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Posts Tagged ‘Libye

Tunisian envoy seized in Libya

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TRIPOLI: A Tunisian diplomat was kidnapped Thursday in Tripoli in unknown circumstances, a Libyan security source told AFP, just two days after armed men seized Jordan’s ambassador.

A Tunisian source confirmed the abduction and identified the diplomat as Al-Aroussi Al-Fatnassi, without giving further details.

Tunis’s ambassador to Libya, Ridha Boukadi, refused to comment.

Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Lessoued said he could not confirm nor deny the reported abduction, the latest in a string of incidents targeting foreign diplomats and Libyan politicians.

A Tripoli police official, however said the diplomat was seized by unknown assailants near the central Al-Kadissiya square not far from the Tunisian Embassy.

(Source / 17.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 17, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Bomb explodes on runway of Libya’s main airport in Tripoli

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Passengers look at a flight information monitor after the reopening of the airport in Tripoli March 21, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Passengers look at a flight information monitor after the reopening of the airport in Tripoli March 21, 2014. 

(Reuters) – A bomb exploded on the runway of Libya’s main airport on Friday, the transport minister said, highlighting the deteriorating security situation in the north African country almost three years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted.

Supposedly one of the best guarded places in Libya, unknown people managed to get onto the runway at Tripoli International Airport, plant an explosive device at dawn and detonate it using a timer, Transport Minister Abdelqader Mohammed Ahmed said.

Authorities closed the airport, the gateway into Libya, for several hours. There is little traffic after midnight as foreign airlines avoid late flights due to the poor security at night in the capital, where the government is unable to control militias which helped oust long-time leader Gaddafi in 2011 but have kept their guns.

“There was a small explosion,” Ahmed said. “When security and the airport protection force arrived they found a timer.”

Officials had first suspected rockets fired by militias had landed on the runway as gunfire could be heard during the night in the capital. Rival militias often fight over territory or influence in Tripoli or the rest of the country.

Authorities reopened the airport by using first an alternative runway. Mainly Libyan airlines restarted operations in the afternoon.

“We cancelled all flights,” said the country head of a foreign airline with several daily flights to Tripoli.

European carriers such as Lufthansa and British Airways fly to Tripoli apart from Arab carriers.

Ahmed said authorities would improve airport security but analysts say the nascent police and army, still in training, are no match for battle-hardened militias seizing at will oil fields or ministries to grab power and oil revenues.

(Source / 21.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Three Years After Gaddafi, Libya Is Imploding Into Chaos and Violence

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Its government has no real power; militias are ever more entrenched, and now the state itself is under threat

The Libyan former prime minister Ali Zeidan fled last week after parliament voted him out of office. A North Korean-flagged oil tanker, the Morning Glory, illegally picked up a cargo of crude from rebels in the east of the country and sailed safely away, despite a government minister’s threat that the vessel would be “turned into a pile of metal” if it left port: the Libyan navy blamed rough weather for its failure to stop the ship. Militias based in Misrata, western Libya, notorious for their violence and independence, have launched an offensive against the eastern rebels in what could be the opening shots in a civil war between western and eastern Libya.

Without a central government with any real power, Libya is falling apart. And this is happening almost three years after 19 March 2011 when the French air force stopped Mu’ammer Gaddafi’s counter-offensive to crush the uprising in Benghazi. Months later, his burnt-out tanks still lay by the road to the city. With the United States keeping its involvement as low-profile as possible, Nato launched a war in which rebel militiamen played a secondary, supportive role and ended with the overthrow and killing of Gaddafi.

A striking feature of events in Libya in the past week is how little interest is being shown by leaders and countries which enthusiastically went to war in 2011 in the supposed interests of the Libyan people. President Obama has since spoken proudly of his role in preventing a “massacre” in Benghazi at that time. But when the militiamen, whose victory Nato had assured, opened fire on a demonstration against their presence in Tripoli in November last year, killing at least 42 protesters and firing at children with anti-aircraft machine guns, there was scarcely a squeak of protest from Washington, London or Paris.

Coincidentally, it was last week that Al-Jazeera broadcast the final episode in a three-year investigation of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988. For years this was deemed to be Gaddafi’s greatest and certainly best-publicised crime, but the documentary proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted of carrying out the bombing, was innocent. Iran, working through the Palestinian Front for The Liberation of Palestine – General Command, ordered the blowing up of Pan Am 103 in revenge for the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane by the US navy earlier in 1988.

Much of this had been strongly suspected for years. The new evidence comes primarily from Abolghasem Mesbahi, an Iranian intelligence officer who later defected and confirmed the Iranian link. The US Defense Intelligence Agency had long ago reached the same conclusion. The documentary emphasises the sheer number of important politicians and senior officials over the years who must have looked at intelligence reports revealing the truth about Lockerbie, but still happily lied about it.

It is an old journalistic saying that if you want to find out government policy, imagine the worst thing they can do and then assume they are doing it. Such cynicism is not deserved in all cases, but it does seem to be a sure guide to western policy towards Libya. This is not to defend Gaddafi, a maverick dictator who inflicted his puerile personality cult on his people, though he was never as bloodthirsty as Saddam Hussein or Hafez al-Assad.

But the Nato powers that overthrew him – and by some accounts gave the orders to kill him – did not do so because he was a tyrannical ruler. It was rather because he pursued a quirkily nationalist policy backed by a great deal of money which was at odds with western policies in the Middle East. It is absurd to imagine that if the real objective of the war was to replace Gaddafi with a secular democracy that the West’s regional allies in the conflict should be theocratic absolute monarchies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. This is equally true of Western and Saudi intervention in Syria which has the supposed intention of replacing President Bashar al-Assad with a freely elected government that will establish the rule of law.

Libya is imploding. Its oil exports have fallen from 1.4 million barrels a day in 2011 to 235,000 barrels a day. Militias hold 8,000 people in prisons, many of whom say they have been tortured. Some 40,000 people from the town of Tawergha south of Misrata were driven from their homes which have been destroyed. “The longer Libyan authorities tolerate the militias acting with impunity, the more entrenched they become, and the less willing to step down” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Putting off repeated deadlines to disarm and disband militias only prolongs the havoc they are creating throughout the country.”

Unfortunately, the militias are getting stronger not weaker. Libya is a land of regional, tribal, ethnic warlords who are often simply well-armed racketeers exploiting their power and the absence of an adequate police force. Nobody is safe: the head of Libya’s military police was assassinated in Benghazi in October while Libya’s first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general was shot dead in Derna on 8 February. Sometimes the motive for the killing is obscure, such as the murder last week of an Indian doctor, also in Derna, which may lead to an exodus of 1,600 Indian doctors who have come to Libya since 2011 and on whom its health system depends.

Western and regional governments share responsibility for much that has happened in Libya, but so too should the media. The Libyan uprising was reported as a simple-minded clash between good and evil. Gaddafi and his regime were demonised and his opponents treated with a naïve lack of scepticism and enquiry. The foreign media have dealt with the subsequent collapse of the Libyan state since 2011 mostly by ignoring it, though politicians have stopped referring to Libya as an exemplar of successful foreign intervention.

Can anything positive be learnt from the Libyan experience which might be useful in establishing states that are an improvement on those ruled by Gaddafi, Assad and the like? An important point is that demands for civil, political and economic rights – which were at the centre of the Arab Spring uprisings – mean nothing without a nation state to guarantee them; otherwise national loyalties are submerged by sectarian, regional and ethnic hatreds.

This should be obvious, but few of those supporting the Arab uprisings, for reasons other than self-interest, seem to have taken it on board. “Freedom under the rule of law is almost unknown outside nation-states,” writes the journalist and MEP Daniel Hannan in a succinct analysis of why the Arab Spring failed. “Constitutional liberty requires a measure of patriotism, meaning a readiness to accept your countrymen’s disagreeable decisions, to abide by election results when you lose.”

Even this level of commitment may not be enough, but without it only force can hold the state together. The escape of Morning Glory, the ousting of Ali Zeidan and the triumph of the militias all go to show that the Libyan state has so far neither the popular support nor military power to preserve itself.

(Source / 17.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Libya: A tale of two regions and a ship

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Intense competition between Libya’s regions is a crucial factor in shaping the country’s post-revolution politics.


The oil tanker affair cost Prime Minister Ali Zeidan his job, writes El-Kikhia
The oil tanker affair was a great embarrassment to the Libyan government and it ultimately cost Ali Zeidan his job as prime minister despite the fact that he was powerless to do anything about it.

The post-revolution interim government was neither experienced in governance nor in setting up political institutions. Fearing that a government with a strong executive leadership might turn dictatorial, those who set up the current government vested almost all powers in the General National Congress (GNC) and very little in the executive – or in this case, Zeidan’s government.

To make matters worse, the GNC has not done much to stem the rising tide of Islamist groups in Libya because it is disproportionately influenced by a coalition of Islamist parties that emerged following the 2011 revolution.

Herein lies the dilemma and the essence of the chaos engulfing Libya. The government has neither the power nor an instrument of coercion to ensure law and order. Even the military was set up to take orders from the head of Parliament, rather than the prime minister or the minister of defense.

The Islamists in Parliament detest Zeidan because they view him as a secularist. Towards that end, they have made it extremely difficult for him to do his job and they have been an obstacle in approving all of his policies. Ideological competition is normal and healthy, yet unlike the Libyan milieu, checks and balances as well as separation of powers hem in political institutions in democratic systems.

GNC in control

In Libya, the GNC holds all the strings. To make matters worse, large factions maintain militias. The Islamic faction supports The Room of Thuwar Libya, which arrested Zeidan a few months ago. The secularist National Forces Alliance have the Qaqaa and Sawaiq brigades, which threatened to remove the GNC when the NFA demanded the resignation of the GNC. Misurata’s militia has filled the vacuum left by the effete Libyan military. When the military refused to follow Zeidan’s orders, he turned to the Misurata militia, which obliged but got paid.

A case in point was the removal of Muammar Gaddafi supporters from a southern base. The military refused to comply with the prime minister’s orders and the GNC did not back him up. Zeidan turned to the Misurata militia, which did the job.

A more recent example involved the North Korean registered oil tanker that illegally entered Libyan waters and acquired an illegal shipment of Libyan oil. The prime minister ordered the Air Force to sink the tanker. When his orders were ignored, he instructed the navy to intercept it. That order was also ignored, forcing him to call upon the Misuratans to come to his aid. They tried but did not succeed as they did not have the necessary equipment to prevent the tanker from outpacing them.

After 12 weeks of debates, the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies in the GNC have finally managed to garner enough votes to remove the prime minister – albeit, the vote was mired in controversy and accusations of illegality and fraud.

The final part of the puzzle can be found in the eastern province of Cyrenaica where most of Libya’s oil and water can be  found. It is the cradle of the revolution and the most neglected part of the country.

Tribes but not tribal?

The Libyan revolution is still unfolding and it will – undoubtedly –  take time before a comprehensible image reflecting the new realities in the country comes into focus. Explaining Libya’s turmoil in tribal terms is,  for all intents and purposes, barking up the wrong tree. Libya has tribes but it is not a tribal society.

The country is overwhelmingly urban and while tribal identification has emerged in response to the state of insecurity, it is not a pivotal factor.

The most recent approach to explain the instability is now tied to the militias and their influence in the disruption of Libyan society and the fall of the current prime minister. However, neither of these explanations tells the full story because the sources of Libya’s current problems are structural. These problems will not disappear until the structure is either revamped or replaced by an entirely new one.

The country’s multi-faceted and multi-layered structural issues are best exemplified by the massive incongruence between social structures in the East and the West regions.

Intense competition

The power struggle in western and southern Libya is not based on tribes. It’s rooted in competition and jockeying for power between regions such a Misurata vs Zintan, or Warshfana vs Zawya, Bani Walid vs Misurata, Jabal al-Garbi vs Geryan, or Tabu vs Awlad Sliman.

Misurata has many tribes, as does Zintan and Bani Walid. Power struggle among these regions has been the major problem for the ruling authorities. The most serious issue is not the competition between the regions but the hostility and intensity of the competition. It is such that actors can annihilate one another without pausing to think about the consequences of their actions or the resulting human tragedy.

Such rivalry finds roots in the past  during independence period in 1947-1950. The same regional competition almost prevented the country from gaining its independence and was only avoided when Cyrenaica, the eastern coastal region of Libya, gave the western provinces an ultimatum to put an end to that senseless rivalry and instability, and fall under the leadership of the Sanusi family.

The alternative was the splitting of Cyrenaica into an independent state. Indeed Cyrenaica did declare itself an independent Kingdom in 1949 but soon metamorphosed into the Kingdom of Libya when the West and South fell in line and ended their conflict.

Ideological struggle

Cyrenaica has more tribes than the western region but tribalism plays a miniscule role in politics. Unlike the west, where the conflict is the result of regional competition, conflict in the eastern provinces is the result of an ideological struggle. It is a struggle between middle-of-the-road progressives and Islamist goups. The Sufist Sanusiya religious movement upholds a centrist view of Islam and, as a result, protected Libya for many years from radicalism that came to it from the East.

Unfortunately, Colonel Gaddafi, in his ceaseless attempt to demonise the Sanusiya movement, opened the floodgates to radical organisations that planted themselves in Libya for the past quarter of a century. His attempt to eradicate Islamist groups militarily was a complete failure and merely drove them underground. They have now emerged to pose a serious threat not only to Libya but also to all North Africa region.

The final part of the puzzle can be found in the eastern province of Cyrenaica where most of Libya’s oil and water can be found. It is the cradle of the revolution and the most neglected part of the country. Cyrenaicans are fiercely independent and want a larger share of autonomy, freedom, and access to their resources.

The deadlock in the GNC and the inability of the government to provide relief from four decades of Gaddafi-imposed poverty as well as the state of insecurity pushed its inhabitants to the edge.

In a recent incident, Ibrahim Jathran, a 33-year-old guard of the main oil ports, shut down oil production. He demanded that gauges be put on the oil pumps at the terminals as well as an accounting of where the oil money has gone since the revolution. A final demand was that a referendum on federalism be conducted in Cyrenaica.

None of his demands were met and as a result he formed a provincial government and sought buyers for Cyrenaica’s oil. Most Cyrenaicans do not support Jathran’s efforts even though they sympathise with his goals and do want more autonomy and a larger share of the wealth.

But in a context of chaos, nothing is certain. Libya will hold elections for a new Parliament in July 2014 and if the election of the constitutional committee of 60 is any indication, the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies are likely to lose all their seats in Parliament. The only certainty though is that people’s patience is running thin as a result of  the deadlock in the GNC, the government’s inability to provide relief from four decades of Gaddafi-imposed poverty as well as the ever deteriorating state of security.

(Source / 16.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Forget Benghazi Conspiracies, The Real Disgrace In Libya Is What’s Happening There Now

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A Libyan man guards a detention camp for illegal migrants in November, 2013A Libyan man guards a detention camp for illegal migrants in November, 2013

The news that Libya’s parliament dismissed Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from office on Wednesday after the government failed to stop armed groups in eastern Libya from exporting oil independently should not surprise anyone — over the past year, the country has slipped deeper into chaos.

Zeidan was run out of office and fled the country just a few days short of the third anniversary of U.N. Resolution 1973 that imposed a no-fly zone and sanctions and opened the door to NATO’s intervention. What we see today in Libya is certainly not the result that the United States and its partners hoped for when it intervened to stop the Qadhafi regime from massacring its people.

I just finished nine months serving on the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya — a group charged with monitoring and reporting on the implementation of sanctions imposed by a series of U.N. resolutions since 2011. The panel is an independent body that analyzes what is happening on unauthorized arms flows into and out of the country and efforts to freeze assets associated with the former Qadhafi regime, and it offers recommendations on what can be done to enhance measures on those fronts.

The full report, available here, paints a troubling picture of the insecurity inside of Libya and the widespread spillover effects it is having, particularly on weapons flows coming out of the country. Some of the report’s key findings:

  • A number of actors have trafficked shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles from Libya to Mali, Chad, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the Gaza Strip, among other places during the past year.
  • Libya’s government lacks a strong centralized oversight over weapons it receives, and non-state armed groups control most of the weapons in the country. Weak government controls over land borders and ports are a large part of the problem of regional weapons proliferation and insecurity spillover.
  • Regional terrorist and criminal networks have exploited the insecurity and lack of control over weapons and materiel in Libya.
  • Libya’s insecurity and political divisions are interlinked, as a number of groups used actual and threatened force to advance their agendas.

The Middle East and North Africa has long been a region flooded with large amounts of weapons and military assistance, usually state-to-state transfers. The difference now in Libya and the regional spillover effects is that fragmentation inside of the country is reflected in disorganized weapons outflows driven largely by non-state actors. In a very real sense, Libya is exporting its insecurity to surrounding countries.

Meanwhile in Washington, many conservatives continue to harp on conspiracy theoriesabout the 2012 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, all the while mostly sleepwalking through the current trends in Libya and the region. As my colleague Peter Juul and I argued last year, the mindless political debate over Obama administration talking points from the fall of 2012 harms efforts to come to grips with the deterioration of the overall situation in Libya and the longer-term challenge the United States faces of managing security risks when conducting diplomacy in insecure locations.

Some leading analysts on Libya like Karim Mezran of the Atlantic Council and Fred Wehrey at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have sounded the alarm bell on Libya with sharp recommendations for U.S. and international policy, and Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice outlined a framework for supporting Libya in a speech to the Middle East Institute last fall. But despite these ideas, and an international conference on Libya held in Rome earlier this month, the country continues to slide into chaos.

With so much going on in the Middle East these days — attempts to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and incomplete political transitions in places like Egypt — it is hard to find time on the crowded agenda for Libya.

But as I learned over the past nine months, what happens in Libya isn’t staying in Libya — and it is time to redouble international efforts on Libya before the country and the broader region slips into further turmoil.

(Source / 13.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Libyan lawmakers oust Prime Minister Ali Zeidan

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File photo of former Libyan premier, Ali Zeidan

File photo of former Libyan premier, Ali Zeidan

The Libyan parliament has ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, after military forces failed to prevent the escape of a North Korea-flagged tanker laden with crude oil.

A total of 124 lawmakers out of 194 in attendance at the General National Congress (GNC) passed a vote of no-confidence – four more than the majority required – to oust Zeidan, MPs said on Tuesday.

The GNC named Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thani as the interim prime minister, having two weeks to find a replacement for Zeidan.

The move follows a standoff between the government and a group of militants in the eastern port of Sidra.

Militants at the rebel-held port loaded oil into a North Korea-flagged tanker, the Morning Glory, which had docked there without government permission on Saturday.

Authorities however later said they had taken control of the tanker and were prepared to unload the crude once it reached a western port, and then launch legal measures against the potential buyers.

However, the seaworthy tanker slipped past the warships during inclement weather early on Tuesday.

Tripoli has made efforts to end a wave of protests at oil ports and fields across the country that have drastically reduced its oil output.

Zeidan had earlier promised that he would end the blockade of all rebel-held ports in the east either through talks or by military force.

(Source / 11.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm

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Libyan leader threatens to bomb North Korean oil tanker

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Watch this video

Meet the militiaman holding Libya’s oil

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) – Libya’s prime minister threatened Saturday night to bomb a North Korean-flagged ship that had entered a rebel-held oil port, calling the ship’s arrival there a “violation of international law.”

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said if the ship does not follow orders, “it will be bombed and this could lead to an environmental disaster.”

The vessel, dubbed Morning Glory, docked late Friday night in the oil port of As-Sidra. Zeidan said the ship’s captain subsequently was warned by phone, though the captain responded that local militia on board did not allow them to depart.

Libyan government officials spoke with diplomats at North Korea’s embassy in Tripoli, Zeidan said. He added that information showed a “Gulf nation” owned the ship and that it is registered in North Korea. A spokesman for Libya’s National Oil Corporation indicated the tanker was Saudi owned, but Saudi Arabia’s embassy released a statement saying it had nothing to do with the ship.

In addition, an arrest warrant has been issued for the oil tanker’s captain and “the use of armed force, as necessary,” has been authorized, according to Zeidan.

The situation speaks to the unsettled situation in the North African nation, which the government is struggling to control more than two years after the ouster of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

In this case, the issue centers around the oil-rich eastern part of the country and one man in particular, Ibrahim Jadran. The militia leader was entrusted by the government to safeguard crucial oil ports. But last July, Jadran and his men seized them, blocking oil exports, and demanded more autonomy and shared revenues for his eastern region.

Meet the man holding Libya’s oil hostage

“We used to be part of that government until the corruption became so visible, and the government started to sell oil without measuring units, and after we became certain that such a government is not credible and unable to rebuild the state,” the 32-year-old Jadran told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in January. “That’s why we declared independence of our province and we started to seek our fair rights.”

There is a lot at stake, given the Libyan government’s precarious state and the wealth of natural resources in the country. Libya is thought to have Africa’s largest proven oil reserves. The country produced 1.6 million barrels per day after the revolution only to have that output slow to a relative trickle of fewer than 200,000 barrels per day by the end of last year.

The government has said the disrupted oil production, from seizures of ports as well as protests and strikes at other oil facilities, is costing the country $130 million a day.

Saturday night’s threat against the North Korean-flagged vessel isn’t the first time Libya’s government has threatened force against ships that enter the eastern oil ports.

On several occasions, authorities have issued ultimatums to such ships, only to have those deadlines come and go with no action.

(Source / 09.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Libya vows democratic path after parliament attack

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  • 09538840982537178.jpg

    Forces of the Military Council of Tripoli stand guard next to the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli.

TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities vowed Monday to pursue a democratic transition in the face of mounting lawlessness after two MPs were shot when protesters stormed the country’s transitional parliament.
The two General National Congress members were shot and wounded Sunday as armed protesters stormed their building in Tripoli. In separate violence, a French engineer was killed in the restive eastern city of Benghazi.
“I assure you we are committed to the path of the February 17 revolution and to pursue the democratic process,” GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmein said, referring to the uprising that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s four-decade rule.
Speaking on television, Abu Sahmein said the attack was a “flagrant aggression on the seat of legitimate sovereignty,” and urged former rebels who ousted Qaddafi to protect state institutions.
On Monday, ex-rebels equipped with pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns were posted around the GNC building, where at least five burnt-out cars testified to the previous day’s violence.
Abu Sahmein said the GNC — Libya’s highest political authority — was examining a roadmap for the handover of power “as quickly as possible” to an elected body.
The GNC was elected in July 2012 to an 18-month mandate but it stirred popular anger by extending from early February until end of December.
Under pressure from demonstrators, it later announced early elections but gave no date for the vote.
The head of an elected panel tasked with preparing elections, Nuri Al-Abbar, resigned his post Sunday saying Libya had to “end political tensions and restore order” before holding polls.
Libya’s political class is deeply divided, and GNC members are still demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, although they have failed to oust him in a vote of confidence.
Dozens of armed demonstrators on Sunday demanded the GNC be dissolved and railed against the “kidnapping” the previous night of participants in a sit-in protest outside the parliament building.
They later attacked and “abused” deputies, GNC spokesman Omar Hmidan said.
One GNC member told AFP that the protesters, mostly young people armed with knives and sticks, entered the premises chanting “Resign, resign.”
Two members were “hit by bullets when they tried to leave the venue in their cars,” said Abu Sahmein.
For security reasons, the GNC met Monday in a Tripoli luxury hotel to discuss the previous day’s incidents, a deputy said.

(Source / 03.03.2014)

Written by altahrir

March 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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Libya to compensate women raped during 2011 uprising

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya will offer compensation to women raped during the 2011 NATO-backed uprising which toppled Muammar Gaddafi, its justice minister said on Wednesday, touching a taboo subject.

Hundreds of women may have been raped during the eight-month conflict, according to the International Criminal Court, which has collected evidence that pro-Gaddafi forces used rape as a weapon to spread fear among its opponents.

No exact figures for the number of women raped are available.

Human rights activists have pushed for compensation, but rape victims are often ostracized in the conservative Muslim country where discussion of the crime remains taboo, so it is not clear how many victims would actually come forward.

Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said the cabinet had issued a law that would recognize women raped during the conflict as war victims, putting them on the same level as wounded former rebel fighters requiring medical treatment.

“This group (of women) is weak and needs our care,” Marghani told reporters. “It (the law) will give them many rights…and cover also compensation.”

He did not say what compensation the women would get. Other war victims are entitled to benefits that may include medical care, a safe place to stay and financial assistance.

(Source / 19.02.2014)

Written by altahrir

February 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm

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Libyan MPs ‘agree on early elections’

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Thousands of Libyans took to the streets for the second consecutive week on Friday to protest against the decision of the General National Congress to extend its mandate.

Libya’s parliament has reached consensus on holding early elections following popular pressure after it had extended its mandate that ended on Feb. 7, deputies said Sunday.

“The political blocs are unanimous on the holding of early elections” for new transitional authorities, MP Abdullah from the al-Gmati bloc told AFP.

The 200 members of the General National Congress (GNC) were elected in July 2012 for a term of 18 months and tasked with leading the country’s transition after the 2011 uprising.

But earlier this month, it decided to extend its mandate until December despite opposition from Libyans.

Libyans have been critical of the body’s inability to halt the country’s slide into further instability.

Thousands took to the streets for the second consecutive week on Friday to protest against the decision.

The GNC last week adopted a new roadmap that set a general election by the end of the year.

The elected commission would still need to decide on key issues in a new constitution, including the system of government, the status of minorities and the role of Islamic sharia law.

If within 60 days, the commission decides it cannot complete the job, it would call for immediate presidential and legislative polls for a renewed period of 18 months.

Monday will mark three years since the start of the revolution that overthrew former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

(Source / 16.02.2014)

Written by altahrir

February 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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