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Algérie/Burkina – Lutte contre le terrorisme: l’Algérie disponible à accompagner le Burkina Faso

14/09/2020 -L’ambassadeur de la République du Burkina-Faso, Oumarou Sadou, a souligné, dimanche à Alger, avoir reçu des assurances de la part du président de la République, M. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, sur la « disponibilité » de l’Algérie à « accompagner » son pays dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Continuer à lire … « Algérie/Burkina – Lutte contre le terrorisme: l’Algérie disponible à accompagner le Burkina Faso »

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Algerian Army Rejects Constitutional Amendment on Foreign Military Operations

14/09/2020 – The Algerian army rejected the constitutional amendment, to be submitted for a referendum in two months, that would allow the military establishment to participate in operations outside the country to restore peace.

The army command suggested replacing the term “restoring peace” with “peacekeeping,” which observers interpreted as the military leadership’s rejection to involve the army in possible battles on foreign territories. Continuer à lire … « Algerian Army Rejects Constitutional Amendment on Foreign Military Operations »

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Niger – Sécurité : La situation de protection reste précaire dans 4 régions (rapport)

14/09/2020 – « La situation de protection [des populations] dans les régions de Diffa, Tillabéri, Tahoua et Maradi reste précaire avec un activisme des groupes armés non-étatiques ». C’est ce qui ressort d’un rapport de présentation analytique de protection UNHCR qui a prévalu dans 4 régions du Niger. Continuer à lire … « Niger – Sécurité : La situation de protection reste précaire dans 4 régions (rapport) »

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Libya – Arrest of 13 members of ‘Al-kani’ militia gang

By Rabia Golden

14/09/2020 – The Libyan Army announced on Saturday, the arrest of a villainous gang, consisting of 13 members of ‘Al kani’ militia, in the city of Tarhuna in the western region.

The Media Center for the Volcano of Rage Operation stated that the forces tasked with the protection and security of the Costal Road (Treeq Al-Sahali), arrested the gang members while they attempted to hide in the Hawatim area of Tarhuna.

The Media Center added that the gang consisted of criminal elements who trawled the Al-Sahali Road, engaging in kidnappings and murder of passers-by, just as was their practice during the aggression on Tripoli.

The Libya Observer

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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After UAE and Bahrain deals, Trump said aiming for direct Israel-Morocco flights

By TOI staff

14/09/2020 – Rabat and Jerusalem have no formal relations, but Israeli tourists are allowed into the country, which is home to the largest Jewish community in the Arab world

US President Donald Trump is looking toward following up the landmark normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with the introduction of direct flights between Israel and Morocco, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.

Morocco is considered an ally of the United States, and has long maintained informal but close intelligence ties with Israel. Continuer à lire … « After UAE and Bahrain deals, Trump said aiming for direct Israel-Morocco flights »

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Morocco, Israel set to establish direct flights: Report

Ismaeel Naar, Al Arabiya English

14/09/2020 – Israel and Morocco are set to announce direct flights as part of the next step in US efforts to facilitate normalization efforts between Israel and Arab states, according to Israeli Channel 12.

The Channel 12 report also said Israel is currently in talks with Sudan regarding plans to send a humanitarian aid plane carrying much-needed assistance amid major flash floods.

The report comes a day after Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

Israel has so far normalized ties with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain. The country still does not have formal ties with either Morocco or Sudan.

Bahrain and the UAE will formally sign their peace agreements with Israel at a signing ceremony on September 15 at the White House.

Al-Arabiya

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

 

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Traffic of Phosphate, Derivatives Increases by 13.1% in Moroccan Ports

29/08/2020 – The traffic of phosphate and its derivatives in Moroccan ports reached a volume of 21.1 million tons at the end of July 2020. The figure represents an increase of 13.1% compared to the same period in 2019.

The National Agency for Ports (ANP) announced the results in a statement earlier this week.

The increase is mainly due to a rise in fertilizers exports, by 39.8%, as well as a growth in sulfur (15.1%) and ammonia (29%) imports. Continuer à lire … « Traffic of Phosphate, Derivatives Increases by 13.1% in Moroccan Ports »

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Mali : l’imam Dicko met en garde la junte

29/08/2020 – L’imam Mahmoud Dicko, figure principale des manifestations politiques qui ont entraîné le départ du président Ibrahim Boubacar Keita à l’issue d’un coup de force survenu le 18 août 2020, a mis en garde les responsables de la junte qui ont pris le pouvoir ce vendredi 28 août lors d’un rassemblement organisé pour rendre hommage aux victimes de la répression policière. Le religieux les a pressés de tenir leur promesse de changement et les a avertis qu’ils n’avaient pas carte blanche. Continuer à lire … « Mali : l’imam Dicko met en garde la junte »

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Libya : PC suspends Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha over recent protests

29/08/2020 – Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha has been suspended and ordered to appear for administrative investigation within three days from the date of the suspension, the PC said in a statement on Friday.

The PC suspended Bashagha on Friday on the backdrop of his handling of the demonstrations that took place in the capital Tripoli and some other cities during the past week, and “his failure to protect protesters from a violent crackdown.” Continuer à lire … « Libya : PC suspends Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha over recent protests »

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Mali: ECOWAS gives junta 12 months to restore democracy

AUTHORITY of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has told the new military junta in the Republic of Mali that it has just one year to return the country to civilian rule.

This was one of the conditions given by the ECOWAS authority at the end of its second virtual extraordinary session on the socio-political situation in Mali. Continuer à lire … « Mali: ECOWAS gives junta 12 months to restore democracy »

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Mali : Divisions emerge between Mali junta, opposition leaders

 

29/08/2020 – Tensions mounted on Saturday between Mali’s military junta and the country’s longtime political opposition after the coup leaders failed to invite prominent opposition figures to a planned forum on the country’s political future.

The meeting ultimately was cancelled and the junta leadership instead met with imam Mahmoud Dicko, an opposition leader who on Friday urged the junta to speed up the transition to civilian rule so the West African country could avoid further crushing financial sanctions. Continuer à lire … « Mali : Divisions emerge between Mali junta, opposition leaders »

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Niger : prorogation de l’état d’urgence de trois mois dans deux départements après l’attentat meurtrier de Kouré

28/08/2020 – Le gouvernement nigérien vient de décider une prorogation de l’état d’urgence pour trois mois, à compter du 28 août prochain, dans les départements de Baleyara et de Kollo, région de Tillabéry, instauré suite à l’attentat meurtrier perpétré le 9 août dernier dans la zone de Kouré, a annoncé mercredi un communiqué officiel à Niamey.Pour rappel, le dimanche 9 août dernier, aux environs de midi, six humanitaires français et deux citoyens nigériens (un guide et un chauffeur) ont été tués par des individus armés dans la zone de Kouré, située à environ 70km au sud-est de Niamey, dans le département de Kollo, région de Tillabéry, dont relève la réserve de Kouré. Continuer à lire … « Niger : prorogation de l’état d’urgence de trois mois dans deux départements après l’attentat meurtrier de Kouré »

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Le Niger se dote d’une autorité de régulation nucléaire en prélude à son programme électronucléaire

 28/08/2020 – Le gouvernement nigérien a adopté mercredi en conseil des ministres un projet de loi sur la création d’une Autorité de Régulation et de Sûreté nucléaires (ARSN), dans la perspective de la mise en oeuvre du programme électronucléaire national du pays, a-t-on appris jeudi de source officielle à Niamey. Continuer à lire … « Le Niger se dote d’une autorité de régulation nucléaire en prélude à son programme électronucléaire »

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Libya/US : Al-Sarraj discusses security arrangements with US Jones Group International

  Written By: Abdulkader Assad

28/08/2020 – The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj discusses with the US-based security firm « Jones Group International » shared visions for building the capabilities of Libyan security personnel, and fighting extremism and terrorism. Continuer à lire … « Libya/US : Al-Sarraj discusses security arrangements with US Jones Group International »

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Turkish DefMin, Libyan minister meet in Ankara

28/08/2020 – Turkish defense minister and Libya’s interior minister discussed the latest situation in Libya in the capital Ankara, the National Defense Ministry said Friday.

Hulusi Akar welcomed Fathi Bashagha with military honors, said a written statement by the ministry. Continuer à lire … « Turkish DefMin, Libyan minister meet in Ankara »

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Turkey blocks NATO over UN arms embargo against Libya

28/08/2020 – Turkey is blocking the Western military alliance NATO in the enforcement of an arms embargo against Libya decided by the UN. The Erdoğan regime prevents NATO support for Operation Sea-Guardian to monitor the embargo. Continuer à lire … « Turkey blocks NATO over UN arms embargo against Libya »

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Mali’s New Leader Thanks Morocco for Crisis Resolution Efforts

26/08/2020 – The leader of the new entity running post-coup Mali has thanked King Mohammed VI for Morocco’s active support towards resolving the country’s political crisis. 

A coup unfolded in Mali on August 18, forcing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign. After the president stepped down, the military personnel who staged the coup announced the establishment of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) as the entity in charge of leading Mali. Continuer à lire … « Mali’s New Leader Thanks Morocco for Crisis Resolution Efforts »

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Algerian Minister: Algeria Open to Dialogue With Morocco

26/08/2020 –  Communication Minister and Spokesperson of Algeria’s government Ammar Belhimer has said Morocco is a “neighbor and brother country,” recalling the historic and cultural depth that the two countries share.

When asked about the Morocco-Algeria crisis in an interview with Russia’s state-sponsored Sputnik News, Belhimer said the two countries share a mutual goal: A unified Maghreb. Continuer à lire … « Algerian Minister: Algeria Open to Dialogue With Morocco »

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Mali Lithium operations unaffected by political instability in Mali

26/08/2020 – Mali Lithium Limited is continuing normal operations with the ongoing political instability in the West African country having no adverse impact.

It appears to be business as usual for the mining sector in Mali after a military coup ousted the President last week with no reported impact on operations or security at operating mines. Continuer à lire … « Mali Lithium operations unaffected by political instability in Mali »

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UAE confirms its desire for stability in Mali and Sahel region

26/08/2020 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, has said it is closely following the situation in the Republic of Mali.Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, has contacted a number of African organisations, stressing the UAE’s commitment to ensuring stability throughout the Sahel region. Continuer à lire … « UAE confirms its desire for stability in Mali and Sahel region »

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Libyan-Italian agreement for establishment of committee for cooperation on military medicine

Written by: RabiaGolden

26/08/2020 – The Ministry of Defense of the Government of National Accord (GNA), along with Italian representatives, agreed to establish a joint committee from both countries to discuss methods of activating joint bilateral cooperation in the field of military medicine. Continuer à lire … « Libyan-Italian agreement for establishment of committee for cooperation on military medicine »

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Libya, Turkey, Qatar agree to boost Libyan army

26/08/2020 – Libya has agreed with Turkey and Qatar to sign a three-way agreement for rendering military cooperation to the Libyan army, a senior Libyan official has announced following a quick visit by the Turkish and Qatari top soldiers to Tripoli.

The announcement came from Libya’s Deputy Defense Minister Salah Al-Namroush on Aug. 17 in a statement following tripartite talks with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah in Tripoli. Continuer à lire … « Libya, Turkey, Qatar agree to boost Libyan army »

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​​​​​​​Turkish mercenaries’ confessions: Fighting in Libya in exchange for Turkish promises to them

26/08/2020 – According to the latest statistics of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has sent more than 18,000 Syrian mercenaries to Libya, of whom about 7,000 returned to Syria, in addition to about 10,000 from other nationalities.

Thousands of mercenaries join the groups affiliated with the government of National Accord in Tripoli, which is currently planning to seize the strategic city of Sirte, amid a state of international anticipation that subsided with the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement in Libya on Friday. Continuer à lire … « ​​​​​​​Turkish mercenaries’ confessions: Fighting in Libya in exchange for Turkish promises to them »

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Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Moroccan F-16s

26/08/2020 – Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract from the United States Department of Defence for F-16 fighters for Taiwan and Morocco, which will receive 66 and 24 respectively under the contract.

On 14 August the Department of Defence announced that Lockheed Martin had been awarded a contract for new production of F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft. “The total value for the initial delivery order is $4 941 105 246 and will be awarded on the same date. The initial delivery order is for 90 aircraft, including both the pre-priced recurring core configuration costs at $2 862 797 674 and the engineering change proposal/undefinitized contract action for the non-recurring costs not-to-exceed $2 078 307 572 obligated at approximately $1 018 370 710,” the contract announcement read. Continuer à lire … « Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Moroccan F-16s »

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USA – Apogee-SSU to continue training west African pilots #Chad #Niger

26/08/2020 – US company Apogee-SSU is training Cessna 208B Caravan crews of the Cameroonian, Nigerien and Chadian air forces under a United States government contract.

The US Department of State recently renewed the company’s training contract, Africa Intelligence reports, and Apogee-SSU said on its website it has openings in Africa performing services for the Department of State (DOS), Bureau of African Affairs. This requirement is for the full-time services of three Technical Advisors to train selected aviation personnel in Cameroon, Chad and Niger on Cessna 208B aircraft and respective mission equipment, such as Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and/or Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), so that partner nation aviation personnel are self-sufficient in the operations and maintenance tasks of Caravan aircraft. Continuer à lire … « USA – Apogee-SSU to continue training west African pilots #Chad #Niger »

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More than 100 migrants arrested in Niger near Algerian border

26/08/2020 – Niger’s security forces have arrested more than 100 people in the Sahara desert who were trying to illegally cross the country’s northern border into neighbouring Algeria, security sources said Monday. Continuer à lire … « More than 100 migrants arrested in Niger near Algerian border »

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ISS: Chad’s illegal drug trade contributes to regional insecurity

Written by ISSAfrica
25/08/2020 – On 24 July, a court in Chad sentenced ten people including high-ranking security and intelligence officials as part of a transnational tramadol trafficking cabal. Tramadol is a synthetic opiate and anti-inflammatory medication.

Although not a first, this case is unprecedented in its scope and involvement of senior officials. In January 2020, a shipment of 246 boxes (about 47kg) of tramadol, worth XAF12.3 billion (around €18.8 million), coming from India via Douala, Cameroon, and bound for Libya, was seized by Chadian customs.

Chad is positioned south of Libya, on the eastern edge of the Sahel and Lake Chad, west of Sudan and north of the Central African Republic (CAR). There’s latent conflict in the CAR, Boko Haram in the west, intensifying community conflicts on the border with Sudan and various armed gangs, and a volatile situation in southern Libya.

This complexly insecure environment makes it a lucrative market for contraband. Apart from tramadol, other smuggling activities involve arms, other types of drugs (particularly hashish), stolen vehicles and humans.

Even with prominent members of the network behind bars, fighting drug trafficking will be long and arduous.

Considering possible connections between trafficking and insecurity in the country and the neighbourhood, trafficking must be curbed to prevent entrepreneurs of violence and insecurity (armed gangs, highway robbers, highway criminals and violent extremist groups) in Chad from creating destabilising interdependencies.

With one of the trafficking routes into Chad, the Cotonou road, now under surveillance, traffickers have changed routes and are increasing the scale of their operations. The corridor from northern Chad to Libya also sees other types of insecurity and illicit activities including armed gangs, organised crime and smuggling, despite a state security presence. This could become an alternative route for trafficking into and from Chad. It’s a huge desert area that’s impossible to completely control and is well known to traffickers.

Due to its proximity to Libya, northern Chad has suffered the full impact of the Libyan conflict for almost a decade. The conflict in Libya has made it a corridor for various types of trafficking. This area also often escapes effective state control.

Even before the Libyan civil war, northern Chad had been the object of Chad-Libyan contestation (1978-1987). The discovery of gold deposits there has accentuated conflict and insecurity dynamics by attracting actors from different backgrounds, including armed gangs eager to profit from the illicit exploitation and trafficking of this resource.

In other contexts, entrepreneurs of insecurity and violence take advantage of illicit activities to strengthen logistical, operational and financial bases and enhance their resilience to state responses. In 2017, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also warned of the extent of tramadol trafficking in the Sahel and its use by non-state armed groups.

In July 2019, two senior officials of Chad’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were arrested for tramadol trafficking from India via Cotonou, Benin. Beninese authorities apprehended the escort with the cargo. The Chadian senior officials involved tried to have him released on the pretext that the cargo was destined for the Chadian national army. The senior officials were tried and imprisoned in Chad and the escort in Benin.

Chad is cited as one of the most corrupt countries in Africa.

A corollary to trafficking is often corruption of administrative authorities. Indeed the huge sums of money involved deepen mistrust in Chad, which is cited as one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. The tramadol trial has set a precedent, but much remains to be done to clean up the system once and for all.

It is important to continue the work to restore the integrity of the security and intelligence environment, from agents using their positions to organise the trafficking, to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to better track down and try traffickers.

The National Agency for Financial Investigation (ANIF) and the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC) should also be asked to track systems through which money gained from the illicit drug trade is being laundered in Chad’s economy and regionally. Asset forfeiture of those involved in trafficking could be effective in this regard.

Finally, the international scope of trafficking raises the need for transnational cooperation involving not only Chad’s neighbours (Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Sudan and the CAR), but also the countries that serve as corridors for this trafficking, particularly Benin, to curb it. An intergovernmental institution such as Interpol, but also existing regional mechanisms such as ANIF and GABAC, should be reinforced to facilitate this cooperation.

Written by Remadji Hoinathy, Senior Researcher, ISS Regional Office for West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. Republished with permission from ISS Africa. The original article can be found here.

 
Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)
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Opération Barkhane: Actualités des opérations

22/08/2020 – La force Barkhane poursuit son effort dans le Liptako-Gourma et concentre son action dans la lutte contre les groupes armés terroristes dans la région « des trois frontières ». L’opération Barkhane, demandée par les Maliens et autorisée par le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, se poursuit. Les militaires français en lien avec les partenaires européens et sahéliens, continuent d’assurer leur mission avec professionnalisme, au bénéfice de la sécurité de tous. Continuer à lire … « Opération Barkhane: Actualités des opérations »

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Mali/Bénin – Le président béninois plaide pour l’assouplissement des sanctions économiques contre le Mali

22/08/2020 – Le président béninois Patrice Talon a plaidé jeudi pour un assouplissement des sanctions économiques contre le Mali au sommet extraordinaire des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) l consacré à la crise politique au Mali, a annoncé le gouvernement béninois dans un commuiqué parvenu vendredi à Xinhua à Cotonou. Continuer à lire … « Mali/Bénin – Le président béninois plaide pour l’assouplissement des sanctions économiques contre le Mali »

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Mali: 4 soldats maliens tués par un engin explosif dans le centre du pays

22/08/2020 – Quatre soldats maliens ont été tués et un grièvement blessé samedi par un engin explosif au passage de leur véhicule dans le centre du Mali, ont indiqué des sources concordantes.

« Un véhicule des militaires du Garsi, le Groupe d’action rapide de surveillance et d’intervention, a sauté ce samedi sur un engin explosif », dans la région de Koro, proche de la frontière avec le Burkina Faso, « il y a 4 morts et un blessé grave », a déclaré à l’AFP une source militaire.

AFP

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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Turkey, Qatar, Libya’s GNA Agree to Establish Turkish Naval Base in Misrata – Reports

22/08/2020 – Turkey, Qatar, and Libya’s Government of National Accord signed an agreement to establish a Turkish naval base in the Libyan city of Misrata, the Al-Arabiya TV channel reported citing sources.

Turkish and Qatari defence ministers Hulusi Akar and Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah arrived in Tripoli on Monday. The ministers held meetings with the leaders of the Government, Libya’s High Council of State, as well as the Government’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

According to Al Arabiya’s sources, the agreement envisions « the creation of a trilateral military coordination centre in the city of Misrata, as well as the creation of training centres and headquarters for GNA militants in Doha ».

In July, Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, Hulusi Akar, and Fathi Bashagha held negotiations on the situation in Libya in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Previously, Turkey provided military support to the Government of National Accord after Ankara and Tripoli signed a military cooperation pact. In response, the Libyan National Army leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar vowed to oppose the Turkish forces and accused Ankara of meddling in Libyan internal affairs.

As of today, Libya is divided between two main centres of power — an elected parliament in the country’s east, supported by the Libyan National Army, and the UN-backed Government of National Accord in the west, headed by Fayez Sarraj.

BY CAIRO SPUTNIK

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Photo : © REUTERS / AYMAN AL-SAHILI

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Despite the Libyan-Libyan consensus, Turkish government continues recruitment operations

22/08/2020 – Reliable sources have told the Syrian Observatory that the Turkish government continues recruitment operations, as a new batch of mercenaries has arrived in camps in Turkey to undergo military training courses and drills. These mercenaries have been recently recruited in areas in Aleppo and Idlib. However, the next destination has yet to be known whether they will be sent to Libya or another country. It is worth noting that such recruitment operations are still continuing, despite the recent Libyan-Libyan consensus. Continuer à lire … « Despite the Libyan-Libyan consensus, Turkish government continues recruitment operations »

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Report: Mossad chief met Sudanese official (Arutz Sheva)

Elad Benari, Canada

22/08/2020- Mossad chief Yossi Cohen met with a senior Sudanese official in a meeting that was organized and hosted by the United Arab Emirates, the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper reported on Friday. Continuer à lire … « Report: Mossad chief met Sudanese official (Arutz Sheva) »

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Germany, France, Britain to keep troops in Mali despite coup

German Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer said Sahel terrorism remained a « great threat. » Her French coounterpart called Mali part of a « security challenge » across Sahel Africa, impinging to ‘the whole of Europe. » Continuer à lire … « Germany, France, Britain to keep troops in Mali despite coup »

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Niger/Libye: Frontière nigéro – libyenne : naissance hier d’un groupe politico-militaire (AÏR Info)

21/08/2020 – Selon une vidéo authentique parvenue à la rédaction de Aïr Info, un mouvement politico militaire dénommé Union des Forces Patriotiques pour la Refondation- UFPR vient de voir le jour.
Le baptême de ce nouveau front s’est fait à travers un dur réquisitoire de la gouvernance actuelle en cours au Niger.
Nous ignorons pour l’instant le chef-fondateur et le programme de ce mouvement.

AÏR INFO

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) 

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‘Local politics, porous borders benefit Boko Haram’

21/08/2020 – While many extremist terror groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS/Daesh have largely faded from the world scene, their African counterpart, Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. Continuer à lire … « ‘Local politics, porous borders benefit Boko Haram’ »

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El-Sisi calls on army to be prepared amid Libya crisis

21/08/2020 – CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has directed the army to maintain the highest levels of preparedness and combat readiness to protect Egypt’s national security.

During a meeting with various senior military personnel, the president directed them to continue to maintain combat readiness to carry out any tasks entrusted to them, in light of the current challenges in the region. Continuer à lire … « El-Sisi calls on army to be prepared amid Libya crisis »

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Libyan government orders immediate cease-fire

21/08/2020 – Libyan government statement on Friday ordered an immediate cease-fire for all military forces and combat operations in the war-torn country.

“Cease-fire requires demilitarization of the Sirte and Jufra regions with security arrangements,” the statement said. Continuer à lire … « Libyan government orders immediate cease-fire »

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Qatar’s Defense Minister says discussions in Libya centered on unity, political solution

21/08/2020 – The Qatari Defense Minister Khaled Al Attiyah said the tripartite meetings (Libya, Qatar and Turkey) in Tripoli tackled discussions on unity of Libya and political solutions to its crisis, saying Doha believes political solutions are the only way out of the conflict, according to statements he made to Al Jazeera Wednesday. Continuer à lire … « Qatar’s Defense Minister says discussions in Libya centered on unity, political solution »

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Le coup d’Etat au Mali menace la stabilité du G5 Sahel, selon le président burkinabè

21/08/2020 – Le coup d’Etat militaire perpétré mardi menace la stabilité de l’espace G5 Sahel, a déclaré jeudi le président burkinabè Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, qui a participé par visioconférence à un sommet extraordinaire de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) consacré à la situation. »Nous allons examiner les voies et moyens pour un retour rapide à l’ordre constitutionnel dans ce pays », a-t-il écrit, jugeant que cette « grave crise », à l’image du coup d’Etat de 2012, est « porteuse de sérieux risques sur la stabilité du Mali et sur la sécurité déjà fragile dans l’espace G5 Sahel ». Continuer à lire … « Le coup d’Etat au Mali menace la stabilité du G5 Sahel, selon le président burkinabè »

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Detained Malian President May Be Deported to Senegal, Military Source Says

21/08/2020 –  The new Malian authorities, who came to power after the recent coup, are discussing with Senegal the possible deportation of detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to the country, a Malian military source said.

“There are talks with Senegal on his [Keita’s] deportation [to Senegal]”, the source said late Thursday.

Earlier in the day, spokesman for the National Committee for the Salvation of the People Colonel Major Ismael Wague said that a transition council would be set up in Mali. The council would be headed by « a transition president », who can be either a military officer or a civilian, he added.

The National Committee for the Salvation of the People was established by the rebel military leaders following the coup earlier this week as Mali’s new governing body.

The coup began on Tuesday at the Kati military base near the Malian capital of Bamako. The rebels detained Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and some other senior government officials. Later, Keita announced his resignation and dissolution of the parliament.

The Economic Community of West African States revealed on Thursday plans to send a high-ranking delegation to Mali to help restore constitutional order in the country. ECOWAS wants to seek the reinstatement of Keita as the Malian president.

SPUTNIK NEWS NOUAKCHOTT

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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Mali : la vente de la mine d’or Sadiola retardée par le coup d’Etat

21/08/2020 – Allied Gold devra attendre pour entrer en possession de la mine d’or malienne de Sadiola. Iamgold, l’actuel propriétaire, a indiqué que la situation politique actuelle retarde la conclusion de l’accord de vente, car « la signature des autorités gouvernementales en place » est indispensable.

Au Mali, les conséquences du coup d’État perpétré mardi sont déjà visibles dans l’industrie minière. La compagnie minière Iamgold craint en effet que la situation politique actuelle retarde la conclusion de la vente de sa mine d’or Sadiola à la junior minière Allied Gold Corporation. Continuer à lire … « Mali : la vente de la mine d’or Sadiola retardée par le coup d’Etat »

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Mali : la CEDEAO réaménage ses sanctions et brandit la menace d’une intervention militaire

Les denrées de première nécessité, les médicaments, le carburant, et l’électricité ne sont plus concernés par les sanctions contre le Mali. Ciblant toutefois « les militaires putschistes » et leurs collaborateurs, les chefs d’Etat ont appelé à la montée en puissance de la Force en attente de la CEDEAO.

21/08/2020 – La Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) continue de maintenir la pression et la fermeté sur la junte militaire au pouvoir au Mali depuis la chute du président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), le 18 août.

Condamnant ce qu’elle qualifie de « pressions ainsi que les manipulations effectuées par les militaires putschistes sur le président IBK pour le contraindre à annoncer une démission contre son gré », l’organisation a, à l’issue d’un sommet extraordinaire tenu ce jeudi sur la situation au Mali, réaménagé la batterie de sanctions déjà annoncées contre le pays. Continuer à lire … « Mali : la CEDEAO réaménage ses sanctions et brandit la menace d’une intervention militaire »

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Canada should rethink aid to Mali after two coups, analysts say

The Globe and Mail

20/08/2020 – After two military coups in Mali in the past eight years, Canada and other key donors are being urged to reconsider their massive financial and security support for Mali’s dysfunctional government.

Soldiers seized power in the West African country on Tuesday for the second time since 2012, capitalizing on mass protests and rising discontent with a government that has failed to end years of violent insurgencies and corruption. The mutinying soldiers were greeted with jubilation in the streets of Mali’s capital, Bamako, in a clear sign that the government had lost the support of the population, despite the huge flows of international aid.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced his resignation within hours of his arrest by the rebel soldiers. The military announced plans to set up a civilian transitional government and hold elections, but the African Union decided on Wednesday to suspend Mali, while West African countries closed their land and air borders with Mali and threatened to impose sanctions on it.

Canada is one of Mali’s biggest foreign supporters, providing a total of about $1.6-billion in development aid over the past 20 years, along with hundreds of military peacekeepers and police trainers. Other countries, including France, have sent thousands of soldiers and military vehicles to fight Islamist radicals.

The aid, however, has failed to end the violent conflict that has devastated the country. A report this month by United Nations’ experts found that senior army and intelligence officials in Mali are deliberately obstructing a 2015 peace agreement, allowing the violence to continue.

Over the past year alone, Canada provided about $140-million in development aid to Mali, deployed troops and police officers to the country, spent millions of dollars on peace and stabilization programs and wrapped up a 12-month peacekeeping mission in northern Mali that included helicopters and hundreds of military personnel. Canadian mining companies have also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Mali.

About 10 Canadian military officers are currently stationed at the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in Bamako, and there are no plans to evacuate them, according to Captain Gregory Cutten, a public-affairs officer for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The international aid has been criticized as excessively focused on military security, neglecting the crucial issues of governance that determine whether Mali’s political leaders can maintain public support.

“If you can’t get the governance right, you are really frittering away the money you are sending there,” said Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Inside the Canadian government, there are signs that Ottawa agrees with the criticism. A Canadian official said the international community – including Canada – needs to spend more on governance in Mali rather than just counterinsurgency. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the official because they were not authorized to speak publicly on Mali.

The official agreed that the massive aid has helped Mali’s government to avoid demands for reform. The UN mission in Mali must do a better job of helping the government address popular grievances on issues such as policing, electricity, water and schools, the official said.

Prof. Hampson said the immediate challenge for countries such as Canada will be to hold the coup leaders to their pledge to provide free and fair elections. But in the longer term, he said, countries including Canada should be prepared to spend more on boosting Mali’s capacity to govern and meet the needs of its citizens.

“If you’re going to be engaged, you better be prepared to stay there for the long haul and not simply be doing a quick one-off because you are running for a seat on the United Nations Security Council,” Prof. Hampson told The Globe.

“If you can’t get the governance right, you are really frittering away the money you are sending there,” said Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Inside the Canadian government, there are signs that Ottawa agrees with the criticism. A Canadian official said the international community – including Canada – needs to spend more on governance in Mali rather than just counterinsurgency. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the official because they were not authorized to speak publicly on Mali.

The official agreed that the massive aid has helped Mali’s government to avoid demands for reform. The UN mission in Mali must do a better job of helping the government address popular grievances on issues such as policing, electricity, water and schools, the official said.

Prof. Hampson said the immediate challenge for countries such as Canada will be to hold the coup leaders to their pledge to provide free and fair elections. But in the longer term, he said, countries including Canada should be prepared to spend more on boosting Mali’s capacity to govern and meet the needs of its citizens.

“If you’re going to be engaged, you better be prepared to stay there for the long haul and not simply be doing a quick one-off because you are running for a seat on the United Nations Security Council,” Prof. Hampson told The Globe.

“It does require perhaps a more serious international effort and not just by the French who have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting.”

He said there is a tendency to see Mali “as a bit of a sinkhole” because of the billions already spent by Western countries. “It’s a long-term problem and you’re going to have lots of failure but at the end of the day you have to ask the question: ‘What is the alternative?‘ ” he said.

“The alternative – to pull back and walk away – would not just mean destabilization in Mali and continuation of problems in the north, where you have both separatist elements and Islamic jihadists. It’s the contagion that is already spreading to other parts of West Africa.”

Chris Roberts, a political scientist at the University of Calgary who specializes in Africa and peacekeeping issues, said the heavy flow of foreign aid has allowed Mali’s government to stall the political reforms and accountability measures that it badly needs.

“As most Malians on the street know, the international community is part of Mali’s fundamental political crisis: It seems to support an entrenched political class,” Mr. Roberts told The Globe.

In the years before the 2012 coup, and again in the years before the latest coup, Canada significantly expanded its aid for Mali, he said.

“Canada ramped up its bilateral aid to Mali as political malaise, corruption and security dynamics got worse,” he said.

“We ignored the direct and indirect effects of development and security assistance. Mali’s political elites face no incentives to change, to improve institutions, elections and accountability, when they know the international community will keep the financial flows coming. Until we try harder to understand how high levels of aid foster an unaccountable political system, we are part of the problem.”

Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the international community has been ignoring the political realities in Mali.

The country’s elite have reverted to patronage politics, neglecting the peace process and losing the trust of the public, he said in a commentary on Wednesday. “They have chosen to simply go through the motions,” he said.

AUTHOR : THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Photo: Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, centre, spokesman for the soldiers identifying themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, speaks during a news conference at Camp Soudiata in Kati, Mali, on Aug. 19, 2020, one day after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was forced to resign in a military coup. // Arouna Sissoko/The Associated Press

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Libyan official to meet Haftar’s speaker in Morocco

20/08/2020 – Khalid al-Mishri, head of Libya’s High State Council, has agreed to meet Aguila Saleh, speaker of the putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s self-designated Libyan parliament, in Morocco.

The meeting is part of Rabat’s efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis, al-Mishri said on Wednesday. Continuer à lire … « Libyan official to meet Haftar’s speaker in Morocco »

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Turkey set to receive $35 billion in Libya contracts

By Zülfikar Doğan

20/08/2020 – Following a maritime and military agreement signed in November, Turkey and Libya’s United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) inked another deal on August 13 that effectively opens up the oil-rich North African country’s market to Turkish contractors.

The deal, signed by Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and the GNA’s Planning Minister Al-Taher Al-Juhaimi, both resolves ongoing issues between Turkish firms and Libyan employers and paves the way for new investments and projects, inviting Turkish contracting firms to take on projects in the country. Continuer à lire … « Turkey set to receive $35 billion in Libya contracts »

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Mali: UK statement on military coup

The UK has issued a statement following a session of the UN Security Council on Mali.

Following the coup in Mali, FCO Minister James Duddridge said:

Along with our partners in the UN Security Council, the UK made clear today that it opposes the removal of Mali’s elected government by force.

I call on all parties to maintain calm, ensure full respect for human rights, and engage in constructive dialogue to ease tensions. All those detained during these tumultuous events must be released immediately.

I support the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations to encourage a resolution to this crisis. We must focus our attention on re-establishing a civilian government in Mali as soon as possible. Only a democratically elected government can meet the needs and aspirations of the Malian people, including by delivering progress on the Mali peace process.

GOV.UK

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Implications of UAE-Israeli peace

The impact of UAE-Israeli normalisation could extend far beyond the Palestinian issue to touch all the region’s crises, recasting regional power balances, writes Khaled Hanafi Ali.

By Khaled Hanafi Ali

19/08/2020 – The repercussions of the announced UAE-Israeli peace agreement will ricochet throughout all the current crises in the Middle East, not least the Libyan conflict. The impacts, moreover, could be quite pronounced given the possibility that normalisation could lead to explicit forms of coordination in the handling of crises in which it has been previously difficult to untangle the threads of influence, whether from Turkey, Iran or other parties. 

Despite the many reports on an Israeli role in the Libyan crisis, their substance remains uncorroborated, officially refuted and sometimes attributable to the disputants’ mutual smear campaigns. However, an attempt to identify the areas of convergence between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi on the Libyan crisis and its geopolitical significance in the MENA region could help form a picture of the potential effects of that historic agreement, the mere timing of which has implications that extend well beyond UAE-Israeli bilateral relations and the Palestinian cause to the whole intricate web of regional power balances. 

MINIMISING TURKISH INFLUENCE: As we know, Abu Dhabi supports the Cyrenaica-based Libyan National Army (LNA) coalitions that have encountered major setbacks following Turkish military intervention in the battle of Tripoli. It was the heavy weaponry and mercenaries that Turkey transferred to Libya that shifted the military balances on the ground in favour of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). 

To Tel Aviv, Turkish expansion into Libya presents a threat in the framework of that crisis’s relationship with the conflict over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish-Libyan axis could obstruct the Israeli project to deliver natural gas to Europe via Cyprus and Greece by means of the EastMed pipeline, the accord for which was signed by the leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel in January 2020. That project conflicts with areas covered by the agreement signed between Ankara and the GNA in November 2019 which basically aimed to obstruct any energy projects in the region that exclude Turkey.

Still, Israel has maintained a certain distance in its opposition to Turkish behaviour. The two countries have close economic relations as well as overlapping security concerns in Syria despite flareups of tensions between them such as that which occurred when Israeli forces killed Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010. Israel did not add its name to the statement signed by France, Egypt, the UAE and Greece in May 2020, protesting Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean. But it did declare its full support for Greece on 12 August 2020 in response to drilling activities that Turkey had apparently launched in response to an Egyptian-Greek maritime border agreement signed on 6 August. It would appear, therefore, that Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi agree on the need to curtail Turkish expansionism from Libya to the Eastern Mediterranean, even if the two broach the matter from different premises. 

CONFRONTING ISLAMIST MILITANTS: Israel and the UAE may also converge on the fight against Islamist radicals in Libya. The UAE is deeply concerned by the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists into the GNA, because of the threat they pose to the UAE’s allies in eastern Libya and to regional allies such as Egypt which has had to tighten the defences of its western border due to the heightened possibilities of terrorist infiltration from Libya. Israel, for its part, has been wary of all manifestations of the Islamist ascendancy in the region since 2011. This concern has extended to the growth of radical Islamism in Libya because of how it interweaves with Hamas in Gaza and how it feeds anti-Israeli sentiment in general and in North Africa in particular. Israel would have taken stock of the fact that the first reaction to the UAE-Israeli agreement came from Mohamed Al-Emari, a member of the GNA Presidency Council who condemned it as “an unsurprising betrayal from the UAE.” The Tunisian Ennahda movement called it a “flagrant attack” on Palestinian rights. The Turkish reaction was predictable given how Ankara has cast itself as a champion of Arab and Islamic causes espoused by its Islamist allies in the region, even though Turkey recognised Israel decades ago and sustained close and strategic relations with Tel Aviv long before the UAE. 

FIGHTING IRANIAN INFILTRATION: While Abu Dhabi has been more open to Iran during the past two years, to which testify new channels of cooperation, this has not diminished its opposition to Iranian penetration elsewhere in the region, including Libya. This conforms with Israel’s regional policy aims, as both Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi regard Tehran as the main threat to the region. 

 

True, the Iranian role in Libya appears limited. However, growing Turkish-Russian influence there could tempt Tehran to insert itself for pragmatic reasons, especially in view of its relations with Russia and Turkey in Syria and, perhaps, as a means to counter US sanctions. In addition, Libya is connected to Sub-Saharan areas such as Niger and Chad where Iran also seeks to expand its influence, whether for uranium, money laundering or other purposes.

In mid-June 2020, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif voiced his support for the Turkish-backed GNA in Tripoli and during a subsequent visit to Moscow he voiced his support for Russian-Turkish efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis. According to some reports, Iranian freighters delivered arms to the GNA in 2018 and 2019. The most recent sighting of an Iranian ship was in Misrata in April 2019. On the other hand, other reports accuse the LNA of receiving military support from the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Damascus, which is backed by Iran. 

In May 2020, Israel’s UN representative officially accused Iran of violating the arms embargo to Libya. He said that Iranian made Dehlaviyeh anti-tank missiles had come into the LNA’s possession. Iran denied this and the accusation of violating the arms embargo. Some analysts have argued that it does not stand to reason for Iran to support LNA Commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who is backed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia. However, complex, multifaceted crises such as the Libyan conflict may sometimes compel outside stakeholders to take contradictory stances to advance their particular interests. 

EXPANDING INFLUENCE INTO AFRICA: Israeli-UAE convergence in Libya could extend to coordination in the Sahel region where both countries have growing influence. The UAE is a major funder of the G5 Sahel members and it has important development and investment programmes in the region. Israel, for its part, revived diplomatic relations with Chad in January 2019 and has since strengthened military/security relations with N’Djamena in the framework of the drive it set in motion to expand its influence in Central and West Africa when Netanyahu attended the ECOWAS Summit in Liberia in 2017.

Now that UAE-Israeli normalisation has become official, this development could stimulate some other G5 Sahel nations, such as Niger and Mali, to follow Chad’s suit. One also imagines that Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv will work more closely together to counter Turkish economic and military pressure on Chad, perhaps taking advantage of the LNA’s current control of southern Libya towards this end. On the other hand, it appears that Israel is also eying Sudan as a possible avenue towards tightening relations with Chad and with the Sahel region as a whole. The fall of the Omar Al-Bashir regime in Khartoum and the consequent rise of Saudi-UAE influence in Sudan at the expense of Turkish-Qatari access had made this avenue available as never before. It is noteworthy that Netanyahu met with Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, during his visit to Uganda in February 2020. 

The lines of convergence in Libya between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv may affect regional and international interplays in ways that increase the pressures on Ankara and its Islamist allies and counter Ankara’s attempts to obstruct energy projects in the Eastern Mediterranean. Still, there may be limits on how far such coordination could go. For example, Tel Aviv, which holds other types of leverage, could try to work out an accommodation with Turkey of some sort. Simultaneously, some stakeholders in the Libyan crisis might fear the propaganda value of rapprochement with Israel in the hands of their adversaries. Libyan statements cited in the Israeli press about possible cooperation between Cyrenaica and Tel Aviv were vehemently denied by authorities in eastern Libya precisely because they could be exploited by the GNA, as was the case when, in June 2020, the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon cited the deputy prime minister of the government in eastern Libya, Abdel-Salam AlBadri, as calling for Israeli support, or when, in December 2019, the Foreign Minister of the eastern government Abdel- Hadi Al-Haweij, said that the government hoped to establish friendly relations with Israel.


The writer is a researcher at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 20 August, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Ahram Online

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

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Germany’s foreign minister discusses Libya and Lebanon on UAE visit

19/08/2020 – Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, discussed strategic ties and ways of strengthening co-operation in trade, education and food security. Continuer à lire … « Germany’s foreign minister discusses Libya and Lebanon on UAE visit »

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Turkish military to help establish regular army in Libya

19/08/2020 – The Turkish military will provide assistance to restructuring the Libyan Army into a regular army based on the model that was used in training the Azerbaijani Army. Meanwhile, forces loyal to the internationally recognized government in Tripoli captured another Russian military helicopter belonging to putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s militias near Sirte. Continuer à lire … « Turkish military to help establish regular army in Libya »

Niger : pour le ministre de la Défense, l’armée n’est pas responsable des massacres d’Inates

14/09/2020 -Au mois de mars et d’avril dernier, des massacres perpétrés dans le secteur d’Inates ont entraîné la mort d’au moins 71 personnes. Les résultats des investigations menées par la Commission nationale des droits de l’homme Nigérienne désignent comme coupable les forces armées nigériennes. Mais le ministre de la Défense, Issoufou Kamtabé, ne croit pas à ses conclusions et estime qu’il appartient à la justice d’établir la vérité des faits. Continuer à lire … « Niger : pour le ministre de la Défense, l’armée n’est pas responsable des massacres d’Inates »

Libya – Turkish Defence Minister: We totally support Libya to establish a regular army

Rabia Golden

14/09/2020 -The Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar confirmed his country’s support for all Libyans to achieve unity in their country and assist them in establishing Libya’s regular army to preserve Libyan security and sovereignty.

Akar said, during an interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency, that many countries and institutions sustained silence regarding Haftar and his militia’s attacks in Libya.

Earlier this month, Akar confirmed, during a meeting with his Libyan counterpart, that Ankara would continue its training and consultation activities in both the military and security fields in Libya.

The Libya Observer

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Image utilisée juste à titre d’illustration: Hulusi Akar