Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
‘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)
The power grab highlights the lawlessness that has swept Libya since rebels overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and later formed powerful militias that successive governments have been unable to tame.
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz, right, greets his Chadian counterpart Moussa Faki during the opening session of a gathering of foreign ministers of Libya’s neighbors in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
CAIRO — Libya’s past, Islamist-dominated parliament reconvened Monday and voted to disband the country’s current interim government, defying voters who elected its opponents to take over amid ceaseless fighting by rival militias.
The power grab highlights the lawlessness that has swept Libya since rebels overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and later formed powerful militias that successive governments have been unable to tame. It also leaves troubled Libya with two governments and two parliaments, deepening divisions and escalating the political struggle that’s torn the country apart.
Islamist militias have attempted to cement their power in the capital after claiming its airport and forcing rival militias to withdraw. The fighting began after Islamist candidates lost parliament in June elections and a renegade general began a military campaign against Islamist-allied militias in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city.
The Islamist-led past parliament voted unanimously to appoint a new “national salvation government” headed by Omar al-Hassi, a university professor. That happened as Islamist-militias said in a statement that their forces had “liberated” all facilities and barracks in Tripoli, inviting the United Nations and foreign diplomats to return.
Libya’s newly elected parliament meanwhile continues to meet in the far eastern city of Tobruk far from the militia violence. Those lawmakers have branded Islamist militias as terrorists, sacked the country’s chief of staff over his alleged links to Islamists and named a new one who vowed Monday to wage war against “terrorists.”
Libya’s interim government is also unable to return to the capital and has been holding its meetings in the eastern city of Bayda. It sent its foreign minister to Egypt to meet officials from neighboring countries to discuss ways to stop the spiraling violence.
The meeting ended with calls for disarming the militias and opposition to outside military intervention in Libya’s affairs. That appears to be an attempt to mute accusations that Libya’s neighbors, including Egypt, played a role in recent unclaimed airstrikes that have targeted Islamist militias’ positions in Tripoli.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri warned the gathering that the situation in Libya threatens the entire region and other parts of the world.
“The developments in Libya have left an impact we have felt on the security of neighboring countries, with the presence and movement of extremist and terrorist groups whose activists are not only limited to the Libyan territories but also spill over to neighboring countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement to “strongly condemn the escalation of fighting and violence” and urged “all parties in Libya (to) accept an immediate ceasefire and engage constructively in the democratic process, abstaining from confrontational initiatives that risk undermining it.”
Also on Monday, retaliatory attacks swept Tripoli, targeting houses and buildings of Islamist rivals, including Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. He accused Islamists of attacking his house in Tripoli, then torching and looting it.
“It is impossible that you can impose anything on Libyans using force,” al-Thinni warned. “It will be like a devil who wants to enter heaven.”
Libya’s divisions are rooted in rivalries between Islamists and non-Islamists, as well as powerful tribal and regional allegiances between groups who quickly filled the power vacuum after Gadhafi’s fall. Successive transitional governments have failed to control them.
The formation of a new government by the Islamist-dominated outgoing parliament came on the grounds that handover of authority earlier this month was improperly handled. However, Libya’s court system and laws remain in disarray, meaning whomever has the guns has the power.
The political rivalry has been coupled with militia infighting that has scarred the capital and driven out thousands of its residents. It has also turned Benghazi into a battlefield between Islamist militias and fighters loyal to a renegade army general who vowed to weed them out.
(Source / 26.08.2014)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamist militias inside Libya, U.S. officials said Tuesday, decrying the intervention as an escalation of the North African country’s already debilitating turmoil. They said the United States had no prior notification of the attacks.
One official said the two countries and Saudi Arabia have been supporting a renegade general’s effort for months against Libyan militant groups, but that the Saudis don’t appear to have played a role in recent strikes. Another official said Washington knew about Egyptian and U.A.E. plans for a possible operation and warned them against going through with the effort.
The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. The Egyptian and U.A.E. role in the strikes was first reported by The New York Times.
In a joint statement, the United States joined with Britain, France, Germany and Italy in expressing its concerns, saying “”outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition.”
A U.S. official said the intervention wasn’t done with authorization from Libya’s government.
And the newly appointed U.N. envoy to Libya said he doesn’t believe foreign intervention is helpful. The diplomat, Bernardino Leon, said only an inclusive political process with all Libyans represented in parliament, government and other state institutions will end the instability gripping the country more than three years after the uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gadhafi.
“Any kind of intervention or foreign intervention won’t help Libya get out of chaos,” Leon said.
American officials have not attributed the strikes to any country publicly. Egypt has repeatedly denied involvement. Emirati officials have not commented.
Islamist militias in Libya have made similar allegations against Egypt and the U.A.E. following two days of mysterious airstrikes against Islamist-allied militia positions in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, since Aug. 18.
The strikes happened as Islamist-backed militias were fighting for control of Tripoli’s international airport. Libyan officials have repeatedly called the airstrikes “foreign,” and the country’s air force likely does not have the capability to fly night sorties.
Libyan lawmakers recently voted to ask the United Nations to intervene in the ongoing militia battles throughout the country. The militias largely are comprised of the rebels who toppled and later killed Gadhafi in 2011.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on Tuesday said reports of an Egyptian role in the airstrikes were “unsubstantiated rumors.”
Shukri said his country respects Libya’s popular will and elected parliament, and wanted to help train its armed forces.
“But we have no direct connection to any of the military operations on the ground in Libya,” Shukri said.
The Emirates and its Gulf neighbor Qatar played the most prominent Arab roles in the military intervention that helped lead to Gadhafi’s ouster, with both sending warplanes to assist the NATO-led effort. They also provided humanitarian aid, and Qatar in particular played a major role as a supplier of weapons to rebel groups.
But the two countries — both important U.S. allies — today find themselves in opposing camps jostling for influence in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.
The Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — who led the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi — are staunchly opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a threat to their ruling systems. Morsi hails from the Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group.
Qatar is far more accommodating to the Brotherhood and its allies, including Islamist factions fighting for power in Libya. It was a major backer of Morsi’s government and is home to the leader of Hamas, an Islamist group that Israel and the West consider to be a terrorist organization.
(Source / 26.08.2014)
The two TV stations that were closed were identified as Libya al-Wataniya and Libya al-Ramia
Libyan authorities have decided to shut down two public television stations taken over by Islamist militias embroiled in clashes in Tripoli, a government official said Tuesday.
“The authorities have closed ‘Libya al-Wataniya’ which had been under the control of the provisional government and ‘Libya al-Ramia’ which was the voice of parliament,” the official said, asking not to be named.
He said Nilesat had accepted requests from the heads of Libya’s government and parliament to halt transmission of the two satellite channels.
The two channels have thrown their support behind Islamists battling since July 13 with rival militiamen for control of Tripoli international airport.
(Source / 19.08.2014)
It’s easy to spot workers returning from Libya at the Cairo airport. They come through the doors of the arrival hall almost at a run.
In this image made from AP video on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, plumes of smoke and debris rise from a base of Islamic militias after a MiG fighter jet’s strike in Benghazi, Libya. MiG fighter jets, reportedly under the control of renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, struck in retaliation the bases of Islamic militias in Benghazi on Friday, as a coalition of Islamic militias over the past week captured a number of army bases in Benghazi, driving out troops and police and seizing large weapon stores.
CAIRO, Egypt — It’s easy to spot Egyptians returning from Libya at the Cairo airport. They come through the doors of the arrival hall almost at a run, one carrying a plastic bag, another a small backpack, eyes down, not scanning the crowd for a familiar face. Most are from Upper Egypt or the Delta region and their families are a long way from the capital. Some arrive in groups from the same village or town in Egypt, and many wear the long brown or gray cotton robe commonly worn in rural areas, dusty after days spent on the Libya-Tunisia border.
Libya’s two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, have seen heavy fighting among rival militias in the last few weeks, and daily life has “stopped,” according to an official at the Libyan embassy in Cairo who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Over the last 11 days the Egyptian government has sent 47 planes to the Tunisian border with Libya, sometimes up to seven flights per day, to bring back thousands of Egyptian workers stranded there fleeing the fighting near the Libyan capital. 11,500 Egyptians have been airlifted back to Cairo from Libya’s western border and thousands more have crossed over land near Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi. Despite these large numbers, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bader Abdel-Ati has called for calm: “We are not asking them to be evacuated,” he insists, but “we are asking them to be cautious.” He says the government is bringing “only those who are not comfortable” back to Egypt.
According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2010 there were anywhere from 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians in Libya, although that number has likely declined since then due to the deteriorating security situation. Most Egyptians go to Libya to pursue job opportunities, particularly in its large oil sector, and money from these jobs in the form of remittances flows into Egypt.
With a crisis on its eastern border in Gaza as well, Egypt is eager to minimize disruption and avoid panic. “Can you imagine one million people? To move all [of them], it would be a humanitarian disaster,” says Abdel-Ati.
Returning Egyptians report a harrowing scene at the Libya-Tunisia border where those who want to leave Libya wait, sometimes as long as 10 days, for a flight home. Though the migrants report that the International Red Cross is present to provide some relief, the Libyan authorities, they say, provide no food or water to those waiting in the scorching summer heat.
Clashes erupted on Aug. 1 when a large group of Egyptians and other migrant workers tried to storm the border and enter Tunisia. Ahmed Salim, 23, said that the Libyan authorities shot into the air and near the feet of Egyptian migrants. He also described an incident in which they drove a car at a group of Egyptians to frighten them.
Returning migrants report that those who were able to leave first were those who paid bribes on the Libyan side, anywhere from 90 to 200 Libyan dinars ($72-$160), and that their phones and other valuable belongings were often taken from them.
An official at the Libyan Embassy disputes these claims, asserting that all is well at the border, which he says is jointly administered by the Libyan army, representatives from the Libyan foreign ministry and Egyptian and Tunisian officials.
But France 24 captured a chaotic scene of the Aug. 1 attempted breach of the Tunisian border. The video shows men in uniform as well as in civilian clothes wielding weapons. Several Egyptians who have come back say that cameras are not allowed.
When asked about the ill treatment, Abdel-Ati said, “The good news is that they’re here; they came home alive.”
Abdelrahman Mohamed Ali, 40, who is from the Southern Egyptian province of Sohag, has worked in Libya on and off since 1992. He says that in the last month the treatment of Egyptians in Libya in general has gotten much worse.
“They insult us and say, ‘go back to your country,’” he says in a strong Upper Egyptian accent, adding that he was even pulled out of a line at a bakery by some local residents where he was waiting to buy bread.
He said it was not only the security situation that caused him to leave. The employment opportunities, which drew him to Libya in the first place, have almost all dried up.
“I’ve come back because there’s no work. There’s no security and there’s shooting in the streets … and even the banks are closed,” said a man from the Delta town of Mansoura who declined to give his name.
Egyptians are not the only ones fleeing Libya’s instability. In recent weeks hundreds of Thai, Bangladeshi and Vietnamese workers, as well as those of other nationalities and Libyans themselves, have been evacuated or fled.
As the violence has escalated, “how to survive in Libya” has become a new Internet meme with the hashtag #lysurvivaltips. Libyan Twitter users share suggestions such as “do not carry an ID showing your city of birth while driving,” in case you are stopped by a militia from a rival area, and “if you are caught in the middle of a gunfight, do not hide behind cars. Bullets can easily pass through doors.”
As the security situation worsens and work dries up, the economic toll will likely be felt in Egypt, a country already staggering with an official unemployment rate of 13.4 percent, while unofficial estimates are almost twice that number. Meanwhile its largest industry — tourism — has plummeted since the 2011 uprisings that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
“Remittances have traditionally been ranked as third after the Suez Canal and tourism in Egypt as a contribution to overall GDP … [with] a lot of it coming from Libya,” says Tarek Radwan, associate director for research at the Rafik Hariri Center in Washington, DC.
Radwan says that though strong family and community networks will likely mean that Egyptian migrants returning home will have some support, “a number of these families were actually relying on the money that those people were bringing in and so … that’ll put additional stress on particular families.” He adds that in conjunction with the removal of subsidies and an increase in the price of gasoline and basic commodities, the influx of unemployed workers is likely to “increase a level of desperation.” And the problem may get worse before it gets better.
For the moment, Abdel-Ati says, he does not think there are any more Egyptians waiting at the border. But he says that is is very possible, if the violence in Libya continues, that more people will decide to leave, increasing the pressure on Egyptian families already struggling to makes ends meet.
(Source / 13.08.2014)
In Zuwara, teams have provided more than 30,000 litres of water
Fighting in Benghazi and Tripoli has forced the displacement of hundreds of family and is having “grave humanitarian consequences” the Libyan Red Crescent (LRC) has said.
The humanitarian organisation, one of the few still operating on the ground in the country, said that the ongoing fighting, which has killed 214 and left 900 wounded, could cause the total collapse of the health system.
At least two million people are at risk of acute food shortages as intense fighting blocks the provision of stocks and supplies which are located in areas affected by the conflict. Similarly, the movement of medical supplies is being obstructed by the clashes.
“If the crisis continues longer, the situation will become a big burden on us,” Omar Ajaudah, Secretary General of LRC, said. “We ask for support to strengthen our response to the humanitarian needs of the displaced. Despite these challenges, we are carrying on with our efforts,” he added.
In Benghazi this week, Red Crescent teams brought 57 bodies to Benghazi Medical Centre. In cooperation with the city authorities, it has been helping ready schools to shelter hundreds of displaced families. The needs of these families, its said, are acute with food and water of greatest concern. In Tripoli more than 700 displaced families are being supported by LRC.
The LRC has counitued into its eighth consecutive day responding to worsening humanitarian conditions at the Ras Jedir border crossing into Tunisia.
“More than 6,000 people are crossing the borders with Tunisia each day, with the majority being migrants, mostly Egyptians, who are stranded on the Libyan side. Our volunteers have been deployed and supported Libyan families and Egyptian migrants with food and water,” Taher Cheniti, the Secretary General of the Tunisian Red Crescent said.
Tunisian authorities have, at several points in the last week, imposed the temporary closure of the border, with the exception of humanitarian cases, due to security concerns. As a result the Red Crescent branches in Zuwara and Nalut have been on high alert, supporting the displaced families and monitoring the southern border crossing of Wazen Dhaiba in the Jabal Nefusa where another crisis could erupt.
In Zuwara, teams have evacuated some wounded civilians and provided more than 30,000 litres of water to the stranded migrants and their hosts on the border with Tunisia.
Ajaudah called all parties involved in the conflict to cooperate with LRC as it fulfils its humanitarian role.
(Source / 08.08.2014)
Fighting between rival militias is threatening to tear Libya apart
An official and witnesses in Libya’s capital say random shells fired by rival militias fighting for control of its international airport hit oil depots, setting them ablaze after a massive fire last month.
The weeks-long violence in Tripoli and in Libya’s second-largest city of Benghazi have killed more than 200 people and wounded almost 900. The violence has forced diplomats to flee and close their embassies while foreign nationals and Libyan citizens streamed into neighboring Tunisia searching for safety.
A Libyan official at the National Safety Agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said the oil depots caught fire Saturday after
(Source / 02.08.2014)