The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said, on Tuesday, that 6,848 illegal immigrants have been rescued and returned to Libya so far in 2020.
IOM said the rescued immigrants include 474 women and 364 minors, adding that 115 illegal immigrants have died and 180 gone missing on the central Mediterranean route in 2020.
“A total of 9,225 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya in 2019, while 270 people died and 992 were missing,’’ the IOM said.
The fall of the Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011 had created a state of insecurity and chaos in Libya.
This made the country, a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.
Immigrant shelters in Libya are overcrowded with immigrants, despite repeated international calls to close them.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/over-6800-illegal-immigrants-rescued-off-libyan-coast-in-2020/
Erdogan says saddened by Sarraj’s decision to step down
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that it was sad to hear about the resignation of Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).
On Wednesday evening, Sarraj announced his intention to step down and transfer his powers to a new executive authority by the end of October.
He has led the GNA since March 31, 2016.
“Sarraj’s resignation announcement saddened us.
“This week our delegation may hold talks with the Libyan side.
“(Head of Libyan National Army Khalifa) Haftar is losing, and we are looking forward to a positive development of events,” Erdogan told reporters.
The LNA is under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which cooperates with the parliament sitting in the east — in Tobruk.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Oil rises after OPEC warn members to stick to quotas
Oil prices rose for a fourth day in a row on Friday, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10 per cent, after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas and banks, including Goldman Sachs, predicted a supply deficit.
Brent crude was up 18 cents at $43.48 a barrel by 0756 GMT while United States oil futures rose 17 cents to $41.14.
Both contracts are set for their strongest weekly gains since early June after Hurricane Sally cut United States production while OPEC and its allies laid out steps to address market weakness.
Goldman Sachs predicted the market would be in a deficit of three million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter and reiterated its target for Brent to reach $49 by the end of the year and $65 by the third quarter of 2021.
Swiss bank UBS also pointed to the possibility of undersupply in the oil market, forecasting Brent would rise to $45 a barrel in the fourth quarter and $55 by mid-2021.
Meanwhile, a tropical depression in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico could become a hurricane in the next few days, potentially threatening more United States oil facilities.
The Saudi Arabian energy minister said those who gamble on oil prices would be hurt “like hell”.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers in OPEC+ are cutting 7.7 million bpd of output and the group stressed at a meeting on Thursday that it would take action against members not complying with the deal.
In the Gulf of Mexico, United States offshore drillers and exporters began a clear-up on Thursday after Hurricane Sally weakened to a depression and started rebooting idle rigs following their closure for five days.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, Africa affects EU security, defence policy – Germany
The United States disengagement from Afghanistan and Africa affects the security and defence policy of the EU, which will require the latter to improve its set of tools to deal with regional conflicts, an official said.
The German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said this in Berlin on Thursday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to lead to even greater instability in our region.
“We are dealing with destabilising actors in a number of countries – just think of Ukraine, Syria or Libya.
“The United States is withdrawing not only from Afghanistan but also from Africa.’’
“For the EU, this can only mean one thing: we need a set of tools to resolve conflicts in neighbouring countries.
“And this toolbox, ladies and gentlemen, is our common security and defence policy,’’ Maas said at the opening of the European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management in Berlin.
According to the minister, during its presidency in the EU Council, Germany wants to make the coordination of the EU countries in the field of security and defence more effective and permanent.
“To achieve sustainable peace, we need an ‘integrated approach’.
“Consequently, civil crisis management should be at the centre of European foreign and security policy,’’ Maas added.
The Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management was established in February at Germany’s initiative.
The institution will serve as a centre of knowledge for gathering and sharing national models as well as experiences.
It will also draw up concrete proposals on how European civilian crisis management can be further developed in terms of concept and practice.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
UN-recognised Libyan premier says to hand over power by end of October
Fayez al-Serraj, the prime minister of Libya’s internationally recognised government, said on Wednesday he intended to hand over power by the end of October.
Al-Serraj, the head of the UN-recognised government of National Accord (GNA), said this in a televised speech.
“I declare my sincere intention to hand over the tasks of power to the coming executive authority in a time no later than October,” al-Serraj said.
He added that the political and social situation in Libya was in a state of severe polarisation, making all attempts to reach a political settlement to prevent bloodshed difficult.
The premier acknowledged that recent UN-sponsored consultations between Libyan rivals have led to a new preparatory phase to unify state institutions and to pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Al-Serraj is the head of the Tripoli-based Presidency Council, established by a UN-brokered political agreement signed in December 2015.
The council presides over a government in Tripoli, with al-Serraj serving as prime minister.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moamer Gaddafi and has become a battleground for rival proxy forces.
The oil-rich country has two competing administrations: the GNA in Tripoli and a government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is allied with commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar has been laying siege to Tripoli in a bid to seize it from the GNA since April 2019.
In recent months, Libyans have increasingly suffered from frequent power outages and short water supplies.
In the capital Tripoli, hundreds of demonstrators on Sunday gathered outside the headquarters of the Presidential Council, denouncing lack of basic services and calling for long-delayed elections to be held in the North African country.
Also, protests in the country’s east, controlled by Haftar, prompted the government led by Abdullah al-Thanni to offer its resignation on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim