Libya has proven to be important. However fun it was to destroy a prosperous and peaceful society in North Africa, there have been real consequences for the foolish Europeans. One handy source of Libyan news I like, maybe weekly, is the free Libya-Business News: http://www.libya-businessnews.com/
Here is a selection of today’s Libya news:
Human Trafficking News
Italy: Migrant Rescue Ship Impounded. Libya-Business News, March 20, 2018.
Italy has impounded a rescue ship and threatened criminal charges against two members of its crew and the coordinator of the organization after they refused to turn migrants over to Libyan forces, fearing that they would be abused. On March 18, 2018, an Italian prosecutor in Catania, Sicily, impounded the Spanish rescue group Proactiva’s ship Open Arms and is considering levelling charges of criminal association for the purposes of facilitating irregular migration after Proactiva refused to transfer people rescued in international waters to a Libyan patrol boat. Everyone intercepted by Libyan forces or handed over to them is taken to Libya and placed in detention.
(I wonder who funds Proactiva?)
Libyan Democracy News
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi ‘to run for Libya Presiden’. Libya-Business News, March 20, 2018.
Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, is reported to be planning to run for President in the next Libyan elections, according to a spokesperson for the Libyan Popular Front party. Gaddafi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), was sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli in 2015; he was released from prison in Zintan in June 2017 after the Tobruk-based parliament passed an amnesty law, and his current whereabouts are not known. >The Telegraph writes: “While reviled by many as a symbol of the old order, he retains some support and adds yet more uncertainty to the country’s political turmoil.” (Sources: Middle East Eye, The Telegraph)
Sarkozy held over Libyan Funding Inquiry. Libya-Business News, March 20, 2018.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been held in custody on Tuesday and questioned about whether late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi helped finance his 2007 election campaign. According to Reuters, Sarkozy has dismissed the Libya allegations as “grotesque” and a “crude manipulation”. France opened an inquiry into the Libya case in 2013, after claims by a Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine that he had transferred 5 million euros ($6 million) from Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi to Sarkozy’s campaign director. (Source: Reuters)
Migrant Flow Management
EU Expands Its Support To Libyan Municipalities To Enhance Access To Basic And Social Services For Migrants And Libyans. Libya-Business News, March 14, 2018.
A new programme worth EUR 50 million, to improve the living conditions and resilience of vulnerable populations in key Libyan municipalities has been adopted under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (North of Africa window). The new actions will benefit migrants, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, returnees and host communities alike. Formulated jointly by the European Commission and Italy, the new programme will enhance access to basic and social services for vulnerable people and support local governance, in particular in the Libyan municipalities most affected by migratory flows.
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “We have been working very closely in recent years with the central and local Libyan authorities, with civil society and with all the actors that can bring peace and stability to a country exposed to many challenges. “The municipalities play a key role and have our support. With this decision today, we continue the essential help to and for Libyan municipalities to strengthen governance and public services in the most vulnerable areas. “This programme is meant to address the needs of migrants and of the local communities that are particularly exposed to the migratory flows. The European Union will continue to stay at the side of Libyans and of all the people in need“
Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, underlined: “Today’s new programme demonstrates that the European Union remains committed to assist Libya in responding to the pressing needs of the most vulnerable people and to strengthen local governance across the country. We are committed to supporting the kind of changes in Libya that can help bring stability in the country, which is a key priority for addressing the migration issue and many of the country’s other challenges.“
This new programme will support the capacities of local public authorities and administrations in providing basic services – health, education, water and sanitation as well as social services – while improving timely and quality access to these services, in particular for the most vulnerable people. It will cover 24 Libyan municipalities, ensuring a wide and balanced coverage across the country. The programme will be implemented by the Italian Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Implementation will be closely coordinated with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Presidential Council, taking into account the needs of the local population as well as those from migrants and vulnerable groups in order to foster better inclusion and stability. To this end the European Union will continue to work closely with the UN Special Representative for Libya to bring a lasting solution to the crisis and restore peace and stability in the country. As part of a comprehensive approach to support Libya and joint efforts with Italy, this programme expands both geographically and financially the support provided by the EU to Libyan municipalities across the country, and in particular, along the main migration routes.
Background: In January 2017, the EU rolled out its strategy to address the situation in the Central Mediterranean Route. To address this situation, the Joint Communication on the Central Mediterranean Route, ‘Managing flows, Saving Lives’ (25 January 2017) and the Malta Declaration of 3 February 2017 outlined a number of measures as part of a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the EU’s work along this route with a particular focus on Libya. The Joint Task Force, set up with the African Union and United Nations on 29 November 2017, committed to accelerate ongoing efforts to assist migrants and refugees in Libya, underpinned by financial assistance under the EU Trust Fund. This new programme builds on the approach and the objectives set under the programme “Managing mixed migration flows in Libya through expanding protection space and supporting local socio-economic development” adopted in April 2017. Through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, as of today, the EU has already committed €237 million worth in programmes addressing challenges in Libya.
This support has already demonstrated significant results, by enabling, in particular: (1) the provision of clothes, food and hygiene kits to approximately 33000 migrants; (2) the medical assistance of more than 10000 migrants; (3) the safe and dignified voluntary return of more than 19000 stranded migrants in 2017. (4) The distribution of ambulances in Murzuq and Kufra. (5) The rehabilitation of a clinic in Benghazi (45% completed). (6) The delivery of medical equipment to three Primary Health Care Centres in Sabha and one in Qatroun. (7) The provision of generators to several health facilities in Sabha to maintain a continuous power supply and allow them to operate even when the power supply is unstable.