EU aid pushing Libyan refugees back to war-hit Libya
EU Observer (15.01.2020) – EU support to Libya has helped return at least 17 Libyans intercepted at sea back to their war-torn country since the start of the year, posing questions on the EU’s stated claim of being a world-leader in providing asylum.
That new figure comes amid a recent spike in tensions in Libya, and a tentative bid to reach a truce between the warring factions, who are backed separately by France and Italy.
On Tuesday (14 January), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced just under 1,000 people had been intercepted off the coast in the past two weeks by the Libyan coast guard. All were taken to Libyan detention centres.
Libya’s Haftar leaves Moscow without signing ceasefire agreement
Al Jazeera (14.01.2020) – Libya’s renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar has left Moscow without signing an agreement that would have formalised a tentative ceasefire in the war-wracked country, according to Russia’s foreign ministry.
After hours of negotiations brokered by Russia and Turkey, Haftar on Monday evening asked until Tuesday morning to look over the agreement already signed by Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
But Haftar, whose eastern-based forces launched an offensive to seize the GNA’s base of Tripoli in April, left Moscow without signing the deal drafted at the indirect talks, Russia’s foreign ministry was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on Tuesday.
Erdogan vows to defend Tripoli government after Libya talks fail
Monitor (14.01.2020) – After seven hours of indirect talks, the leaders of Libya’s rival factions left Moscow Monday without agreeing on a cease-fire deal.
Russian and Turkish officials – which back opposing sides – had led the effort but came away empty handed when Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Hifter refused to sign a draft proposal he claimed did not satisfy his conditions.
In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he would continue defending the internationally recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). Speaking before the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan said Hifter had “run away” from cease-fire deal and vowed Turkey would not refrain from teaching the eastern Libyan commander “a lesson” if his LNA forces proceed with their 10-month-long offensive on Tripoli.