Rescued migrants' boat 'unable to dock in Europe'

BBC World Service

Map of Mediterranean

Aid workers say that a ship carrying 180 rescued migrants is being refused permission to dock in either Italy or Malta.

Charity SOS Mediterranee, which operates the vessel, the Ocean Viking, says its requests for entry have been turned down repeatedly.

Those on board have been saved from various boats after setting off from Libya.

Italy and Malta feel they’re forced to take in too many migrants, and they say other EU states need to share more of the burden.

France accuses Turkey of taking arms to Libya

BBC World Service

France has pulled out of Nato-led anti-smuggling patrols in the Mediterranean, accusing Turkey, a fellow member of the Western military alliance, of taking arms to Libya.

In a statement, the French defence ministry said it was suspending its participation in Operation Sea Guardian to shine a spotlight on an anti-trafficking operation, of which the smugglers were a part.

It said that regardless of a clash at sea between the allies' navies last month, the real problem was that Turkey, a Nato member, was repeatedly violating the arms embargo on Libya.

Tensions have escalated since a Turkish warship prevented a French frigate inspecting a suspected arms cargo aboard a Tanzanian vessel last month.

Turkey supports the UN-backed government in Tripoli, while France is seen as a backer of Gen Khalifa Haftar's rival force.

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Migrants from Libya rescued in Italian island

BBC World Service

An empty inflatable boat used by migrants
Many migrants pass through Libya attempting to get to Europe

Forty-seven migrants who were adrift and in danger in a boat in the Mediterranean have been rescued.

They were picked up in waters south of the Italian island of Lampedusa three days after setting off from Libya.

They had run out of food and water by the time they were saved by a rescue vessel operated by the SOS Méditerranée organisation which works to help migrants in trouble at sea.

Macron accuses Turkey of 'criminal' actions in Libya

BBC World Service

Fighters loyal to Libya"s internationally recognised government celebrate after regaining control over the city, in Tripoli, Libya, 4 June 2020
Turkey has significantly armed the UN-backed government

French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Turkey of having what he called “historic and criminal responsibility” for actions it has taken in the war in Libya.

Mr Macron talked of Turkey having brought in massive numbers of jihadi fighters from Syria, while increasing its own presence in the country.

The Turks have given Libya’s UN-backed government substantial military support that has enabled it to inflict a series of defeats on the renegade General Khalifa Haftar.

France is widely seen as being among the General’s international backers - who include Russia, Egypt and the UAE.

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Russian mercenaries 'enter Libyan oil field'

BBC World Service

A map showing El Sharara oil field in western Libya.

Libya's state oil company says that Russian and other foreign mercenaries have moved into a major oilfield, called El Sharara, where it had been planning to restart production.

Most of Libya's oil facilities are located in areas under the control of the eastern-based renegade military General Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Russia.

But the National Oil Corporation said it rejected any attempt by foreign countries to prevent the resumption of production.

There's been a renewed push to restart peace talks after Gen Haftar's forces were driven back from the capital, Tripoli.

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Ukraine sailors home after three years in Libya jail

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Fourteen Ukrainian sailors who had spent more than three years in Libyan custody landed at Kyiv's Boryspil airport on 19 June, the presidential website reports.

"It is our mission to return Ukrainian citizens home," the report quoted President Volodymyr Zelensky as commenting.

He added that he was happy for the sailors and their families.

The crew of the Odesa-registered oil tanker Ruta were detained in Libya in 2017 on charges of smuggling petrochemicals.

"Thanks to co-ordinated operations of the Ukrainian government agencies involved, a result was achieved in the negotiations with Libya and our citizens were returned home," the report reads.

HRW calls for probe over rights abuses in Libya

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

Human Rights Watch is calling for an investigation into the apparent summary executions and torture of fighters allied to the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

In its latest news release, the US-based rights watchdog says it has seen evidence in videos posted on social media of these alleged crimes committed by forces loyal to the rogue General Khalifa Haftar when they were engaged in battles in the capital, Tripoli, last month.

His forces have since pulled back after more than a year of attempting to take over the capital.

It is not unusual for fighters on either side of Libya’s ongoing conflict to post apparent incriminating evidence on social media platforms.

In its latest findings, HRW cites videos and a photograph posted on Facebook showing men allegedly affiliated with the Gen Haftar hitting an incapacitated individual in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district.

His abusers were identified as being from battalion 646 by HRW and they accused their victim of being a foreign mercenary fighting for the government’s forces.

The same man is then blindfolded and led down a staircase and the owner of the social media page claimed he was later killed.

In another video a man lying in a pool of blood is circled by three men wearing army fatigues – the corpse is shaken and called a "cadaver" and a "dog".

HRW is calling on the commander of these forces to investigate the alleged crimes.

A letter sent by the rights group to Gen Haftar last month, about both these incidents, went unanswered.

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Libya conflict: Russia and Turkey risk Syria repeat

Turkey and Russia to continue search for Libya peace

BBC World Service

Turkey says it will continue working with Russia to try to halt the fighting in Libya, despite the last-minute postponement of high-level talks on Sunday.

The two countries support opposite sides in the conflict.

There’ve been media reports that the meeting between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers was put off because of differences over the fate of the Libyan city of Sirte.

It’s held by Russia’s ally, renegade Gen Khalifa Haftar.

But government forces - backed by Turkey - are trying to capture the area.

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