News Roundup - Wed, Mar 21, 2018

News In Brief

News Roundup - Wed, Mar 21, 2018

March 21, 2018 - 22:05
Written by: HousamNajjair

The Italian Ministry of Interior stated that 6161 illegal immigrants have been landed on the Italian coasts since the beginning of 2018, and that this number is 62.06% less than those who had landed in the same period in 2017. The Italian media outlet AKI said that the Italian Interior Ministry’s statement showed that 4399 of immigrants originated from the Libyan route and that number is 71.73% less than the same period in 2017, and 66.12% less than in 2016.

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The Department of Inspections of the Ministry of Health of the Presidential Council issued a decision on Tuesday to dismiss a large number of managers of its branches in the health centers and hospitals in areas under their control. The ministry stated on its official Facebook page that only 48 branch managers will be excluded from the dismissal decision, which was issued due to the dismissed managers’ neglect and their lack of efforts to report their schedule and work process to the ministry. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Health announced on Monday the launch of a new project to improve access to primary health care in Libya.

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Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez Sarraj, discussed in a meeting with the Chairman of the Central Committee for the Elections of Municipal Councils, Salim bin Tahia, the condition of municipalities that have not yet completed their elections. Sarraj stressed during the meeting the need to adhere to the stages of completion of municipal council elections in various regions of Libya. Sarraj expressed commitment of the Presidential Council to the democratic process, adding his government is adopting an option of decentralization and giving broad powers to municipalities, according to the information office of the Presidential Council.

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French police have summoned former President Nicolas Sarkozy for questioning regarding receiving funds from the slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi during his presidential campaign. This comes in the context of police investigations into irregularities over the funding of Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007. French media quoted a judicial source as saying that French police have been investigating Sarkozy in Nanterre, a suburb of western Paris, and have been questioning him over accusations that his party had falsified accounts to conceal 50 million euros of campaign funding.

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Co-founder of London-based Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, Toby Cadman, said he will work tirelessly to raise the case of wanted killer Mahmud Al-Wirrfalli, the notorious Dignity Operation commander accused of committing war crimes, at the UN Security Council. Cadman said at a seminar on Criminal Responsibility of Military and Political Leaders on under International Law in Geneva on Tuesday that the arrest of Al-Wirrfalli is becoming more difficult as a result of the refusal by Khalifa Haftar to hand him over to the International Criminal Court. In late February, Interpol issued a circular to arrest Al-Wirrfalli, and called for handing him over to the International Criminal Court.

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The former Libyan ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Mourad Hamima, said that the financial statement received by the Belgian Finance Minister at the end of December 2012 showed the withdrawal of 300 million euros from Libyan frozen assets in Belgium without any knowledge on the legal procedures taken to withdraw them. He said the value of frozen assets in Belgium until the end of 2012 amounted to 15 billion euros, while the value in Luxembourg totaled 2.5 billion dollars, adding that a report was sent by the embassy to the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposing to form an urgent financial committee to protect these assets, but he has not received any response until the end of his mission.

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The Libyan Navy has welcomed the Italian authorities' seizure of Proactiva Open Arms ship as a result of violating rescue work at sea. The navy said in a statement on Tuesday that this action strengthens the confidence of the leaders and personnel of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard in cooperation efforts between the two countries, based on the principles of respect and common interest. Proactiva Open Arms vessel was seized by the Italian authorities after a rescue operation of more than 200 migrants off the coast of Libya. The vessel refused to the instructions issued by the Libyan Coast Guard to leave the scene of the rescue.

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The spokesman for the Municipal Council of Kufra, Abdullah Suleiman, declared that 13 local citizens were kidnapped by what he described as rebels of the Chadian and Sudanese opposition groups on the Libyan border with Sudan. Suleiman explained in a press statement that the citizens were kidnapped from their cars while on their way to the Sudan. The incident was the seventh of its kind in recent months. Sources from Kufra confirmed the city’s Sobol Salam Brigade managed to free 8 of the abductees on Tuesday night after an attack on a rebel group from Sudan’s Justice and Equity Movement on the Sudanese Libyan borders.

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