08. Oktober 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Armed faction takes over protection of Libyan oil and gas complex, fresh concern over migrants“ · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: , ,

Reuters | 07.10.2017

Ahmed Elumami

SABRATHA, Libya (Reuters) – An armed alliance involved in a three-week battle over the Libyan smuggling hub of Sabratha said on Saturday it had taken over protection of the Mellitah oil and gas terminal after expelling a rival group.

An organization called the Operations Room and its allies have been fighting the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a major facilitator of migrant smuggling that recently said it had changed tack and struck a deal with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli to stop boats setting off across the Mediterranean.

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06. Oktober 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Armed force claims victory in Libyan migrant smuggling hub“ · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags:

Reuters | 06.10.2017

Ahmed Elumami, Aidan Lewis

An armed alliance involved in a three-week battle over the Libyan smuggling hub of Sabratha said it had taken control of the coastal city on Friday.

A group called the Operations Room and its allies have been fighting the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a major facilitator of migrant smuggling that recently said it had changed tack and struck a deal with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli to stop boats setting off across the Mediterranean.

“Sabratha city has been liberated from the militias — the Dabbashi militias and their alliance,” said Operations Room spokesman Saleh Graisia. “Now the city is fully controlled by the Operations Room … the militias have escaped to the west.”

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06. Oktober 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Italian effort to stop migrants fuels bloody battle in Libya“ · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags: ,

Washington Post | 05.10.2017

By Maggie Michael | AP

It began when a Libyan militia paid by Italy to stop migrants heading to Europe intercepted a group of human traffickers offshore. That confrontation has spiraled into a weeks-long battle among rival militias for control of a Libyan coastal city that has left dozens dead.

The bloodshed in the city of Sabratha is in part an unexpected consequence of Europe’s effort to stem the flow of migrants from Libya across the Mediterranean. It illustrates how easily things can escalate out of control in the chaos of the North African country, where three different governments claim authority and the real power in many areas lies with local militias.

The Sabratha fight has expanded, bringing in outside factions, including Khalifa Hifter, the strongman who controls eastern Libya and is a rival of the weak, internationally recognized government based in Tripoli, headed by Fayez Serraj. Hifter appears to be using the conflict to obtain a foothold in the western part of the country.

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03. Oktober 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Italy’s deal to stem flow of people from Libya in danger of collapse“ · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags:

The Guardian | 04.10.2017

Number of people crossing Mediterranean rises again amid power struggle between rival factions in Libyan human-trafficking port

A key pillar of the Italian government’s effort to stem the politically toxic issue of people crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to southern Italy is in danger of collapse as a result of a bloody power struggle in the key Libyan port of Sabratha, the epicentre of human trafficking to Italy.

The Italian prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, had hailed an 80% drop in the number of migrants reaching Italy in July and August, but the number of migrants suddenly started rising again last month as the Sabratha power struggle unfolded, suggesting rival gangs, fighting for control of the profitable business, may not prove reliable partners for the Italians.

The strategy to stem the flow of people from Libya – largely masterminded by the Italian interior minister, Marco Minniti – is seen by the governing Democratic party (PD) as critical to its fortunes in elections next spring.

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28. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Fewer clashes in Sabratha but tension remains high“ · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags: ,

Libya Herald | 27.09.2017

Clashes continued today in Sabratha, 80 kilometres west of Tripoli, between the Anti-IS Operations Room and the 48th Battalion although the intensity of fighting was much reduced according to an official in the town who asked not to be identified. Occasional firing of both small and heavy weapons could be heard, he said, but no deaths or serious injuries had been reported among either the combatants or the civilian population. The town remained tense, however, he explained.

He claimed that the Operations Room had gained the upper hand so far in the fighting – a claim denied by Ahmed Dabashi, the head of the local Amu brigade which overlaps with the 48th; many members of the former are also members of the latter and thereby receive an official salary. However, this evening there were unconfirmed reports that the operations room had taken Sabratha hospital.

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27. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Rescue ship says Libyan coast guard shot at and boarded it, seeking migrants“ · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags: , ,

Reuters | 26.09.2017

Steve Scherer

ROME (Reuters) – A Libyan coast guard vessel fired shots and boarded a humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, demanding that the migrants on board be handed over to them, a spokesman for the Mission Lifeline charity said.

“The Libyan man said: ‘This is our territory,’” said Axel Steier, a spokesman for the German-based charity that performed its first rescues on Tuesday.

“After a while, they fired shots,” he said, probably into the air or sea. No one was wounded.

Afterward two Libyans boarded the Lifeline ship to try to persuade them to hand over some 70 migrants they had just taken off a wooden boat in international waters.

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26. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Sabratha fighting rages on as many townspeople flee“ · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen · Tags: ,

Libya Herald | 25.09.2017

Sabratha hospital has issued an urgent call for trauma kits and blood as the fighting in the town continued for a tenth day, with at least 17 dead and 48 wounded since the violence began.

So pressed is the hospital that casualties are being sent elsewhere. A woman hit by shrapnel today in her kitchen was transferred to Zuwara for treatment

Thus far all mediation attempts by local elders have failed, with two uneasy truces quickly breaking down. The Libya Red Crescent has reportedly evacuated almost all the population from the old part of two where the fighting has become fiercest.

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25. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „West courts Libyan general accused of human rights abuses“ · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: , ,

The Guardian | 25.09.2017

Ex-CIA asset Khalifa Haftar, due to meet Italian officials in Rome, ordered soldiers to commit war crimes, according to legal experts

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome and Ruth Michaelson in Cairo

European leaders are embracing a Libyan general who has ordered his soldiers to commit war crimes, according to new evidence that has been analysed by senior legal experts.

The allegation of human rights abuses by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset who controls nearly half of Libya from his base in the east, comes as the general is due to arrive in Rome on Tuesday, where he will be received by Italian officials. The visit is a radical departure for Italy, who had previously shunned Haftar and seen him as a major obstacle to stability in the region because of his refusal to recognise the UN-backed government in the west.

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22. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Fighting intensifies in Sabratha as militias blame each other“ · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags:

Libya Herald | 21.09.2017

Fighting intensifies in Sabratha as militias blame each other

Fighting in Sabratha between the 48th Brigade along with its allies and the rival Anti-ISIS Operations Room (AIOR) intensified today after efforts yesterday by elders from Zawia and Zintan to broker a ceasefire collapsed. Both sides have blamed the other for the failure of the ceasefire, with each demanding that the other withdraw.

According to the Sabratha media centre, AIOR demanded that the 48th brigade withdraw to its headquarters and allow the national security directorate to take over the town centre. AIOR, however, is reported to have adamantly refused the same withdrawal request from the mediators. Instead it has accused the brigade of being allied to militants and being involved in people smuggling.

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22. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Armed group ‘seeks legitimacy’ with Tripoli migrant deal · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: , ,

EurActiv | 22.09.2017

A powerful armed group, known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy, a senior group member said.

The group, the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, struck a deal with Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) this summer to clamp down on trafficking, the senior brigade member, who gave his name as Mohamed, told Reuters.

The need for the GNA to strike such a deal would illustrate the power of armed groups in western Libya, which continue to hold the real influence locally as they have since a 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

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