الأربعاء، 10 أبريل 2013

#libya News Mashup

A mashup of current news out of Libya, loosely organized by subheadings for your convenience! 
Prime Minister’s Kidnapped Aide: Mohamed al-Ghattous, aide to Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been freed after being kidnapped 9 days ago.   Kidnappers still unknown, although militias are suspected to be involved (Read more here.)
Torture Law: Torture, kidnappings, illegal detentions have been criminalized after law was passed by GNC today.  Those responsible for kidnapping and illegal detention face prison sentences of no less than seven years. Sentences of ten years for torture.  Lifetime imprisonment for torture resulting in death (Read more here.)
Gaddaf Ad-Dam: Libya says it has appealed an Egyptian court decision barring the extradition of a cousin of Muammar Gaddafi, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said yesterday, adding Tripoli was also seeking the handover of the ousted dictator’s former foreign minister elsewhere. “Libya has lodged an appeal,” Zeidan told a news conference in Tripoli. “He will be brought to Libya where he will face a fair trial” (Read more here).
Integrity Commission: The head of the Libyan Investment and Devlopment Company (LIDCO), Abdulhamid Dubaiba, has been disbarred by the Integrity Commission over his previous involvement with the Qaddafi regime.  Also disbarred is journalist and TV presenter Suleiman Dogha who had been selected by the Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, to head the Libya News TV channel (Read more here).
Abdullah Senussi: Libya has officially applied to the International Criminal Court that Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief, Abdullah Senussi is tried in Tripoli instead of at The Hague (Read more here).
Crime and No Punishment
Teacher stabbed outside school: Nassaim A-Hurriya (previously Al-Masira Al-Kubra School) a girls’ school in Benghazi on 20th Street has been closed for almost a week following a violent attack on a teacher.  Khalifa Amari a teacher at the school was beaten and stabbed last Thursday by a group of youths outside the school after he tried to stop them harassing girls leaving the premises.  He suffered multiple stab wounds and had to undergo surgery. He is still hospitalised at Benghazi Medical Centre. Fathers of the young culprits have apologized to the school and teacher in person, it is set to re-open tomorrow (Read more here).
Increased Drug Trafficking: In Libya, a dose of LSD or the painkiller tramadol costs 78 cents, and a joint of cannabis is 7.80 dollars. Drugs are affordable to the poor in a quickly developing market, “Slashing prices is a way to create demand and open up a market,” according to a Western diplomat. “We know we have a problem of alcohol and drug smuggling, especially on our southern borders,” Colonel Adel Barasi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence admits. “We are working on a surveillance strategy, training and equipping the army. God willing, the Libyan army will be able to protect our borders.” (Read more here).
Notorious ‘rogue’ SSC Guards: Gunmen who stormed Tripoli’s main Jadaida Prison on Monday evening (April 1st, 2013) and expelled the judicial police who were guarding it have threatened to release all the prisoners. The gunmen, said to be members of the Supreme Security Committee (SSC) forces, are believed to want the resignation of the Minister of Justice, Salah Al-Marghani.  The Ministry of Justice was also stormed the day before, forcing the minister and staff out of the building.  The two attacks are not known to be linked (although it is a possibility).  The attack on the prison is thought to be in response to the minster’s recent statements about the handing over of all prisons currently in the hands of any armed groups to the ministry.  Inquiries into potential cases of torture of prisoners in the prisons run by armed militias are said to be the ministry’s top priority (Read more here).
Regional Security
The United Nations Security Council’s Group of Experts has released a report after monitoring an arms embargo imposed on Libya at the start of the uprising in 2011.  Libya has since become a key source of weapons in the region where its government struggles to assert its authority.  The reports cites that weapons in Syria, Gaza, Mali and Egypt have been traced back to Libya.  The council urged the Libyan government to improve its monitoring of arms and related material that is supplied, sold or transferred to the government – with approval of the U.N. sanctions committee that oversees the arms embargo (Read more here).
Regional Cooperation and Handshake Diplomacy
Turkey: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay met President of Libya Muhammad Youssuf al Mugarief and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in Tripoli behind closed doors. Atalay, speaking to media afterwards said, “I expressed Turkey’s readiness for cooperation and contribution to the President and Prime Minister”  (Read more here).
Malta: Commercial relations between Malta and Libya to be strengthened according to Foreign Minister George Vella who spoke at a meeting with a delegation from the Matla-Libyan Chamber of Commerce. The Maltese government seeks to improve business relations by addressing issues that could arise, including those related to the issuing of visas (Read more here).
Sports; Football
60,000 seater stadium to be built in time for the 2017 African Nations Cup finals which will be hosted in Libya.  A second stadium seating 23,000 spectators, is planned for Misrata. Matches would also be held in Benghazi (Read more here).
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Western Union have launched the Libya Diaspora Marketplace (LDM). The LDM will award up to four winning businesses with matching grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 with accompanying technical assistance. USAID will be hosting an informational webinar on Thursday, April 18, 2013. More information about the webinar, the LDM, how to apply and deadlines can be found at www.diasporamarketplace.org . The program will start accepting proposals, on Friday, April 5, 2013 and close on Friday, May 31, 2013 (Read more here).
MoneyGram wishes to expand its presence in Libya says Mr. Richard Meredith, Senior Regional Director for the Middle East. MoneyGram services in Libya are offered at many major banks and branches across the country including National Commercial Bank (NCB), Al Sarafa Exchange, Al Waha Bank, Wahda Bank and Mediterranean Bank. Business in Libya has witnessed a strong full-year and fourth quarter 2012. Money transfer constant currency revenue growth went up 13 percent in the same period, while transaction growth increased by 14 percent. (read more here).
Vocational Training: Libya and the UK collaborate to map out a future of vocational training opportunities for Libyans.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the chairman of the Libyan National Board for Technical and Vocational Education (NBTVE), Mokhtar Jwaili and the executive director of TVET UK, Alan McArthur. The MoU paves the way for TVET UK, which represents British companies and colleges specialising in vocational training, to support Libyan in its ambition to develop vocational skills to build the country’s capacity. Vocational courses could fill the current training gap in Libya for adults (Read more here).
UNICEF Teacher Training Initiative: A two-year initiative to be funded by the European Union and elaborated under the leadership of Libya’s Ministry of Education has just been announced.  It will be implemented by UNICEF’s Teachers Development Centre with a special focus on providing better education for Libya’s most vulnerable children, including those affected by the country’s recent conflict. “We believe that the high number of teachers available in Libya can be a driving force to increase the quality of education, but this will happen only if they are highly motivated, appropriately trained and supported,” said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Country Director in Libya, in a press statement (Read more here).
Libya Movie Awards: The Italian Culture Institute, in partnership with the European Union and 1Libya, has announced the First edition of the ‘Libya Movie Awards’, a competition for short films by talented young Libyan film makers. The Award aims at stimulating the creation of a Libyan movie industry and building a community of film makers. In addition to helping the discovery of new talents, this important event will provide a venue for conveying ideas on relevant social issues in Libya after the revolution. Prizes for the winners consist of valuable professional tools to increase opportunities for the career. (Read more here).
Ambassador Chris Stevens Memorial Exhibition: An exhibition held in memory of the late US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, has opened in America, at California’s John Natsoloulas Centre for the Arts. The exhibition reflects Stevens’ love of Libya and its people. It includes artworks by a number of Libyan artists, including Najla Shawkat El Fitouri’s colourful depictions of Libyan women, and Musbah Kabeer’s delicately-shaded paintings, that are reminiscent of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (Read more here).
Civil Society
International Day for Mine Awareness (IDMA): Thursday April 5, 2013 marked IDMA with events, including marches, performances and exhibitions, across the country aimed to raise knowledge and understanding of land-mines and the progress towards their eradication.  Some 200 children, from the Scouts and local schools, gathered at Tripoli’s Al Gazella Square and, raising their banners and stopping the traffic, marched along the Corniche.  UNICEF’s country director, Carel De Rooy, reports that Libyans supported by mine clearance NGOs, had cleared 165,000 explosive remnants of war over the last year and a half. The Tripoli events were led by the Ministry of Education, supported by The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF and international NGOs Handicap International, The Danish Demining Group and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) (Read more here).
Multimedia Training via Libya Initiative: The Minister of Culture, Habib Mohammed Al-Amin, and the Italian Ambassador in Tripoli, Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, have launched a multimedia journalism course, the first training project of the Libya Initiative. The training is designed to enhance the professional skills of media activists who are already producing work. They will learn practical skills as well as ways to develop ideas and turn these into professional news stories and features. The chair of the Libya Initiative, Bahia Kanoun, stated that the project aimed to explore different ways of achieving reconciliation through storytelling. She said the most successful way of doing this was with young people, adding that the participants were very excited about the project (Read more here).

News Mashup prepared by the Libyan Youth Movement, @ShababLibya.

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