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Libyan Gazette Weekly News Digest 06/20: “Haftar’s Forces Committing War Crimes in Derna”

 

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News Digest
June 20, 2016

Your top stories from the past week:

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War on ISIS:

Grand Mufti of Libya Urges Libyans to Fight Against Haftar’s Forces Only in Benghazi(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq al-Ghariani during an appearance on his Tanasah Television channel on Sunday   In a statement made on his Tanasah Television channel on Sunday, Libya’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani discredited recent allegations and criticism that he had called on Libyan soldiers last week to attack people in Benghazi. Clarifying the remarks …

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ISIS Militants Unsuccessfully Try to Break Siege(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) ISIS militants attempted to unsuccessfully break the siege placed on them by Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces in the city center of Sirte on Sunday, in clashes that killed two soldiers and wounded nine soldiers. “Our forces confronted them (ISIS) and forced them to retreat,” spokesman Reda Issa told AFP. “Two of our men …

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GNA Condemns Attack on Haftar’s Forces by New Militia in Ajdabiya(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) A newly formed militia calling themselves the Defend Benghazi Brigades clashed with General Khalifa Haftar’s forces south of the coastal town of Ajdabiya on Saturday, sparking strong condemnation from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The Defend Benghazi Brigades is mainly composed of fighters who were pushed back earlier this year by Haftar’s Operation …

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Libya Back To The Drawing Board(Republished from Huffington Post) By Giacomo Tognini and Khairuldeen Makhzoomi Five years since Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule came to an end in the heady days of the Arab Spring, what once seemed like the beginning of a bright future for Africa’s richest country instead collapsed into chaos. Its leaders are struggling to establish a unity government that can reconcile the …

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Surrounded, ISIS Militants Are Ramping Up Suicide Attacks in Sirte(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Two Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) soldiers were wounded after an ISIS suicide car bombing exploded just before it reached a group of Libyan troops stationed inside of Sirte on Friday. Last week, Government of National Accord (GNA) forces encircled the extremist group in a 15 kilometre area in the centre of the coastal city, …

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16 Libyan Soldiers Killed in Two Separate ISIS AttacksA car bomb attack carried out by ISIS militants at the western entrance of Sirte on June 2   Sixteen Libyan troops have been killed in two separate attacks by ISIS militants in the last 24 hours as Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces are preparing for a final battle against the extremist group who are encircled in 15 kilometre area …

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Injured Soldiers Battling Against ISIS Lack Adequate Medical Aid(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) The ER at Misrata Central Hospital Receives three wounded soldiers on June 4 following heavy clashes with ISIS militants   The UN-backed Government of National Accord’s (GNA) military operation against ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte has progressed much faster than anyone anticipated. However, while Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces have made significant …

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Libyan Army Preparing for Final Battle Against ISIS(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces said on Wednesday that their forces are preparing for the final battle against ISIS militants and have encircled the terrorists in a 15 kilometer area inside of Sirte. The operations room media bureau said that Libyan troops resumed fighting with ISIS militants near the port of Sirte, which Libyan …

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Haftar’s Airstrikes in Derna Kill Father and Son(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) A Father and his son were killed in Derna on Monday after the car they were traveling in was struck by General Khalifa Haftar’s warplanes. The victims were traveling in a car Monday morning in the Al-Ardem district in southern Derna to withdraw their salaries from a bank when the airstrike took place. The bodies …

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PM Sarraj Calls For Unity of Libyans in the Fight Against ISIS(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called on all Libyans on Tuesday to rally behind forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) battling against ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte. In a televised statement Sarraj said, “we bless the victories of our sons on the front lines… in the fight to liberate …

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Grand Mufti of Libya Calls on Libyan Army to Move on to Benghazi After Defeating ISIS(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) In a Television statement on Sunday, Libya’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani called on the Libyan soldiers fighting in Sirte to not stop until they finished liberating the city from the threat of ISIS and then move on to Benghazi to attack General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. “ISIS militants are criminal and corrupt people, and their …

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Politics:

The US Throws its Weight Behind Libya’s Unity Government, Increases Aid to GNA(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) During a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, Jonathan Winer, the State Department’s Special Envoy to Libya, stressed that the United States fully supported Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and outlined how America would support the fledgling government both financially and politically. “Our strategic interest in Libya is to support a unified, accountable government …

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UN Resolution to Tackle Libya’s Weapons Situation(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Increased concern for the weapons situation in Libya led to a United Nations Security Council approved resolution on Monday allowing for measures to be taken to try to stop the smuggling of weapons into Libya. Libya, with a population of about 6 million, has 20 million weapons, a fact that alarmed UN representative to Libya …

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UN Extends Mandate of UN Mission in Libya(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Security Council votes to extend mandate of UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).   The United Nations Security Council decided on Tuesday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for six more months, until December 15. The Council also encouraged UNSMIL to re-establish a permanent presence in Libya through …

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HoR Again Fails to Convene a Meeting to Endorse GNA(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) The Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) failed to hold yet another parliamentary session on Monday due to a lack of a quorum, said HoR Member Saleh Fahima. According to Fahima, HoR Speaker and President Aguila Saleh left the HoR headquarters in Tobruk after realizing that the meeting did not reach quorum, as only 70 members …

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Human Rights

Haftar’s Forces Committing War Crimes in Derna(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Ali Al-Za’tari condemned the recent airstrikes by General Khalifa Haftar’s forces in residential areas in Derna, which have led to a number of civilian casualties, including children, in the last two weeks. “The continuing airstrikes in urban areas populated by civilians must stop,” said Za’tari, expressing his …

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Operation Dignity is Killing Libyan Children(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) In the past week, multiple accounts of civilian targeted shootings have been reported and attributed to General Khalifa Haftar’s Operation Dignity in Derna. Haftar has besieged the coastal city since May 11, less than a month after Derna’s Shura Council drove out ISIS militants from the city. The most recent attack on civilians happened on …

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Migration

EU Training Libyan Coastguards to Crackdown on Weapon and Migrant Smugglers(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) The European Union (EU) announced on Monday that it will expand its military mission in Libya by the end of July 2016. The expansion of the EU mission in Libya is expected to provide additional assistance to the Libyan coast guard and support them in their fight to stop arms smuggling into Libya. Within a …

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Business

Libyan Investment Authority Sues Goldman Sachs for Unethical Persuasion(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff) Early this week the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs claiming that the multinational banking firm used unethical bribes to persuade the LIA to put their money in investments that the LIA was not originally convinced by. Along with gifts and extravagant trips flying on business class and staying at five …

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