Libya

  1. Geneva hosts new Libya talks

    BBC World Service

    The warring parties in Libya have begun around of negotiations in Geneva, chaired by the United Nations.

    The talks have brought together two delegations of military officials.

    One represents the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, and the other has been sent by the eastern-based commander, General Khalifa Haftar.

    In fighting earlier this year the government managed to end a siege of Tripoli, and push the Gen Haftar's forces out of much of western Libya.

    It's thought that the talks in Geneva will focus on issues like the release of detainees captured in the fighting, and the dismantling of irregular armed groups.

  2. UN resumes refugee flights out of Libya

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, says it has resumed evacuation flights from Libya to Niger for refugees and migrants, which have provided a crucial lifeline out of dangerous conditions.

    The resumption following a seven-month suspension of the programme due to flight restrictions and health protocols imposed because of the threat of coronavirus.

    Refugees and migrants stuck in Libya have in the past been flown to transit camps in Niger where they then waited for a chance to be resettled elsewhere by the UNHCR.

    The agency said it had evacuated 153 people from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South-Sudan on Thursday night.

    The group included 15 children, many of whom are unaccompanied or separated from their parents.

    The majority had also been held in Libya’s detention centres, which are often overcrowded and have poor sanitation standards.

  3. Migrants rescued by fishing boats near Libya

    BBC World Service

    The bodies of three migrants have been recovered after a vessel sank off the coast of western Libya.

    The International Organization for Migration said another 13 people were unaccounted for.

    Twenty-two survivors were rescued and brought back to Libya by fishing boats.

    Many migrants set out from Libya, from where they try to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe - often aboard dangerously overcrowded and unseaworthy boats.

  4. Court gives green light for Sarkozy Libya probe

    BBC World Service

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) is welcomed by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi (R) upon his arrival in Tripoli 25 July 2007.
    Image caption: France's former President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) is alleged to have received bribes from the government of Libya's late leader Muammar Gaddafi (archive photo)

    A court in France has rejected a request by the former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to dismiss an investigation of allegations that he received bribes from Libya to finance his election campaign in 2007.

    The ruling by the court of appeal in Paris means that Mr Sarkozy and several of his associates are now likely to have to stand trial over the claims that they benefited from millions of dollars from Libya's late leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

    However, the accused can still appeal to the highest French criminal court.

  5. EU imposes sanctions over Libya arms embargo

    Troops loyal to Libya"s UN-recognized government in Zamzam, near Abu Qareen, Libya September 15, 2020
    Image caption: Turkey has been supporting the UN-recognised government in Tripoli

    The European Union has imposed sanctions on three companies for violating the UN arms embargo on Libya.

    A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels resolved that the sanctions imposed include an asset freeze for the three companies.

    Two individuals were also sanctioned for human rights abuses in Libya.

    "These new listings show the EU's strategic use of its sanctions regime and ability to react to developments on the ground in support of the political process and to deter past and present perpetrators from further violations," the EU said in a statement.

    The three companies are from Turkey, Kazakhstan and Jordan respectively, the AFP news agency reports.

    A United Nations report seen early this month accused Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other states of blatantly defying the international arms embargo on Libya.

    Libya has been torn by violence since long-time ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011 by Nato-backed forces.

    The UAE backs renegade Gen Khalifa Haftar, while the Turkish government supports his rivals in the government based in Tripoli.

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  6. Libyan strongman Haftar 'ready' to lift oil blockade

    General Khalifa Haftar
    Image caption: The blockade has starved the national economy of billions of dollars

    Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar says he is ready to temporarily lift his blockade of the country's oil production facilities.

    The rival government which backs him in eastern Libya submitted its resignation earlier this week after protests in Benghazi and other cities over deteriorating living conditions and corruption.

    Gen Haftar said Friday's announcement about lifting the oil blockade followed an agreement with the UN-backed government in Tripoli under which oil revenues would be distributed fairly.

    A government minister has said a committee would be set up to oversee the handling of the revenue.

    But the national oil company says it won't resume operations until Gen Haftar's forces leave the production facilities.

    His blockade - which began January - has starved the Libyan economy of billions of dollars of desperately needed export earnings.

    Before the blockade, Libya was producing around 1.2 million barrels per day compared to just over 100,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.

    Read more:

    Map showing who controls which part of Libya
  7. Head of Libya's Tripoli government offers to hand over power

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj
    Image caption: Fayez al-Serraj was appointed prime minister in 2015

    Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj says he intends to “hand over” power to the next executive authority by the end of October.

    He is currently the head of the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

    There has been a renewed drive by the international community for a new political solution for Libya, with talks taking place in several countries.

    In his televised address on Wednesday night, Mr Serraj called on the dialogue committee to work quickly on forming a new executive authority, in order to guarantee a peaceful transition of power.

    He says he “sincerely intends to hand over” his duties to the next executive authority by the end of October at the latest.

    Although he did not specify what he would do in the event of this deadline not being met.

    Mr Serraj said that hopefully the members of the dialogue committee will finish their work by then and select a new presidential council and prime minister.

    He was appointed as prime minister and chairman of Libya’s presidential council under the last UN-brokered agreement signed in December 2015.

  8. Libya's parallel government submits resignation

    BBC World Service

    Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar
    Image caption: Khalifa Haftar has his power-base in the east of the country

    The parallel government in eastern Libya has submitted its resignation after a rash of protests over deteriorating living conditions and corruption.

    In the latest demonstrations, protesters in the city of Benghazi set fire to the headquarters of the military commander, Khalifa Haftar.

    They also clashed in his stronghold of Al-Maj for the first time.

    A spokesman for General Haftar said the administration backed peaceful protests but would not allow terrorists and the Muslim Brotherhood to hijack them.

    Until now, protests against the situation in Libya have focused largely on the capital, Tripoli, home to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

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  9. Jet fuel tanker intercepted on way to Libya

    BBC World Service

    German and Italian warships have intercepted a tanker that was carrying jet fuel in a suspected breach of the international arms embargo on Libya.

    The vessel had come from the United Arab Emirates, and was heading for the eastern Libyan port of Benghazi.

    It's a stronghold of the UAE's ally, General Khalifa Haftar - who's fighting the UN-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli.

    The Italian and German warships were part of a European Union force that's trying to stop arms reaching both sides in the conflict.

    Last month, BBC Africa Eye uncovered evidence of UAE involvement in the Libya conflict:

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    Video caption: UAE implicated in lethal Libya drone strike
  10. Call to investigate lethal force used on Libyan protesters

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Demonstrators march during an anti-government protest in Tripoli, Libya, August 25, 2020
    Image caption: Protests were held at the end of August

    The US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an investigation into the lethal force used by armed groups in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, against protesters, and the subsequent apparent disappearance of some of them.

    Libyans took to the streets in late August to protest against corruption, and to demand better public services.

    Based on witness testimonies and reviews of photographs and videos, HRW says at least 24 protesters were arbitrarily detained and in some cases tortured by armed groups which are linked to the interior ministry.

    The rights organisation says the groups include some of the Libyan capital’s biggest factions – like the Nawasi brigade, and the Special Deterrence Force.

    Some people have since been released from detention.

    The protests were triggered by persistent electricity cuts and the deterioration of other public services, as well as alleged corruption.

    Weapons like machine guns were used to disperse the crowds – one person is known to have died.

    At the time, Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha condemned the violent clampdown and was later suspended by the prime minister pending an investigation.

    He resumed his post earlier this month, and it is not clear what the conclusions of the inquiry were.

    HRW is calling for an independent investigation into the abuses to be carried out by Tripoli’s General Prosecutor’s Office.

  11. Libya's rival administrations meet in Morocco for talks

    BBC World Service

    Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourit leads a conference on Libya in Bouznika, Morocco, 06 September 2020.
    Image caption: Moroccan foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, is hosting the meeting

    Delegates of Libya's rival administrations have met for talks in Morocco two weeks after the two sides declared a ceasefire.

    Five delegates each met from the UN- recognised government in Tripoli and the rival parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

    Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, while opening the meeting in the town of Bouznika, said that Morocco had no specific agenda but wanted to give Libyans a chance to discuss the issues dividing them.

    Morocco hosted talks in 2015 that led to the creation of the UN- recognised government in Tripoli.

    Delegates from rivalling Libyan governments meet in Morocco for talks

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  12. Foreign powers 'blatantly defy' Libya arms embargo

    BBC World Service

    Troops loyal to Libya"s internationally recognized government prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020.
    Image caption: Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

    A United Nations report has accused Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other states of blatantly defying the international arms embargo on Libya.

    The unpublished document has been seen by the Reuters news agency. It says that in the first half of the year Russia significantly stepped up its logistical support for Russian mercenaries who fight for the eastern-based commander, Gen Khalifa Haftar.

    The report also said Turkey and the UAE had shown complete disregard for the arms sanctions.

    The UAE backs Gen Haftar, while the Turkish government supports his rivals in the government based in Tripoli.

    The report covers a period of intense fighting, during which Gen Haftar suffered a series of defeats.

    • Watch a BBC Africa Eye investigation on who was behind a lethal drone strike in Libya in January:

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    Video caption: UAE implicated in lethal Libya drone strike
  13. Video content

    Video caption: UAE implicated in lethal Libya drone strike

    The BBC uncovers evidence that a drone operated by the UAE killed 26 unarmed cadets at a military academy in Tripoli.