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UN voices concern over military mobilization near Libya’s Tarhuna

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The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday expressed concern over military mobilization between the UN-backed government and the eastern-based army near the city of Tarhuna.

“UNSMIL is following with great concern the military developments and mobilization around the city of Tarhouna,” UNSMIL said in a statement.

“UNSMIL reminds all parties of their obligations in accordance with international humanitarian law and warns against any acts of retribution, including attacks against civilians, extra judicial punishments, looting, robberies and torching of public and private properties,” the statement said.

The mission also called on all parties to refrain from military escalation and resort to peaceful means.

The eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting for more than a year for the control of the capital Tripoli, despite repeated international calls for ceasefire.

The armed conflict killed and injured hundreds of civilians and forced more than 150,000 others to flee their homes.

Tarhuna, some 90 km southeast of the capital Tripoli, is the main operation center for the eastern-based army.

The UN-backed government’s forces have been making significant progress against the eastern-based army recently, most importantly taking over a major military air base in southwestern Libya.

(XINHUA)

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14 new COVID-19 cases reported in Libya, 182 in total

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The Libyan National Center for Disease Control on Tuesday reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in Libya to 182, including 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement later Tuesday, the center said it received a total of 504 suspected samples, 490 of which tested negative and 14 positive.

Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the coronavirus, which include closing the country’s borders, banning public gatherings, and imposing a curfew.

Libya announced its first COVID-19 case in March and the first death in June.

(XINHUA)

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Libya reports 12 new COVID-19 cases, 168 in total

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The National Centre for Disease Control of Libya has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload in the country to 168, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement late Monday, the centre said it received a total of 658 suspected cases, 646 of whom tested negative and 12 positives.

All the new infections are in southern Libya, the centre said.

The southern city of Sabha recorded nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country in less than a week after the announcement of the first case in the city.

The UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli recently decided to ban the entry into and exit from Sabha and imposed a 24-hour curfew for seven days starting from May 28, in order to fight the pandemic.

The Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the virus, including closing the country’s borders, mosques and schools, banning public gatherings and imposing curfews. 

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Libya reports 12 new COVID-19 cases, 168 in total

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The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload in the country to 168, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement late Monday, the center said it received a total of 658 suspected cases, 646 of whom tested negative and 12 positive.

All the new infections are in southern Libya, the center said.

The southern city of Sabha recorded nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country in less than a week after the announcement of the first case in the city.

The UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli recently decided to ban the entry into and exit from Sabha and imposed a 24-hour curfew for seven days starting from May 28, in order to fight the pandemic.

The Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the virus, including closing the country’s borders, mosques and schools, banning public gatherings, and imposing curfews.

(XINHUA)

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United States to support Libya with 6.5 mln USD to fight COVID-19

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The United States Embassy to Libya on Monday said the United States government will provide 6.5 million United States dollars to Libya to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. government has committed an additional 6.5 million United States dollars in support of Libya’s COVID-19 response, including helping municipalities formalize their crisis response functions, develop emergency management plans, train teams in Crisis Emergency Response,” the embassy said in a statement.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya so far is 156, including 52 recoveries and five deaths, according to the National Center for Disease Control.

In order to fight the virus, Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measure, including closing the country’s borders, banning public gatherings, closing schools and mosques, and imposing curfew.

(XINHUA)

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Indiscriminate shelling kills 5 in Libyan capital

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At least five people were killed and three others wounded by indiscriminate shelling that hit the Libyan capital Tripoli on Sunday, according to a local official.

The deadly shelling took place as the fighting between the UN-backed government’s forces and the eastern-based army intensified in southern Tripoli, said Amin Hashemi, information advisor of the Ministry of Health.

The UN-backed government’s forces accused the rival eastern-based army of the shelling, to which the latter has not responded yet.

Meanwhile, the government said it killed more than 14 troops of the UN-backed government’s forces in southern Tripoli and shot down a drone in southwestern Libya.

The eastern-based army has been leading a military campaign since April 2019, attempting to take over Tripoli and topple the UN-backed government, which has killed and injured hundreds and displaced more than 150,000 others.

(XINHUA)

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Malta ready to act as bridge between EU, Libya to tackle illegal migration: PM

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Malta was ready to act as a bridge between Libya and the European Union (EU) to address the problem of illegal migration, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday.

He said his lightning visit to the war-torn country on Thursday confirmed that Libya was facing its own migration problems with an influx of migrants from neighboring countries which were also facing their difficulties.

Abela met Fayez al-Sarraj, prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), in Tripoli. The two government heads discussed the need to push the EU to help Libya to train its coastguard, obtain funding for reception camps manned by the UN, as well as to build a realistic strategy to slow down the flow of migrants into Libya.

Al-Sarraj told Abela that Libya had around 800,000 migrants to deal with.

Referring to his visit, Abela said the two countries had agreed to set up specialized units to better coordinate operations against irregular migration. These centers are expected to start operating within the coming weeks.

According to Abela, the solution lies in concrete action on Libyan shores and its southern border. This would be done through addressing and stopping human trafficking, rather than focusing on the relocation of migrants to other countries.

“Previous local and foreign administrations have always tackled the migration problem on a boat-by-boat basis but we are looking at solving the issue in a holistic manner,” he said, adding that the government had already sent out a clear message in keeping migrants aboard commissioned out at sea. There are some 425 migrants on four tourist vessels just outside Malta’s territorial waters where Malta is keeping them there until a proper solution is found to the illegal migration.

“We have saved lives and saved people from drowning, but we have also given a message that Malta cannot bring in more people,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Egyptian, French presidents discuss regional issues, focus on war-torn Libya

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed on Saturday the development of several regional issues, including the situation in Libya.

During a phone call, Macron said he is keen to exchange views with Sisi over these issues as Cairo plays a key political role in the region, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

For his part, Sisi affirmed Egypt’s firm position towards the Libyan crisis based on restoring Libyan national state institutions, ending the spread of criminal groups and terrorist militias.

He added that Egypt also gives top priority to combating terrorism, achieving stability and security and putting an end to illegal foreign interventions in Libya.

The two presidents agreed to intensify their coordination in the coming period, stressing the necessity to end the Libyan crisis by reaching a political solution that paves the way for the return of security and stability in the country, the spokesman said.

They showed support for international endeavors as well as implementing the results of the Berlin process to end the conflict in Libya.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

While Egypt supports Haftar’s LNA that seeks to take over Tripoli, Turkey backs the Tripoli-based GNA.

(XINHUA)

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EU condemns killing of migrants in Libya

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The European Union (EU) Delegation and EU Member State Heads of Mission to Libya on Saturday condemned the killing of dozens of migrants in western Libya.

The European Union Delegation and EU Member State Heads of Mission condemn the murder of 30 trafficked migrants, mostly Bangladeshi nationals, on May 27 in Mezda which also resulted in others wounded,” a joint statement said.

The attack, which occurred at the town of Mezda, some 180 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, was reportedly a revenge by the family of a Libyan smuggler who has been murdered by migrants.

“We remain committed to continuing our support to the authorities in strengthening their rule of law capacities so to allow them to counter criminal networks such as the one responsible for this crime and to maximize our assistance to Libyan communities impacted by the trafficking and smuggling of migrants,” the statement said.

(XINHUA)

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UN calls for investigation into killing of 30 migrants in Libya

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UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Yacoub El-Hillo, on Friday called for an investigation into the killing of 30 migrants in western Libya.

“I am shocked by the horrific reports about Wednesday’s shooting at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, killing 30 migrants and injuring 11 others,’’ El- Hillo said in a statement.

The attack, which occurred at the town of Mezda, some 180 kilometres southwest of the capital Tripoli, was reportedly a revenge by the family of a Libyan smuggler, who has been murdered by migrants.

“Authorities, with influence on the ground in the area where this incident took place, have the responsibility to ensure that human smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to continue with their inhuman and degrading acts,’’ the UN official said.

The official added that “such a heinous and merciless crime against helpless individuals should be investigated immediately and those responsible must be brought to justice’’.

“Those responsible for the attack must be held accountable.

“The impunity, with which smugglers and traffickers operate in Libya, must be brought to an immediate stop,’’ he urged.

On Thursday, the UN-backed government confirmed that its Interior Ministry had issued an instruction for Mezda’s security directorate to arrest those responsible for the incident.

The UN estimated that more than 654,000 migrants and refugees are living in Libya and many of them face arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, forced labour, extortion and exploitation.

Smugglers exploited chaos and insecurity in the country to send thousands of migrants through the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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