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Monthly Archives: January 2012
By Oliver Holmes
Two French warships arrived at Tripoli’s port on Tuesday carrying navy crewmen who will train the Libyan navy and help demine oil ports, a Libyan defense ministry official said.
Foreign states are worried about the Libyan interim government’s capacity to secure its Mediterranean coast, which could be used as a gateway into Europe for arms traffickers, al Qaeda insurgents and illegal migrants.
“The military ships arrived today to Tripoli to train our officers in the Libyan navy and to help us in equipping our navy in order to maintain the security of our shores,” defense ministry spokesman Ahmed Bani said at Tripoli’s military port.
“These minesweepers arrived from France to help our officers clear the oil ports because they have been heavily mined by the former regime to prevent people exporting Libyan oil,” Bani said.… Read More
Leading German airline Lufthansa is set to restart its operations to the Libyan capital Tripoli on February 2 with three weekly non-stop flights from its hub in Frankfurt.
Announcing the relaunch of its Libya operations, Lufthansa said based on the expected escalating demand, the carrier will eventually increase capacity in the future.
The Tripoli-Frankfurt flights will be operated on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays with an Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class cabin configuration, featuring Lufthansa’s Business and Economy class.
The flight LH1312 will take off from Frankfurt at 3.25pm (local time) and land in Tripoli at 5.40pm and on return, flight LH1312 will leave Tripoli at 10.30am and arrive in Frankfurt at 2.25pm.
The airport staff and town office are back in full swing to serve inbound and outbound passengers, said a senior official.
“We are proud to be back in service with flights between Frankfurt and Tripoli as of February 2. Our presence in Libya serves as a testament to our commitment in serving travel demands between our hub and Tripoli,” remarked Werner Kellerhals, Lufthansa regional general manager for North Africa, Malta and Senegal.… Read More
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga: His resignation was not accepted by NTC
At a meeting in Tripoli Monday, Libya’s National Transitional Council, NTC, rejected the resignation of the deputy head of Libya’s ruling Council, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, who had stepped down after protests against him in Benghazi On January 22.
Intisar al-Akili a member of the NTC told… Read More
By: Carol Huang
Libyan oligarchs who profited from ties to the Qaddafi regime are trying to rebrand themselves as patrons of the revolution, raising concerns that corruption could be swept under the rug.
The businessmen have set up aid groups, youth movements and media outlets.
But their comebacks have stirred resentment among ordinary Libyans that could boil over if unaddressed, according to Aref Nayed, the Libyan ambassador to the UAE, who oversaw stabilisation efforts after the uprising.
Libya’s interim government faced protests last week amid accusations of poor transparency and links to the previous regime.… Read More
India has handed over humanitarian assistance consisting of life saving medicines and medical equipment of about USD 1 million to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) after it requested for the same.
NTC is also considering sending injured Libyan nationals to India for their medical treatment, a release from the Ministry of External Affairs said, adding that Indian authorities welcome this and are looking forward to receive injured Libyan patients.
India’s humanitarian assistance was handed over yesterday to NTC by Rajeev Shahare, Joint Secretary (West Asia & North Africa) in the MEA.
The Council had earlier in Benghazi provided a list of life savings drugs to the Government of India and these medicines were selected as per the requirements of Libya.
“The Government has been supportive of the people of Libya and has interacted with the NTC in London, Istanbul and Paris meeting including in the United Nations,” MEA said. … Read More
By:Richard Norton-Taylor and Ian Cobain
Two prominent Libyan dissidents are suing a former senior MI6officer in a move which could expose the role of ministers in the men’s abduction to Tripoli, where they say they were tortured by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s secret police.
Lawyers for Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi have served a claim on Sir Mark Allen, the MI6 officer at the centre of the affair. They are suing Allen, then the most senior officer in MI6 responsible for counter-terrorism, alleging “complicity in torture” and “misfeasance in public office”.
Whitehall officials have repeatedly defended MI6′s actions, saying the agency was following “ministerially authorised government policy.”
The case will be the first significant test of a little-known piece of legislation, section seven of the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, which protects MI6 officers from liability for criminal acts abroad as long as their actions have been authorised by a cabinet minister.… Read More
By Jay Deshmukh
Ibrahim Sadeq Khalifa looks like any other young Libyan, but the 20-year-old prisoner has good reason to fear for his future in the new Libya.
By his own admission, Khalifa participated in the mass killing of civilians as Tripoli was falling.
The fair, healthy-looking man with a thin moustache and beard, was a soldier in Moamer Kadhafi’s military and is now an inmate with more than 100 others in a prison run by the new national army in Libya’s third largest city of Misrata.
His crime, which he acknowledged in front of an AFP team touring the prison, was that he burnt alive around 150 men in a garage in Tripoli as fighting raged between Kadhafi loyalists and former rebels in August last year.
“I threw grenades on them after my colleagues doused them in petrol. We then locked the garage and left. We burnt them alive,” Khalifa told AFP, of the massacre that he and four other Kadhafi soldiers carried out.
Khalifa admits that those killed by him and his comrades in the Khalit al-Farjan area of Tripoli on the afternoon of August 22 were civilians.
He was captured by former rebels from his home in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, three days later, when the city was overrun by anti-Kadhafi fighters.
Shortly afterwards, rebel leaders spoke of the murder of more than 150 people in the capital.
“They were about 150 men from all age groups. They were huddled together in the garage,” Khalifa said, adding that he was following the orders of his superior officer.
“Yes I did it. I did what I was ordered to do by my officer in charge. When I went home that night, I could not sleep. I regret what I did,” said Khalifa, dressed in a blue T-shirt and tracksuit.… Read More
Russian air-launched missile maker Russian Tactical Missiles (TRV) suffered a loss of $791.22 million worth of contracts with Libya in 2011 due to the civil war there, the corporation’s General Director Boris Obnosov said on Tuesday.
Russia lost around $4 billion in sales to Libya due to the war and the resultant UN sanctions on Tripoli, according to data from Russian arms sales company Rosoboronexport and the Federal Military-Technical Agency.
“In total, export contracts that were not fulfilled totaled 600 million euros,” Obnosov said. “Also, it is impossible not to note the fact that a contract was signed with Libya for our Bal-E coastal defense missile system. Unfortunately it was not fulfilled.”… Read More