and advance the reunification of all Libyan sovereign institutions.

We remind all Libyan parties and institutions of their responsibility to protect civilians, safeguard civilian infrastructure, allow full humanitarian access and ensure protection for humanitarian workers under International Humanitarian Law. The EU stands ready to urgently step up collective efforts to address the situation, and in particular, to improve protection and assistance to migrants and refugees. In this regard, we welcome the UNHCR and IOM work in Libya and reiterate our full support to their mission and activities.”

Tajoura held at least 600 migrants and refugees—including women and children. The airstrike that left scores dead, also left dozens injured. The casualty toll from an air strike on a detention camp for migrants near the Libyan capital Tripoli has climbed to 53 dead and 130 wounded, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.

 

 

 

EU calls for ceasefire in Libya

At least 44 people died and 130 injured as a result of an airstrike inflicted on a migrant detention center in the suburb of the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to Reuters news agency local sources.

Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte reiterated his call for cessation of hostilities.

“We have repeatedly called for a cessation of hostilities and the respect of international humanitarian law. The European Union joins the call for the UN to carry out an immediate investigation into who perpetrated this horrific attack. Those responsible should be held to account” says the text of the statement of the European External Actions Service

“This attack also shows up once again the need for a ceasefire in the Libyan conflict. The EU will continue to lend its fullest support to the UN and UNSG Special Representative Salamé to achieve a political settlement. All regional and international partners should equally lend their support to achieving peace.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 750 people have already died since the beginning of the clashes, and almost 4.4 thousand more were injured.

 

 

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