Wednesday, 11 October 2017


Let me explain the aims of France on Libya's oil  The NATO mission in Libya, is not new, it was commissioned by the French government of President Nicolas Sarkozy who, a few days after the outbreak of the riots, asked for an urgent meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations to take appropriate measures against the suppression of uprisings by theregime. Muammar GheddafiA diligence, for many, due to reasons dictated by mere internal calculations rather than real will to put an end to the bloody action implemented by the Rais. The upcoming elections and popularity in the drastic drop in the President, the need to broaden the oil slice across the Alps and the will to put an end to the "annoying" treaty of friendship and 2008 Italian-Libyan cooperation are some of the aims that prompted France to act in Libya. It should take a step back. Tensions between the colonel and Paris are long-standing, just remember the contrasts in the long war of Chad, continued in the eighties and culminated in the attack of 1989 against the DC 10 of the French company Uta, exploded in the skies over Niger, killing 170 people.

The arrival of Sarkozy at the Elysee seemed to herald a new phase opening with the countries of the Southern Mediterranean and also with Libya. Emblematic of the role played by the French president, and then-wife Cecilia, for the release of five Bulgarian nurses sentenced first to death and then to life imprisonment on charges of infecting 400 children with the HIV virus at the hospital El -Fathi Benghazi. The nurses after eight years in captivity, were released in July 2007 thanks to the mediation of the Elysee couple who had visited Libya several times to talk to Gaddafi and his beloved daughter Aisha. The game was won by France against Romano Prodi who had spent to seek a diplomatic solution "to the incident". A few months after Gaddafi had planted, including thousands of controversy, its Berber tent in front of the Elysee, signing contracts worth over $ 10 billion that would have allowed France to sell an entire fleet fighter, manufactured by French aeronautics giant Dassault and a mega investment to build nuclear power plants in Tripoli and surroundings. In the wake of mended relations between France and Gaddafi Paribas had acquired at the end of 2010, 19% of the Sahara Libyan Bank, a rise of the BNP Paribas French subsidiary's capital in Libya equal to 146% of the previous funds available and guaranteeing transactions. On the other hand, there is little to be surprised. France sells arms to Gaddafi since the seventies, as indeed many other countries, including Italy.
In January of 1970 Paris signed a contract with the Tripoli government for the provision of a mirage jets. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship, with ups and downs, has gone on for many years. However, there were still clutches. Libya did not give up intervening in African disputes, often in anti-french key, from the conflict in Sierra Leone until the conciliation interventions in Darfur, Kenya, Niger and Mali. Despite diplomatic efforts, the Rais had refused to enter the great French Union for the Mediterranean, considered a form of new colonialism. Not only that, the Libyan leader had not honored the agreements of 2007, preferring to respect the Italy-Libya treaty, by which pocketed annual checks for $ 250 million to spend on infrastructure, for the benefit of Italian companies.
Yet Sarkozy had tried everything, even involving the UAE, willing to train Libyan pilots for the French aircraft Rafale and co-fund the operation of renewing its fleet with the already mentioned Dassault.
There would be, then, the issue of pan-African currency. In one of the emails sent to Hillary Clinton, and published by the US State Department on December 31, 2015, the official Sidney Blumenthal revealed, among other things, that Gaddafi wanted to replace the CFA franc, which is used in 14 former colonies, with a ' other coin pan-African initiative that would have risked creating economic independence of North Africa with the new currency. Another possible reason French interventionism emerge years after the death of Nasser. On March 6, 2015, the former interior minister, Claude Gueant, one of the closest collaborators of Nicolas Sarkozy, was placed in custody as part of investigations into the alleged financing of presidential campaign that brought Gaddafi to "Sarko" all 'Eliseo in 2007. Perhaps this is why the colonel, Become aware stabbed in the back, in an interview with Fausto Biloslavo in Il Giornale few months before he was killed, he said: "I think Sarkozy has a problem of mental disorder. He said the things that can pop out only by a madman. " Finally, to have given further impetus French intervention in Libya was probably the desire of France to strengthen its political influence in the region, promoting the image of a country not in collusion with the old autocrats, but ready to invest in demands for freedom and democracy of the people "on the southern shore."
On the other hand Paris had lost little time in Egypt and Tunisia, the lintels of their diplomatic strategy. What better occasion of Libya to recover credit in the Mediterranean on the boil? Maybe it should not venture too in other conjectures, but in any case, the examples could continue. This is enough, however, to understand French motives. The proof is that already on April 13, 2011 (ie before the death of Gaddafi) Sarkozy had received secretly General of the NTC, Fatah Younis - killed in Benghazi in still unclear circumstances in July 2011 - probably to discuss guarantees for future energy contracts. Conti at hand is much simpler: before hostilities began producing oil in Libya amounted to almost a million and 600,000 barrels a day, about 2% of world production. Of these about 52% was in the hands of 35 international companies, led by Italy's Eni, which in 2010 had excelled, with its 267,000 barrels per day, on Germany's Wintershall and Total, the French firm, respectively, to 79,000 and 55,000 barrels per day. Not surprisingly, Nicolas Sarkozy, after backing the NTC valiantly in the war of "liberation" of Libya, will be presented soon to ask for the bill under the watchful eye of the managing director of the Total group, Christophe de Margerie. Then the French newspaper Libération even talked of an agreement signed by the spokesman of the NTC, Mahmoud Shammam, ready to grant to France on 35% of the new Libyan oil contracts. News then denied by the parties, but at the very least insinuated a doubt.
The rest is recent history. After years of waiting guilty even Hollande's France decided to join the UN plan for the national accord government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. Again, though, it is difficult to find in the intervention Elysée some consistency, unless you want to interpret in an optical mere national interest. France, with the classic, natural balancing act, at the UN had its willingness to support the Gna, but in the meantime continued to support Haftar and its regional sponsors.
It is the daily Le Monde to unravel the mystery in February 2015, revealing the existence of French special forces stationed in the base of Benina, near Benghazi, in support of the general Cyrenaica in actions against the Islamic State and other militias Islamists loyal to Tripoli. On the other hand the rapid Haftar army advanced towards Benghazi would not take place except with large external aid of the French (and English), but also Egypt's al-Sisi and at least the Saudis and UAE that in addition to providing weapons, they acted as guarantors on Egyptian payments. It outlined so more and more clearly the role of the French in the axis east of the Libyan conflict: the transalpine weapons, the Egyptian pivot, militias Haftar and guarantees of the Gulf. We could say "chapeau" flourishing business if these were not born on the ashes of collective agreements: UN that France had endorsed.
It now remains to ask the reasons for such diligence. Again just follow the oil route. The goal of the French is to gain access to oil reserves of Cyrenaica, resuming mining activities, widening the radius of those exploration started in 2011 after the fall of Gaddafi, maybe watching a little 'further towards the Sirte basin is full of resources. This is where, in the silence of the desert and away from prying eyes, French companies, as well as American, British, German and Spanish are investing large sums in exploration activities in Brega areas in the Gulf of Sirte, where they would present many British companies, Zillah, which sees a strong French activities, as well as Beida in Cyrenaica and Kufra, just to name a few. Sometimes things are much simpler than you think.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The fragile hope of a new peace process in Libya

on 5 October there was a terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Misurata, Libya. At least four people were killed in the city court, while there was an ongoing process. In a statement taken by the agency of jihadist propaganda Amaq the terrorist group said they wanted to hit "one of the strongholds" of the government of the Libyan National Unity recognized by the international community, led by what the Fayez Serraj.
It was long known that the terrorist group does not put a sign in attacks in the Libyan city. Misrata has been the target of a series of attacks in 2015, and in 2016 it was feared that he might be under attack again after a coalition of militias original city (under the protection of the government of Tripoli) It has fought for six months against the Is to regain control of Sirte.
Second military sources,the terrorist group is reorganizing to Libya in three areas: south of Sirte, Cyrenaica around the oasis of Kufra, near the Egyptian border and in the Fezzan. "The Islamic State group can not control the territory, but there are sleeper cells in major Libyan cities," explains Mattia Toaldo European council on foreign relations.
For this the end of September US drone, took off from bases in Sicily, some bombed positions of the terrorist group. Without a credible peace project, however, the country seems destined to remain in chaos, torn between dozens of troops and at least two power groups.
The UN's proposal
On 20 September Ghassan Salamé that August is the UN envoy to Libya, presented a new plan for peace in the country, ahead of the end of the mandate of the Serraj Fayez to lead the national unity government, which expires in December of 2017. According Salamé "Libyans want a peace process led by themselves "and for that you need to change the political agreement signed in Skhirat, Morocco, December 17, 2015, to overcome the rivalry between the parliament and the Tripoli to Tobruk (installed in the east).
Libya is in chaos since 2011, after the revolt that led to the fall of Colonel Muammar Gheddafi and the armed intervention of NATO. In the village there are two governments and the two parliaments and dozens of militias vying for control of the territory and its resources. The United Nations has recognized and supported the government in Tripoli, headed by Fayez to Serraj, which has sought to extend its authority, without much success. The legitimacy of the government of Al Serraj is contested primarily by General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, which claims the parliament in Tobruk, in Cyrenaica, and is expanding its influence in the country with the help of Egypt, United Arab States and Russia (and some good will on the part of France).
As a first step to start the peace process, Salamé wants to convene a table of negotiations in Tunis to draft a Libyan 2015. Amend Later the secretary general of the United Nations may convene a national peace conference put around a table the different Libyan groups that have been excluded or underrepresented in previous peace talks. The goal is to reconnect parliamentarians and political groups excluded from the earlier peace agreement and agree a common approach and deadlines leading to a constitutional referendum and new parliamentary and presidential elections. But doubts about the effectiveness and feasibility of this plan are numerous.
The role of Haftar
The Salamé plan is better than those of the past, believes Mattia Toaldo European council on foreign relations, because it "combines the negotiations between parliamentarians with a national conference, as he called himself, that it should involve civil society and the forces that have so far been marginalized in Libya ". Not all forces are in fact represented in parliament, starting with those who supported the former Gaddafi regime, but still continue to play a fundamental role in the conflict.
The Salamé challenge is not so much in Libya, where there is a strong desire for dialogue and peace, but in the other countries of North Africa and the Middle East participating in the negotiations. "One of the problems is Egypt, who may want to call into question the agreement expiring on December 17 and start from scratch. At that point the government Europe could be recognized by several Arab countries in addition to Egypt, as the UAE, "says Toaldo.
It is not very clear what is going to Sabrata
The plan presents several critical points: the interest of the parliamentarians of Cyrenaica who want to maintain the status quo, the December deadline that could be used by Egypt to promote the Cyrenaica, and finally agreements at negotiated at the regional level as well as national, because all countries in the conflict will want to participate in the peace talks. Finally what it's going on in recent weeks Sabrata "does not bode well" on the national peace plan, according Toaldo. Sabratha, a town seventy kilometers from Tripoli, is one of the main ports of departure of direct migrant boats in Europe and one of the human trafficking centers on the coast: in recent weeks the city has been the scene of fighting several intense intergroup armed its rivals for control of traffic of people.
"It is not very clear what is going to Sabrata: some sources claim that armed groups close to the general Haftar are fighting against the militia of Dabbashi clans, who control most of the town and the traffic in human beings", because they want to in jeopardy the Italian intelligence agreements, unveiled by some journalistic investigations,to stop the departures of migrants, says Toaldo. But this version does not seem entirely convincing: "Sabrata is traditionally very hostile to Haftar and it seems hard so that the General can extend its influence in the city and nothing can guarantee to foreign partners. It could just deal of fighting between rival militias (as Operation  room) that were cut off by the agreement with the Italians on migrants. "
What you should worry more, adds Toaldo, is the growing influence of Salafis in Sabratha and across Libya. "The Salafists have 28 radio stations throughout Libya, are conquering one by one all the mosques of Tripoli, are very important in the Haftar power structure and are also present in Sirte," explains Toaldo. "What is their plan for the future of Libya and those who finance them is not clear, however, I doubt that they are interested in cooperating to establish a liberal democracy," concludes Toaldo.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

NEWS FRM LIBYA 7.10.2017

Tensions remain high in southern Tripoli following recent clashes.
Clashes in Sabratah appear to be approaching an end. However, the AIOR supported by the LNA could decide to pursue retreating troops and take control of more territory.
A large IS attack in Misrata is likely to elicit a strong response from Misratan militia groups against IS locations. The incident also demonstrates current IS capabilities and intent to target iconic targets with CPX attacks.
Tensions remain elevated along the Zuwara, Sabratah and Zawiyah coastal areas due to a number of issues including a complex security environment involving fuel smuggling and people trafficking.
Medium to long term outlook
The unveiling of a UN sponsored action plan, aimed at resolving the crisis in Libya, is expected to see long term changes in the political and security landscape in the country. Efforts will be made to return all stakeholders to the discussions and push forward a national political constitution. Presidential and Parliamentary elections will be prepared for late-2018.
GNA President Serraj and LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar, remain central to international stakeholders’ attempts to unify east and west. However, alternative solutions are being pursued by other entities with opposing factions. As factions move closer to a possible deal, tensions are likely to increase inside Libya, and there is potential for some level of fragmentation of their support bases. As a result, new alliances may be formed as progress leaves some with reducing levels of influence.
The remnants of the GNC, which has allegedly benefited from Qatari support, remain politically isolated after losing their footprint in the capital at the end of May. Their last attempt to take territory in the capital by force failed when their fighters were forced from Garabuli on July 11, and support appears to be waning. The threat is assessed to be evolving as the GNC, and associated forces adapt to the changing environment. While intent is assessed to remain, especially for the hardliners, tactics may alter.
There are indications that IS is beginning to regroup in Libya. Some reports suggest fighters from Iraq and Syria are heading to North Africa. The group is reported to be present in some areas south of Sirte, Bani Waled, and Sabratah.
Stage one of LPD meetings in Tunis, aimed at agreeing amendments to the LPA, have concluded. The amendments will now be discussed within the HoR and HCS before the committees return in a week from now to begin stage two.
Basit Igtet has responded to allegations that he is closely linked to extremist groups by stating that he does not belong to any particular party. He espouses a moderate Muslim approach and pledges to restore the Libyan identity.
Airport security measures at Matiga Airport in Tripoli are currently high. International staff passing through the airport has been asked to show additional identification cards and handover mobile phones for examination.
IS militants launched a complex attack on the Misrata Courts Complex on October 04 involving IEDs and SAF. Four people were killed and around 40 wounded. A VBIED was used in the attack but it did not detonate.
Two elders involved in the national reconciliation process have been shot and killed as they were driving from Mizdah to Bani Waleed. The attacks caused outrage in several areas of the country.
Heavy fighting has continued in Sabratah this week. The LNA has provided support to the Anti-IS Operations Room and, at time of writing, it appears that the group has taken complete control of Sabratah city.
Clashes occurred in Tripoli between Nawasi Bde and Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade (TRB) forces. The situation appears to be resolved in the short term but clashes could reignite in the future.
Basit Igtet has arranged further demonstrations, including another protest in Martyrs’ Square, Tripoli on October 20.
Clashes occurred in southern Tripoli (mainly Qaser Bin Ghashir) involving TRB with al-Kani fighters against a group associated with the former regime.
A vehicle, carrying medical supplies for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was hijacked traveling through Zawiyah towards Sabratah. The vehicle was stolen and the driver assaulted.
Officials in Sabha have threated to close down the Sharara and El Feel oilfields and the GMMR if fuel supplies are not delivered to the area by the weekend.
Benghazi Port officially reopened on October 01.
Oil and gas
Sharara oilfield closed this week following demands from an armed group, involved in guarding the site. The site resumed production on October 04.
The head of the National Oil Corporation has called for the criminalization of groups that disrupt oil production by blocking sites or turning off pipelines.

Thursday, 5 October 2017


Libya. Interview to the Italian Ambassador in Tripoli Giuseppe Perrone, 'the need to de-personalize' policy. Salamè? He has a right approach'

October 5, 2017
Giuseppe Perrone.
edited by Vanessa Tomassini for notizie geopolitiche -
The situation in Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, is extremely rugged and complex, from all points of view. The first factor that explains its complexity, from a geographical point of view, is the extension of its area, so vast as to make it the fourth African country and the eighteenth in the world for physical dimensions. During its history it has always been considered a single region, but has repeatedly seen the existence of two major territories, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, with different cultures and ideologies completely opposed soventemente. But the invaders, colonizers and dictators, that have occurred over the centuries, have always found it convenient to consider it as one entity. Former Italic colony overlooking the Mediterranean around the Gulf of Sidra, between the tenth and twenty-fifth meridian east. From the political point of view the country is divided into two governments: the Presidential Council of Tripoli, recognized by the international community and headed by Fayez al-Serraj, and the Chamber of representatives of Tobruk, who as president Aguila Saleh Issa. Despite the strength of the Libyan National Army, which failed so far to incorporate all armed militias in Libya, the situation in the country after 2011 is mired in a severe crisis, economic, health and especially security, which happens to be totally absent in some southern areas, where armed clans clash for different reasons with each other. Taking advantage of this chaos, the country has become a breeding ground for the proliferation of the jihadist galaxy ideas, especially Isis and al-Qaeda, as explained by the Libyan general prosecutor Sadek Assour at a recent press conference in the capital, they found refuge in Sahara desert and in different cities. Just yesterday there was the last terrorist attack in the city of Misurata which caused several deaths and about twenty wounded, relief efforts by health authorities field hospital in the same town, run by an Italian mission. The escalation of violence and insecurity have led Western diplomatic missions to leave the country, over the years. Only in January this year Italy has reopened its embassy in Tripoli closed for two years. A signal of friendship to the Libyan people, but also a strong confidence in the stabilization of the country through which passes much of the illegal immigration from the African continent headed towards the Italian coast. From January to date we have been many activities carried out by the Italian diplomatic team on behalf of reconciliation and trying to improve the living conditions of the Libyan people, plagued by innumerable sufferings. In order to fully understand the complexity of all Libyans phenomena, even in relation to recent diplomatic meetings, we reached the ambassador Giuseppe Perrone, with whom we have deepened much of the most interesting and topical points.
-Ambasciatore Perrone, What are the activities of our embassy? What active Italian missions in Libya today?
"The Italian Embassy in Tripoli, being the only Western still present embassy, has a very wide range of activities going on, that we ourselves find it hard to understand, so this is big amount. This is of course to follow the political process so our support, our impetus to the ongoing political dialogue to overcome the division of the fact that there is still in the country, so all initiatives to promote reconciliation, but at the same time, Italy through the embassy in Tripoli, is very committed on the side of promoting stability and security. Of course the initiatives to control illegal migration flows and the fight against human trafficking represent a point very top of our operational agenda. This is an aspect that includes different types of initiatives, from those purely securitarian, aimed at strengthening the capacities of the Libyan security agencies, other initiatives which instead have a character development, designed to support the communities affected by the phenomena of illegality. Italy's presence, as the only Western country to Tripoli, and Libya, is particularly felt and appreciated by the Libyan people. The Embassy, with all its activities concerning the granting of visas yet-input as a single country - and its services to the population is seen as a constant and reliable reference by the Libyan people. As for Italian missions in the country we have a major health mission, humanitarian in the city of Misrata with the field hospital that is still open in the city and provides care and assistance to the wounded. Yesterday there was a terrorist attack and our hospital was quick to provide assistance to those affected by the attack. Then we have the naval mission, which was recently approved by the Italian government and that is here in Tripoli, which is providing substantial support to the Navy and the Libyan coast guard, helping them get back on their feet and to strengthen their ability to exercise sovereignty Libyan in all areas and in all regions of the country."
-In Libya we know to be a strong lack of security. What does this mean for you and for our officers? Have you ever been in dangerous situations?
"Of course Libya extreme fragmentation of security still lacking a unified army and working under a chain of command recognizable and attributable to political authority. This brings challenges and problems. It involves episodes of lack of security and a heightened risk of which we are all aware. The Italian Embassy in Libya works with an adequate system of protection and this is part of the political investment that our country does - does it in Libya and does so safely - putting together all that is necessary to enable the diplomatic mission to function. There are definitely situations of risk, but every time they are faced with great professionalism by the staff and in cooperation with relevant departments Libyans who have always ensured collaboration and absolutely effective presence".
-L'intervento stranger is not always frowned upon by many Libyans. After the news of the approval of Italian naval mission, which mentioned before, we know there have been protests. The recent visit to Rome of General Khalifa Haftar has disappointed anyone?
"Itis true that the naval mission was born with a mixed reception, where there have been several criticisms in particular in the east of the country to a foreign interference fear. When we explained pervasively and all stakeholders in the country What was this mission, which was namely to strengthen the sovereignty of Libya rather than weaken it, it is also completely changed his perception. Compared with a message of support to Libya, the welcome we got was extremely favorable and we have already seen much of the important results, giving an essential contribution to the reduction of illegal migration flows to Europe. Yesterday, for example, the first Libyan navy boat came out at sea a long time. We are helping the body of the Libyan defense back on their feet."
- newspaper,followed by other media in the international press as the The Guardian has reported about some videos proposed by the American blog Just Security that would demonstrate the strong man's responsibility to Tobruk in different executions, after the conviction of the International Court of Justice of the commander to Werfalli. Do you think there will be a sequel to Haftar?
"Aresult there will definitely be because there is an ongoing investigation. The charges are very serious and in-depth, and then will evidently explored in their full extent. Who will be involved I do not know to say it to him because I can not prejudge the results of an investigation, but it is certainly very serious investigation that the International Criminal Court - of which Italy is a founding member - before it with the utmost professionalism."
-Of recently, it has been confirmed by our government's full support to the initiative of the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). There will be a mission with Italian military in the South?
"No,what is provided is a support activity across the board, even for the south of the country, in the belief that illegal immigration can not be contained if action is not taken for the security of the southern borders. The aim of our strategy is just that, namely to strengthen Libyan capacities in control of the southern borders of the country. In this sense, we are working with the system of border guards and all Libyans relevant departments so that there is this qualitative leap in the southern border control capacity, but this does not provide an Italian military presence in Libya, but also to a support Libyan forces and agencies that deal with the control of territory and boundaries."
- The Special Representative UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, opened the political process at all, only excluding the extremists by their own choice. It considers a possible return of Gaddafi family? In particular, Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi's favorite son, as to circumvent the condemnation of the International Court of Justice?
"Ghassan Salame has adopted the right approach, namely to promote an inclusive process in which all those who want to participate in a sincere and available in comparison with others, are welcomed. Why Libya now needs all, he needs to recover this fragmentation and internal division. As for individuals, not it to him say. As for Mr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is on him an international arrest warrant. I saw that Ghassan Salame has made the press an opening speech to all Libyans, including against the former regime followers, but there are international legal procedures that will surely take their course."
- Referring to this "open to all", believes that the party "Justice and Construction", which represents the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, led by Mohamed Sowan, will run for the elections?
"This should ask Mohamed Sowan, but I imagine that an inclusive approach means that all those wishing to participate peacefully and constructively in the political process, the opportunity to do so. Those who are excluded are those who resort to the use of weapons and intend to change the Libyan political scene through the use of violence, or who plan to pursue political goals through military confrontation."
- There is a strong figure for her now able to gather popular support and that of the social authority of the tribes?
"Ispersonalizzerei the Libyan policy, which at this time especially needs to find understanding, reconciliation and the ability to confront each other. Even the strongest personalities, who have a large following, arouse the strong resistance in other parts of the country. So, rather than customize, or try to find a solution to the Libyan problem with the task to a single person, we must ensure that the solution emerges from a genuine willingness to compromise and reconciliation between the Libyans, so that that the rules to be defined, they will then be respected byall."
- There is or there is an ongoing debate within the Interior Ministry, if re-open our skies to Libya? Or rather, he believes that will be restored air links with Tripoli in the short term?
"I definitely hope so. This is a priority that is felt at the highest level both from the Italian Government, both the Libyan government and has been clarified several times in the recent Italian-Libyan leaders, and it is an issue that requires technical answers, so that we can arrive at a recovery the direct flights, starting with Italy, because the Libyans have this strong expectation for us. It would be an event of high flow symbolic because it would mark, in some ways, the end of isolation to which the Libyan people, for too long, has been confined. "
-The please give us one final question. Any news about the interests claimed by the Italian entrepreneurs in Libya?
"Italy is the only country that has explicitly said, through his Foreign Minister, that we do not expect to eternal harmony conditions, or lasting stability, to continue our economic relations with Libya. We intend to do already from the start, of course, in a gradual manner, respecting the safety conditions on the ground. Indeed we are already doing. Italy is the country that more than any other is committed to the resumption of economic cooperation with Libya in the knowledge that economic growth is one of the ingredients of the most decisive factors for the stabilization of the country. Of course we are also aware of past problems, that several Italian entrepreneurs have suffered in Libya, which is why we are also trying with the authorities in the country an overall solution, which can then allow the general economic and commercial ties between our two countries in a manner fully unfold their potential."

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

BORIS JOHNSON SACKED FOR LIBYA? call for Boris Johnson's resignation over shock Libya comment

THE SNP have backed calls for Boris Johnson to be sacked after he said that a war-torn Libyan city only has to “clear the dead bodies away” to become a world-class tourist and business destination.
Stephen Gethins, the party's foreign affairs spokesman urged the Prime Minister to take action after comments made by the gaff-prone Foreign Secretary at the Tory party conference last night.
"The UK government bears a particular responsibility for the situation in Libya given its failure to plan the aftermath of military action in 2011," said Gethins.
"The humanitarian disaster that has unfolded in the country since that intervention is rightly seen as one of this governments worst foreign policy failures."
He added: "The Foreign Secretary’s lack of grasp of this dire situation shows that he is completely unfit for the office."
Gethins's remarks follow calls from Tory backbenchers and by Labour to sack Johnson who has been accused over the past few days of undermining May's position on Brexit.
Last night Johnson was accused by Labour of being “unbelievably crass, callous and cruel” about those who died in the battle to reclaim Sirte from Islamic State (Isis), after he was asked at the Conservative party conference what it was like visiting Libya as foreign secretary.
Speaking about the potential of Sirte, the Libyan city where Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Johnson drew gasps and embarrassed laughter from the audience as he said: “There’s a group of UK business people, wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte, on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed as some of you may have seen.
“And they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai.
“The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they’ll be there.”
Heidi Allen was the first Tory MP to call for Johnson to lose his cabinet job over the Libya remarks.
She said late on Tuesday that it was “100% unacceptable from anyone, let alone the foreign secretary”, adding: “Boris must be sacked for this. He does not represent my party.”
Her Conservative colleague Sarah Wollaston MP joined in the criticism of Johnson adding: “Demeaning jokes about real people murdered in Libya would be crass even from a stand-up; appalled to hear this from our foreign secretary.”
This morning Wollaston said on the BBC’s Today Programme that Johnson’s remarks were “crass, poorly judged and grossly insensitive” and said that he should apologise and “consider his position”.
But instead of apologising, Johnson took to Twitter late on Tuesday night to attack his critics. “Shame people with no knowledge or understanding of Libya want to play politics with the appallingly dangerous reality in Sirte,” he tweeted.

Monday, 2 October 2017


The killing of two dignitaries of the Beni Oualid clan last Friday was in addition to the deadly fighting that rival groups have held for two weeks at Sabratha, killing 26 and injuring 170 others. Facts of concern for Algeria and other neighboring countries.
Since the beginning of 2016, the migratory crisis has exploded and, with it, the fear of terrorism. An obsession that the successive events in France, Belgium and Germany have unfortunately underpinned. It should be remembered that at the time Interpol announced that Daesh had 250,000 Syrian and Iraqi virgin passports, and that, according to Europol, 3,000 to 5,000 were to integrate the migrant cohorts at the gates 'Europe. From there to openly amalgamate the migratory flows and the terrorist threat, there was only one step, happily crossed by some EU countries that did not digest the rider alone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she "invited one million Syrians, overcoming the Schengen visa. The fact is that the phenomenon has reached such a magnitude and that the flow has concentrated in neighboring Libya, where traffic has become a very lucrative activity, to the point of arousing a strong reaction from the GNA of Fayez al Serraj but also from the authorities from the east. The strong recrudescence of immigrant candidates, after having swept across the Greek and Bulgarian borders, turned to the Italian coasts via Libya, to the extent that Rome has multiplied the grievances and pressures to obtain a "right of Libyan territorial waters. In 2016, Frontex planned to double the number of migrants (Sudanese, Eritreans, Malians and Somalis) from the Libyan coast to the European coasts, ie 300,000. Around 800,000 were already waiting in Libya, a number that adds to the 6 million displaced Syrians.In 2017, the victories over Daesh, both in Iraq and Syria, as well as in Sirte and Sabratha in Libya, triggered an ebbing of its fighters towards their country of origin but also towards Europe. This prompted the Berne Club (alliance of European intelligence) to warn against simultaneous attacks in several European capitals. As early as January 2017, Italy had put pressure on the GNA and on the authorities in the East to control severely the large-scale traffic that had developed, mainly in Sabratha, where most of the boats of migrants. Haftar who visited Rome last week, after an official visit to Tunis, handed over to the Italian Minister of Defense a list of war material (4x4, night vision sights, helicopters, etc.) to accomplish the task of surveillance of the South Libyan but it obtained only the assurance of a training of a few dozen elements to the requirements of security.It turns out that the war against the smuggling of migrants made Friday two victims, dignitaries belonging to one of the major clans of the country. On a mission of good offices to appease tensions between rival gangs, according to tribes of the region, they were machine-gunned on their return to Beni Oualid, 180 km south of Tripoli. The social council of the tribes of Ouarfella denounced the assassination of "Sheikh Abdallah Nattat, head of the reconciliation committee, Sheikh Khamis Isbaga and their two accompanying persons", followed immediately by the GNA who opened an inquiry and by the Parliament sitting in Tobruk. The killing of the two dignitaries took place at a time when deadly fights were rivaling rival groups in Sabratha, leaving 26 dead and 170 wounded. Algeria and other neighboring countries are worrying facts. It is clear that the situation remains complex enough to suggest that the solution would be within reach. The double journey made in April-May by Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel in the majority of cities was a necessary time in the mediation strategy led by the UN and the Group of Neighboring Countries. While Daesh was driven out of several cities such as Sirte and Sabratha, the fact remains that the smuggling of migrants, now fought by the GNA and the Eastern authorities, served as a breeding matrix for terrorism at multiple faces whose aims concern our country. Consequently, incessant diplomatic work cannot be seen as an ostentatious luxury because the stakes are paramount for the peace and security of the subregion. The meeting in Tunis last Tuesday of representatives of the Libyan rival parties has identified the complexity of the task, with the declared aim of reaching a "limited" amendment to the 2015 agreement to calm Marshal Haftar's ardor, Saleh Aguila, President of the House of Representatives and Abderrahmane Sweihli, President of the State Council, while maintaining a "legitimacy" of the GNA supported by the militias of Tripoli
including those of Haythem Tajouri and Abderaouf Kara. A long-term effort is therefore still needed for a political solution to be reached, an objective that Algeria is pursuing, against all odds, while providing unbiased support to all the parties involved in the inclusive dialogue , the only possible source of peace for the Libyan people.


Sunday, 1 October 2017

UK Ambassador mr Peter Millet notes 30.9.2017

I had coffee the other day in Algeria Square in central Tripoli.  I was passing by and was invited to sit with a group of men who kindly offered me some local coffee. It was a good opportunity to escape from the heat of the sun and hear their thoughts.
On Saturday I was in Benghazi.  Here, I decided to have tea.  Again, it was a chance to listen and learn.
You can’t understand a country unless you can meet people and find out what is on their minds.  In both Tripoli and Benghazi, the people I spoke to had similar concerns.  Number One is security.  In both cities, the situation is a calmer and quieter.   But it is fragile.  People are rightly worried about the return of violence, whether from terrorists, criminal gangs or militias.
The economy is also top of people’s agenda.  It is truly appalling to see long lines of people outside banks waiting patiently and with great dignity to try to get some cash. The black market rate of exchange and the rate of inflation also make the cost of living increasingly difficult. And the long power cuts are making life in many parts of the country a misery.
Life is tough for most Libyans.  Yet what they want is no different from what people want in any country: to live in peace, put bread on their family’s table, educate their children and know that they will be looked after if they get ill. Their designs, desires and demands are the same as those felt by any person in a coffee shop in London.
The 17 February revolution was supposed to bring some sort of new normality to life in Libya. Huge sacrifices were made to build a better life.
This was brought home to me dramatically by a man I met at Tunis airport who told me that both his sons were killed in the revolution, his wife died of a broken heart and his brother was killed by Daesh.  He called on me to stand by Libya.
Of course we stand by Libya.  We helped protect citizens in 2011 and we now want to help to bring peace and security to the Libyan people.
Appeals for us to help were part of our conversations in both Tripoli and Benghazi. The people I met all believe that we have a duty to help and can do more.
There is a tricky challenge here.  People demand support from the international community but rightly reject interference in their affairs. Of course: the future of Libya is for the Libyans to decide. But there is a fine line between interaction and interference.
The role of the international community is clear.  Interaction means facilitating contact between Libyans, encouraging agreement and then helping to implement it through the design and delivery of programmes to help improve the lives of Libyans.
We are already involved in delivering benefits. For example, we have funded the Stabilisation Facility for Libya that has allowed the Government of National Accord to deliver ambulances, fire engines, solar panels and other tangible benefits in Ubari, Benghazi, Kikla and Sirte.  This work will continue to help rebuild destroyed communities.
The same support applies at political level: we will support the new UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame to amend and implement the Libya Political Agreement.  He too will want to hear the views of Libyans and understand how best to meet the needs of the Libyan people.
Tripoli and Benghazi are the big cities.  I have also visited Misrata and Tobruq.  But I want to go further and meet men and women in all parts of Libya and hear their views. More coffee and tea is on the menu.

Saturday, 23 September 2017


"It is not easy to be blacks in Libya," said Noah, choosing his words carefully, and speaking in a low voice, though no one could hear us. We were sitting at the tables outside the Sky Bar in Tripoli. It was an afternoon of great heat and all customers were seeking shelter inside, with air conditioning. Noah comes from Niger, works at the bar with tasks rather vague, like any other foreigner in Libya, especially the blacks who come from neighboring African countries.
I agree with him, but in Libya do not admit it publicly, we continue to tell us that we are all equal in the sight of Allah, the Islam says, which in theory is true. But I, he and all the other black people in Libya know that the reality is very different, because we do not practice what we preach.
Noah took me a while 'before deciding that he could trust me and that he could speak freely. I had to spend long hours at the bar in the last two months, have a large and reliable source of good internet connection. Due to the long blackout in Tripoli, that table at the corner of the bar has become my office. Tripoli sank in the dark, desperate people were queuing outside the banks all day and slept there on the street overnight. The gas stations were besieged because of fuel shortages.
The militia commanders have purged Tripoli from any form of resistance
Reading the statements of some Italian officials of Tripoli, I find it misleading to say that here there are no mass demonstrations against the shameful agreement with Italy and the arrival of Italian ships in Libya. Obviously there are no demonstrations, and there will be none, but not because people approve of all this.
Who would complain? There have been rumors to the contrary. Many journalists have left Tripoli after they have been victims of threats, kidnappings and murders, and things are no better for activists. Who really keeps order in Tripoli, that militia commanders and not the puppet government, he has purged the city from any form of resistance or peaceful opposition. Words such as human rights and legality are absent from their vocabulary. The puppet government tacitly approves the actions of the warlords, there is just to sign what they require to sign, to dance on demand and live with the militias. They use the same old trick in Guide to govern Libya: "starves the dog and the dog will follow you."
Looks lowered
The situation is difficult for everyone, but for Noah things are even worse. The owner of the bar, like all the other owners of shops and bars in Libya, African blacks forcing workers to work hard for many hours a day. They do everything, from the first hours of the night morning anchor, clean the windows and tables, wash the floors, carrying boxes and equipment, they shop, wash their cars and perform any other task may be his assigned, according to the employers' whim work. How to pay, receiving small fractions of the minimum wage, and their passports are requirements as a form of insurance.
Another thing, very important: must always answer "yes sir", can not look the other person straight in the eye too long or refuse to execute an order. At any moment they can be kicked out kicking, sometimes literally. They sit by, invisible, they walk among us with his head down, when your eyes meet theirs, immediately distract the eye, and unless you do not smile or greet them will never turn the word first. They live in Libya as if they were in an elevator, embarrassed, avoiding any eye contact, silent until the elevator doors do not open. Only at that point they can not get out of the elevator and go back to being normal people.
Racism in Libya has very deep roots, is a part of our history that we tend to ignore and not from a generation long time will be grown without knowing it. Maybe today people are not fully aware, perhaps this is why we are likely to repeat it. I never managed to frame accurately these thoughts. Gloria instead knew exactly how to do it.
The history excluded from the history books
I was going to Venice for the premiere of The Order of Things . They had to go from Tunisia before heading to Italy. It was a year of great traffic, so I could not find a direct flight to Venice and I was forced to land in Rome and then to go to Padua, where I spent the night at the home of two of my friends, Gloria Carlini and Matteo Calore. Gloria graduated in socio-cultural anthropology and ethnology with a thesis on sex work and sexuality among young slum of Kampala. Since March of 2014 in the "Shadow of Slavery project in West Africa and beyond".
Gloria told me that there are missing parts of the story, parts of which today are not taught to children in school. You can not delete these chapters, or pretend they do not exist, just because we do not like. So it has taken on the task of telling the children what is excluded from the history books they use in school.
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I agree with you, we all tend to amend the story, but in Libya we do very often, and not only with the early history, even with the most recent events. This is the case of serious clashes antimmigrati in 2000, calls slaves revolution , which, paradoxically, in our dialect means "revolution against the slaves." Crowds of angry people attacked and killed dozens of workers from African countries such as Ghana, Niger, Chad and Nigeria. From the town of Al Zawiya the riots have spread throughout the western region of the country, including Tripoli.
But we do not even great efforts to hide this feeling of hostility. In July the government based in Al Beida has established new tariffs for weddings: a Libyan who wants to marry a foreign woman has to pay five thousand dinars, a foreigner who wants to marry a Libyan woman has to pay three thousand dinars, for the Libyans who marry other Libyans the rates are 50 dinars. Whatever their justification, it is a punishment for those who do not want to marry a Libyan and a Libyan. Besides the new decree does not mention at all the possibility of granting the Libyan citizenship to children of a Libyan woman married to a foreigner.
I wonder if I'll find even Noah when he returned to Libya. We were never able to complete a conversation, they always interrupted, always had to go do something somewhere else: "Noah come here, go there, Noah, Noah brings this, Noah clean that." Sometimes I thought I would have to call it the "bar Noah."