Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
The Libyan army has declared support for forces loyal to retired General Khalifa Haftar as rival militant groups continue to battle for control over the eastern city of Benghazi.
Libyan army spokesman, Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari, said the military has thrown its weight behind Haftar’s four-month-old campaign, dubbed ‘Operation Dignity’, in order to retake Benghazi from other armed groups.
The announcement came a day after Haftar’s forces resumed major attacks to oust other militant groups from Benghazi. He also called on the locals to rise up against the “terrorists.”
At least a dozen people have been killed and 10 others wounded, including three soldiers, and a man and his three children, in renewed clashes for control of the eastern city.
Meanwhile, a militia commander said his fighters took control of a military camp and tanks from Haftar’s forces after a bombing attack at the camp gates.
However, the claim has been rejected by a security source close to Haftar.
Benghazi has been a war zone since May, when Haftar declared war on the militia groups.
Forces loyal to Haftar have been unsuccessful in fighting the rival armed groups and have recently lost most of their bases in Benghazi. Currently, they just have Benghazi’s Benina International Airport and its surrounding areas under their control.
Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.
The country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups that refuse to lay down arms. The groups are now turning their guns on each other in an attempt to dominate politics and the country’s vast oil resources.
(Source / 15.10.2014)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a meeting in Tripoli October 11, 2014
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon landed Libya’s capital of Tripoli and is due to meet political parties in a bid to bolster talks aimed at ending spiraling unrest in the North African nation.
Shortly after his arrival, he called for all sides in the conflict-plagued country to stop fighting.
“Let me be clear: if violent confrontations do not cease immediately, if sustainable peace is not restored, prosperity and a better life will be a distant dream,” Ban said according to an official transcript of his remarks.
Ban’s visit Saturday is his first to Libya – the highest-level visit of a foreign diplomat for three months – and comes after the U.N. launched a dialogue late last month to mediate between the warring Libyan groups.
He called on “all groups to stop fighting”, referring specifically to forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar and the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia militia group that he has been battling in the eastern city of Benghazi since May, Agence France-Presse reported.
Ban also called for political dialogue to bolster the legitimacy of the parliament elected on June 25.
The international community recognises the new parliament, but the militia groups controlling most of the capital Tripoli and Islamists who hold much of Benghazi dispute its legitimacy.
The majority faction in the legislature has been meeting in the far eastern town of Tobruk near the border with Egypt.
Ban urged the formation of a national unity cabinet, stressing the importance of “a strong government able to implement decisions” in the country, where militias control swathes of territory.
“There is no alternative to dialogue,” Ban said ahead of the meeting of rival MPs, also attended by the incoming EU foreign policy chief, Italian Foreign Minister Federica, as well as envoys from Britain, France and Malta.
The U.N. mission chief in Libya, Bernardino Leon, managed to bring the rival factions together for talks in the remote oasis town of Ghadames on September 29.
At the time, he hailed their discussions as “very constructive and very positive.”
(Source / 11.10.2014)
(Reuters) – Libyan Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia hopes to seize the eastern city of Benghazi from pro-government forces in the coming days but will not try to capture other cities, its leader said in a video message.
Members of Ansar al-Sharia have been advancing on Benghazi airport, the last bastion held by pro-government forces in the port city. The militants have already overrun several army camps.
Three years after the civil war that toppled veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in anarchy. The elected parliament has been holed up in Tobruk, east of Benghazi, since the government lost control of the capital Tripoli to an armed group from the west of the country in August.
Lawmakers and Western diplomats worry that Ansar al-Sharia might turn its sights on Tobruk next, in a conflict which threatens to break up the oil-producing country. The group was blamed by Washington for an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012 which killed the U.S. ambassador.
“We will finish the battle (of Benghazi) in the coming days,” Ansar al-Sharia leader Mohamed Zawahi said, according to a video posted on social media.
“Afterwards Benghazi will become a better place. We will protect its sons,” he said. “We don’t plan to move this war to other cities.” Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.
Diplomats worry Libya is descending towards a failed state as the weak government battles former rebels who helped oust Gaddafi but now use their guns to carve out fiefdoms and seize a share of oil revenues.
(Source / 10.102014)
Anonymous gunmen killed an Egyptian citizen in Libya on Thursday evening in a sewing shop in al-Baraka area, Benghazi.
Islamist militias in Libya have reportedly taken control of 11 commercial aircraft from Tripoli International Airport in Libya, sparking fears of a 9/11-style terrorattack.
Ahead of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, reports emerged that Islamist militias took control of nearly a dozen jetliners last month after the airport was the scene of a fierce battle.
On Sunday, the Libyan government announced that they had lost control of the capital to the militants, who include the Islamic groups Ansar al Sharia – which has ties to the Islamic State – and Libyan Dawn, an umbrella group for Islamist militias.
The country is currently witnessing its worst spasm of violence since former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011. Intelligence officials have been told in the last two weeks of the possibility that one of more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month, according to the Washington Free-Beacon.
“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” one official told the Free-Beacon. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”
Damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport
September 11 not only marks the anniversary of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks; it will also be the second anniversary of the Islamic militant-led raid of the US Ambassador’s compound in Benghazi, Libya when four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
In July 2014 fighting broke out in the area of Tripoli International Airport, Libya as anti-government and pro-government militias were engaged in fighting. As a result, Tripoli Airport was closed for air traffic and many aircraft were damaged as result of the devastating fighting.
Al Jazeera reported that the planes are now being held by a group called the Masked Men Brigade who plan to use them in terror attacks.
Moroccan military expert Abderrahmane Mekkaoui told Al Jazeera there is “credible intelligence” that the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on the Maghreb state’ on the 9/11 anniversary.”
A commander for the Libyan Dawn group said earlier this week his forces had entered and been in control of the US Embassy compound in Libya’s capital since last week.
A video posted online showed men playing in a pool at the compound. In a message on Twitter, US Ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy’s residential annex.
Tripoli, September 1 (RHC)– A Libyan militia group says it has secured the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound in the capital, Tripoli, since last week. An unnamed commander for the Fajr (Dawn) Libya militiamen made the remarks on Sunday.
“We’ve secured the location and the assets of the embassy,” he said, adding, “We’ve informed our command… immediately after entering the place following the exit of the rival militia. The place is secure and under protection.”
A video posted on-line showed unarmed men playing in the embassy courtyard. American diplomats were evacuated from Libya to neighboring Tunisia on July 26th because of raging violence. Libya has been witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Recent fighting between armed groups has prompted almost all foreign diplomats and thousands of residents to flee Tripoli.
Rival militiamen, who refuse to lay down arms, are fighting for total rule over the North African country, and the army has been unable to curb the widespread lawlessness.
(Source / 01.09.2014)
‘It is only natural for Al-Sisi and the countries supportive of his coup, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to take a stand against the revolutions of the Arab peoples who hope for freedom, dignity and justice because their governments do not represent their people.’
The New York Times newspaper has published statements by senior security officials that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates participated in the air strikes on the Libyan Dawn Forces linked to the February 17th rebels; Egyptian air bases near the border with Libya were used to launch UAE aircraft. The NYT also reported that the US was not aware of these strikes that were not only unconstructive, but also backfired. This emphasises the accusations made by the official Dawn Forces spokesman since the beginning of the fighting that Egypt and the UAE are both participating in the fight against Libya by means of air strikes; these claims were initially denied by the Egyptian foreign ministry, first by its official spokesperson, and then by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi himself. The Egyptian coup leader has, therefore, been shown to be a liar in front of his people and the entire world; this is a global scandal on every level.
Al-Sisi is gambling and risking the lives of all Egyptians, not just the two million who work in Libya, by this reckless act that disregards all logic and strategic thought. He is endangering Egypt’s western border, as the Dawn Forces have taken control of Tripoli and tightened their control over the airport, defeating rebel General Haftar’s forces, which are backed by the UAE and Egypt. This prompted Al-Sisi to lie and deny Egypt’s involvement in the fighting, even though the exact opposite occurred; he was hoping to announce his support for defeating terrorism in Libya represented by the February 17th rebels.
It is only natural for Al-Sisi and the countries supportive of his coup, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to take a stand against the revolutions of the Arab peoples who hope for freedom, dignity and justice because their governments do not represent their people. Al-Sisi staged a coup against his own people and betrayed them before overthrowing his president and breaking his vows of office in leading the counter-revolution, but it seems that this is not enough for him; he now wants to be the leader of the counter-revolution in the entire Arab region.
Al-Sisi has become a threat to Egypt’s national security, as he is hostile towards the Palestinians in Gaza and is supporting the Zionist enemy in its war on Gaza, on Egypt’s eastern border, putting Egypt in danger. He is also in a silent conflict with Southern Sudan, and now he is supporting Haftar’s rebel forces in Libya and allowing them to use Egyptian airbases to launch aircraft to strike a neighbouring country on our western border. He is endangering the whole country. However, he should keep his mentor and idol, Gamal Abdel Nasser, in mind and remember what he did in Yemen and the disasters suffered there by Egypt; Nasser achieved nothing but the loss of his country’s gold, which was used to bribe tribal leaders. Egypt has been impoverished ever since. One of the most important consequences of Egypt’s war in Yemen was the great defeat by Israel in 1967. Ironically, at that time, Nasser said that he was fighting the reactionaries represented by Saudi Arabia; today, Al-Sisi is working hand in hand with the same reactionaries, and is even following their orders. Is anyone surprised by this?
(Source / 27.08.2014)