An elite forces unit linked to the army that controls much of eastern Libya has snubbed international efforts to bring to justice one of its senior officers for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a commander in the Special Forces of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA). The accusations against him relate to incidents in and near Benghazi in spring and early summer, towards the end of a three-year LNA campaign against Islamists and other opponents in Libya's second city. Videos circulated on social media appear to show Werfalli executing or overseeing the execution of masked and handcuffed prisoners.
Libya’s coastguard threatened to target a Spanish humanitarian ship rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean this week as tensions continue to grow between NGOs and the Libyan government. A ship run by the group Proactiva Open Arms was intercepted by a Libyan coastguard vessel on Tuesday and ordered to sail towards Tripoli or risk being fired upon. The Spanish ship was eventually allowed to sail away into the Mediterranean but the confrontation is the most serious since Libya’s coastguard adopted a newly assertive policy several weeks ago.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has warned that investigations of all sides in Libya's civil war may be launched, after an arrest warrant for a Libyan National Army commander was issued over the alleged execution of dozens of prisoners. Mahmoud Al Werfalli, a commander in the LNA’s Al Saiqa brigade, has been accused of seven incidents of prisoner execution involving 33 people. The ICC arrest warrant, issued on Tuesday, said Mr Al Werfalli “is alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as a war crime”. ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she will not hesitate to investigate more complaints of human rights violations in the chaotic country.
Libya is returning with more barrels to the market after its biggest oil field started raising production and an export terminal re-opened for tanker loading. Crude oil output at Sharara--the biggest field in Libya, which is exempt from OPEC cuts--rose to 230,000 bpd on Tuesday—a 30,000 bpd increase just since Sunday, Bloomberg reports, citing an unidentified source familiar with the issue. In another boost to Libyan oil exports, the Zueitina oil terminal resumed loading, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina workers’ union, told Bloomberg. The Zueitina oil terminal had ceased loading cargos on Sunday, as port workers protested, demanding better working conditions.
The Ministry of Economy of the Interim Government, a parallel body in east Libya, has issued a resolution to ban the Italian companies from working in Libya or establishing any joint Libyan-Italian firms. The resolution referred for the prohibition of opening or extending branches of Italian companies in Libya until further notice. Minister Munir Asar told his government’s news agency that the decision was taken due to "Italy's outspoken hostility towards Libyan people". “Our friends who stood with us in our crisis are more entitled for economic partnership, especially that the technology is not monopolized by the Italians”, he said.
The Minister of Education in the UN proposed government Othman AbdelJalil, withdrew licenses of 107 private schools, preventing them from engaging in any educational activities. AbdelJalil also referred the schools officials to the Attorney General to be investigated, and prohibited any agencies of the ministry from dealing with these schools. He also said that a committee is formed that will submit a detailed report on this matter within a maximum period of fifteen days, in preparation for taking the necessary legal measures against any school breaking the law.
Approximately 210 illegal immigrants from the Kingdom of Morocco, including 30 women, have been on hunger strike for two days in a Tripoli housing center in protest against the Moroccan authorities' failure to cooperate with the illegal immigration Control Agency in Libya on deportation procedures that would return them to Morocco. Moroccan authorities sent a committee four months ago to take the fingerprints of the migrants and promised to return them to their country but there has been no correspondence since then.
The head of the Presidential Council of the UN proposed government, Fayez Sarraj met yesterday at the headquarters of the council in Tripoli with a delegation from the city of Derna headed by the head of the Local Council Awad Airaj. Sarraj stated that he issued immediate instructions to provide all needs to the desalination plant in Derna and all the urgent requirements of the service facilities of the city. Sarraj also stated that he put in place a direct line of communication between the Local Council of Derna and the ministries of his government.
Clashes erupted Wednesday among groups of gunmen of Omar Al-Mukhtar operations room near Martuba checkpoint in east Derna. According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen used light weapons to resolve the dispute over who should be controlling the checkpoint that separate Derna from the areas eastward. "The gunmen, after internal clashes, opened fire on Derna locals who were gathering there since early morning to enter Martuba to buy basic needs after all of the city's entrances and exits have been closed for two weeks." Eyewitnesses added. According to sources, the reason behind the clashes was that some of the gunmen wanted to open the road for Derna residents to enter Martuba, while others disagreed.
The recent visit of Khalifa Haftar to Russia has immediately prompted speculations about Moscow's alleged intention to involve itself deeper in Libyan affairs, RIA Novosti contributor Gevorg Mirzayan writes, shedding light on how Russia can bolster its cooperation with the state when the ongoing civil war is over. As the future of Libyan statehood remains hanging in the balance, the international community has pinned its hopes on two influential players — Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj of the Libyan Government of National Accord and Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. The two Libyan rival leaders had confronted each other for a long period of time; however, in late July Sarraj and Haftar appeared to make progress after negotiating a ceasefire and elections for the next year during their meeting in Paris.
After two years of suspension, the Libyan Premier League kicked off yesterday (Tuesday) with four matches successfully completed, albeit without spectators officially attending.. The Libyan Football Federation has divided the League into four groups based on geographical area with the top team from each group qualifying for a final round.