Boris Johnson has announced a £9m aid package for Libya to help deal with the problems of migrants risking their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean and a growing threat of terrorist groups from the war-stricken country. The foreign secretary announced the extra funding as he made his second trip to Tripoli in just four months, where he visited UK naval officers training the Libyan coastguard in search and rescue.
At least 11 people were beheaded Wednesday after an attack on a checkpoint controlled by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar south of Tripoli, a spokesman for his forces said. "At least nine soldiers were beheaded... in addition to two civilians" at the checkpoint about 500 kilometres south of Tripoli, Colonel Ahmad al-Mesmari said, blaming the Islamic State jihadist group for the gruesome attack. No group has yet claimed the attack at dawn on a checkpoint run by Haftar's forces in the Al-Jufra region. Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army seized the area, including a key military air base, in June from the Benghazi Defence Brigades coalition which includes Islamists driven out of Libya's second city by the field marshal's forces.
Chad today ordered the Qatari embassy in N’Djamena, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilise the country via Libya. It has given Qatari diplomats ten days to leave. The move follows an attack over the weekend on a Chadian army patrol on the Libyan border by a heavily armed militia that is believed to have been operating on the Libya side of the frontier. Several soldiers were reported killed.
An armed group has released former Libyan premier Ali Zeidan, nine days after he was kidnapped in Tripoli while making his first visit home for three years, a family member and friend said Wednesday. Zeidan, 67, who served as premier from November 2012 to March 2014, was snatched on August 13 from his hotel.
Sources in western Libyan city of Zuwara stated that the Ras Ajdir border crossing between Libya and Tunisia was closed on Tuesday. The closing of the border came following a protest organized by the people of the Ben Qardan area who demanded the lifting of fees imposed by the Libyan authorities. Sources added that passengers from both sides of the border were prevented from crossing, with the exception of humanitarian cases.
Three Sudanese children were reunited with their extended family in Sudan on Tuesday after their parents, who had joined the Daesh terrorist group, had been killed in Libya. Three of the children, who had spent three years in a child care house in Tripoli, hail to the family of fighter Mohamed Abuzaid, who had been killed while fighting with Daesh in Libya. “They have been returned to Sudan to reunite with their extended family," lawyer Adel Abdul Ghani told Anadolu Agency.
At least 14 forces loyal to East Libya-based military commander Khalifa Haftar were killed in a ISIL attack in southern Libya on Wednesday, according to a Libyan military source. Without elaborating, the source said ISIL militants attacked the gate of Fuqaha town, 200 kilometers north of Sabha city. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The head of the Presidency Council (PC) Faiez Serraj says he is working to end the ban on international matches being played in Libyan stadiums. He made the statement during a visit to Tripoli’s Al-Ahli football club yesterday where he was welcomed by the club chairman along with a number of staff and supporters. Wearing a green shirt, the club’s colours, he toured the premises and watched a training session before holding a meeting with club officials, who welcomed Serraj’s interest in Ahli and its players.
The High Council of the State denounced the continuing siege on the eastern city of Derna calling it a crime against humanity in a statement made on Tuesday. The High Council called on the Presidential Council to take the necessary measures needed to lift the siege on civilians suffering from a lack of all basic needs. In a statement, it also called on the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to shoulder its responsibilities in lifting the siege on the city of Derna unconditionally, in order to provide all necessary humanitarian needs and assistance to civilians.
Recent clampdowns on routes to Europe from Libya have led to an increase on the western Mediterranean passage which could overtake Greece as the busiest crossing after Libya-Italy. Head of Tarifa’s Maritime Rescue Jose Maraver said that migrants use smartphones to tell the coastguard their exact location. Mr Maraver said: “The ones who have data on their phones sometimes send us their exact location using WhatsApp. This is the best and most efficient way to find and rescue them.