LONDON (Reuters) - Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) has declared force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya oil terminal in the west of the country after a blockade on a pipeline linking the field to the port, according to a document seen by Reuters dated Sunday. The Sharara oilfield, the country's largest, has been shut down since Saturday because of a pipeline blockade, industry sources and an engineer said.
Four children from Sudan whose parents are believed to have been killed fighting for Islamic State in the Libyan city of Sirte last year were handed over to the Sudanese consul on Sunday for return to their country. Sirte was a stronghold for Islamic State from 2015-2016, when Libyan forces backed by U.S. air strikes ousted the ultra-hardline group. Hundreds of foreign militants joined Islamic State in Sirte. Dozens of women and children detained towards the end of the fighting have been held in Misrata, the city from which the military campaign in Sirte was led.
Libya's Sharara oilfield, the country's largest, has been shut down since Saturday because of a pipeline blockade, industry sources and an engineer said. State-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya oil terminal on Sunday, a document seen by Reuters showed. Sharara had been producing up to 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) in recent weeks. The field has experienced several temporary shutdowns because of protests by armed groups and oil workers since it reopened last December after a two-year pipeline blockade. A Libyan oil source said the group blockading the pipeline since Saturday had also shut it in the past. The exact location of the blockade and the group's demands were not clear, an industry source said.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) offices in Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding Friday to build on the comparative advantages of the two agencies for delivering assistance to vulnerable children in Libya, including refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, conflict affected and host communities.Through this partnership, UNICEF and UNHCR will strive to make visible improvements in the lives of children and young people in Libya in the area of education, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and health. The Humanitarian Needs overview completed in 2016 highlights constrains that some 300,000 migrants and refugees, including 45,000 children, are facing in Libya. Some of these include accessing basic services due to discrimination, lack of economic means or threat to physical and legal safety. The children held in the detention centres continue to pose a serious concern for both UN agencies.
A human rights and political activist has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar of orchestrating war crimes, charges stemming from his war in Benghazi that has left hundreds of people dead. In his complaint, Emadeddin Muntasser said Khalifa Haftar, the top commander of Dignity Operation, has publically and purposefully violated every element of war crime of denying quarter. According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, denial of quarter means refusal to take prisoners and to show no clemency. It also states that the perpetrator was in a position of effective command or control over the subordinate forces to which the declaration or order was directed. Khalifa Haftar appeared in a video posted on social media networks early this year instructing his forces to show no mercy and kill the prisoners.
The Libyan Archeology Authority launched a project in Al-Marij city that aims at exploring the lost ancient city of Barca, as well as the accompanying Libyan lost civilization that had been penned down in history books. According to history textbooks, Barca city was there before the coming of the Greek to Libya. The survey process will start in the old Al-Marij city. The Head of the Libyan Archeology Authority, Ahmed Hussein, said the project was launched in cooperation with the municipality of Al-Marij after they signed an agreement with Prof. Anna Leon, from Durham University in England that would see the training of a team of Libyan archaeologists. "They will be trained to use the cutting-edge archeology surveying technologies and the geophysical survey. After the training, the authority will receive the high-tech equipment." Hussein explained.
The head of the Administrative and Financial Department at Benina International Airport in Benghazi, Osama Al-Forjani, has warned that the airport might halt operations at any moment due to the lack of budget for nearly two years. Al-Forjani explained that there are international standards that are required to resume air flights, including installing primarily explosives detectors at the main gate of the airport entrance, which has not yet been provided. "The most important challenges facing the airport, which we believe must be solved, are at least the normative and technical problems that should meet the ICAO standards," He added. He said that a civil aviation delegation from Jordan visited Benina airport on Thursday to discuss the readiness of the airport management, civil aviation and security services at the airport in addition to the Libyan company for Ground Services to start receiving air flights.
The Association of Derna Civil Societies welcomed Saturday the efforts of all concerned parties that led to opening the blocked roads in the city after the suffering time experienced by residents in the last three weeks. In a statement, the civil societies praised the unity of the residents in Derna on the political, social and military levels against the siege of Operation Dignity forces of Khalifa Haftar. The statement also stressed that dialogue is the best way to end conflicts in the country and there must always be new initiatives to help achieve the national reconciliation project. “We prepared with a number of international legal and humanitarian organizations a letter documenting the names responsible for the siege on Derna, hoping to bring them to justice amid the current absence of law in Libya.” It added.
As a video emerged apparently of Saiqa members praising Mahmoud Warfali as a “hero” who represented all Libyans, the British, French and US governments have said they support the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) probe into allegations that the Saiqa major is guilty of war crimes. Welcoming Friday’s announcement by the LNA that it is investigating the summary executions shown in video footage, the governments said today in a joint statement: “We note that the LNA has recognised the arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor for a member of the LNA, Major Warfali” continuing that they were encouraged by the decision to suspend him pending an investigation. They called on the LNA to ensure that the investigation was carried out fully and fairly and that those responsible for the unlawful killings are held to account.
Presidency Council (PC) co-deputy head Ahmed Maetig has been been seeing for himself today the devastation caused in Sirte in last year’s final phase of the battle to drive out the terrorists of the so-called Islamic State. With the PC’s education minister Otman Abdul Jalil, Maetig toured the the ruins in the Giza and Maranah districts then went to the Ibn Sina hospital. They also visited Sirte university where they promised the dean and teaching staff that the PC would continue to support education in the town. An account claiming links with IS posted long-distance pictures of Maetig and his party in the town saying that the politicians had been “in their sights”. However it is not thought any shots were fired, unlike last month when Jalil’s motorcade came under fire on its way to Murzuk, south of Sebha.
His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday received at Basman Palace Libyan lower house speaker, Aqila Saleh, who is currently visiting the Kingdom, according to a Royal Court statement. The meeting discussed developments in the Libyan arena and the efforts exerted in the war on terror. His Majesty affirmed Jordan’s support for efforts to unite the rivalling Libyan forces and reach a political solution that would restore security, and stability for Libyans and contribute to the building of institutions in the North African Arab country. For his part, Saleh expressed his appreciation to Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty the King, for supporting “the aspirations of the Libyan people to achieve security and stability and to overcome the challenges they are facing”.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s largest oil trader, is said to have loaded its first crude from Libya in five years over the weekend, adding to evidence of the Opec nation’s comeback. The cargo yesterday is for 600,000 barrels of crude from the Zueitina port, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A Shell spokesperson declined to comment on the shipment, but said the company’s Shell International Trading & Shipping “has a history marketing Libyan crudes. We welcome new business opportunities with Libya’s National Oil Corp.” Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the NOC, didn’t answer phone calls seeking comment.