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Daily Archives: February 10, 2012
The ‘Arab Spring’ led hundreds of thousands of Asian migrant workers to flee the region.
Today, some remain stranded, while others are just starting to return.
The uprisings sweeping through the Middle East has attracted attention across the world.
The rise and fall of dictators and the ongoing challenges for these countries dominate the news discourse.… Read More
The United Nations political mission for Libya today voiced serious concern over the killing of seven internally displaced persons (IDPs), including three children and two women, and urged authorities to investigate the crime and bring those responsible to justice.
The attacks took place on Monday took place at Janzur Marine Academy near Tripoli, where three of the victims were killed, the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said. Four other IDPs – all from the town of Tawerga – were murdered during a street demonstration.
UNSMIL said it welcomed the action taken by military police of the national army to restore security.
Libyans successfully overthrew the long-standing regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi last year after a protracted civil war, but tensions have persisted in some areas, leading to violent incidents involving militias and community groups.… Read More
Libya’s late strongman son who is currently a fugitive in Niger told Al Arabiya late Friday that there is a growing uprising in the country and that he is communicating with many groups and people in the Libyan Interim National Council.
“There will be an uprising in the most of the areas of the republic…I see it growing every day, there will be a big uprising,” Al-Saadi Al-Qaddafi said in an eight-minute phone interview
“There will be a great uprising in the south, in the east, in the center and in the west. All the regions of Libya will witness this new popular uprising,” Al-Qaddafi added.
Qaddafi, who described the situation as not satisfactory for 70 percent of Libyans, said that he has almost on a daily basis communication with many tribes, militias and people in the transitional council.
“The Libyan people are governed by gangs, and people must work to eradicate militias,” he said, adding “there is a great tension in the country and there are weapons everywhere.”
“The NTC is not a legitimate body … and is not in control of the militias.”
He also urged those to participate in the upcoming uprising to sit down and talk and not to seek any bloodshed.… Read More
British diplomats are hopeful that police investigating the 1984 murder in London of PC Yvonne Fletcher will be able to visit Libya “soon”.
Libyan interior minister Fawzy Abdilal confirmed the National Transitional Council’s commitment to help with the inquiry on a visit to London last week.
A senior British diplomat said Libya had been “very positive” but an exact timescale could not be put on a visit.
PC Fletcher was killed by shots fired from the Libyan embassy at protesters.
The diplomat said: “The investigation is open. The main focus for us is to ensure the police can take forward that investigation.
“That is why we have consistently raised it with the Libyan authorities.… Read More
By Oliver Holmes
The revolutionary fighters-turned-jailors who run what passes for a justice system in Libya’s Gharyan region say they are making the best of a bad business.
“We need help from the government. We are paying for food and medicine from our own pockets,” said Ayad Sager, still dressed in desert camouflage fatigues, with an AK-47 assault rifle slung around his shoulder, three months after the end of the civil war.
Sager says he and 60 of his veteran revolutionary fighters volunteer in shifts to run Guwasim prison, 50 miles (80 km) south of Tripoli, to “maintain security” in the absence of any real authority imposed by the interim government.
International human rights organisations and observers say the reality is infinitely darker, however. The prisons are being used as sites to wreak revenge against those who fought for former leader Muammar Gaddafi and also as bargaining chips in the struggle for who ultimately will hold power in Libya, they say.… Read More
The Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) welcomes the passage of a new electoral law, which guarantees women at least 40 seats on the 200-member Constituent Assembly that will draft the country’s new constitution.
Libya’s National Transitional Council adopted the law at 11PM on Wednesday February 8th after a month-long campaign led by the LWPP and other civil society groups forced the NTC to delay and then scrap an initial, more restrictive draft law put forward by the council.
As soon as the electoral law was announced, the LWPP co-organized protests and commissioned the drafting of an alternative electoral law that contained a range of provisions to ensure women’s representation and other changes. The finalized text relies heavily on language of the LWPP law, which was drafted by a team of leading Libyan legal experts.
“It hasn’t been an easy battle, but we thank the legal team, especially Saleh El-Merghani, Dr Koni Abuda, Ali Dawi, Alhadi Abu Hamra and all the civil society members and youth groups who joined protests in public squares all around Libya in favor of a more equitable and inclusive electoral law,” said Zahra’ Langhi of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace.
A quota of 10% representation for women was in the initial version of the law released in late January, but this provision was subsequently dropped in later versions of the bill which were made public.
The finalized version does not provide for a quota for women, but rather guarantees women’s representation by requiring parties to alternate male and female candidates on their lists. Because 80 seats of the 200-member assembly are allocated to party lists, 40 women will be guaranteed seats in the assembly.… Read More
Libya’s Stock Exchange hopes to resume trading by the end of the month after being shut down during last year’s conflict, and five public share offerings are planned for 2012, General Manager Ahmed Karoud said.
In an interview at the exchange’s new offices in western Tripoli, Karoud said the bourse hoped to increase the number of its foreign investors from the 0.5 percent share they represented before the uprising that toppled Muammar Qaddafi.
“We are seeking to restart trading operations and hope to succeed by the end of February,” he said.
The bourse has 13 listed companies, including the exchange itself, with a combined market capitalization of about 3.9 billion Libyan dinars ($3 billion), Karoud said. The biggest companies include Jumhiriya Bank, Sahara Bank and Wahda Bank.
Karoud said some of the listed companies might not resume trading initially, as some have yet to approve their 2011 statements.
“It is not certain that they all will come back. Maybe seven, eight companies may only come back by the end of February. Maybe one more at the end of March,” he said.… Read More
The final battle for Muammar Gaddafi’s home-town last October was brutal and drawn-out.
Hundreds died on both sides, and it is hard to find a building undamaged by bullets or shells. Occasionally you see grotesquely twisted concrete structures, barely recognisable now, that were blown apart by Nato bombs.
But the money Col Gaddafi lavished on Sirte is also evident; the neat, whitewashed housing estates, the grand avenues and parks, and the imposing ministries and conference centres he built in his attempt to turn what had once been a little fishing village into a showcase capital city.
So what should happen to Sirte in the new Libya? There is no consensus yet.
Gaddafi ‘still in our hearts’
The transitional government is promising to rebuild it, although this is unlikely to be on the grandiose scale of the Gaddafi era.
“All the other town councils agree that Sirte should be the priority for rebuilding,” says Mohammed Kablan, the head of the new local administration.… Read More