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Women find some respite in Libya's 'families only' cafes
30 October 2017 - Fashionable cafes springing up in Libya's capital [Tripoli] are shutting out single men and catering for women looking for a break from the tensions -- political and personal -- crowding in around them. The cafes with European names and bright decor seem a world away from the city's traffic-clogged and still violent streets. In a socially conservative society, they also offer privacy and protection from unwanted advances. Most of Tripoli's economy has been in freefall since major battles between rival factions in 2014 left the country divided with competing governments. The female clients are offering some respite -- managers say they spend more on fancy coffees and juices than the espresso-sipping men. (more)

Libya's rival parliaments sign unity government deal
17 December 2015 - Hopes that divided, war-ravaged Libya can pull itself together and fend off advancing Islamic State extremists soared on Thursday, as the country's rival factions signed a U.N.-brokered deal to form a unity government that is meant to bring about peace. (more)

Libyan factions sit at the same table in U.N. peace talks
28 June 2015 - Officials from Libya's rival parliaments sat down at the same table for the first time on Sunday at the latest round of United Nations-backed peace talks in Morocco -- a move negotiators saw as an important step to forming a unity government. (more)

Libya's factions agree to new talks in Geneva next week
11 January 2015 - Libya's factions have agreed to a new round of UN-backed negotiations to attempt to end the conflict destabilizing the North African country three years after Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a civil war. Libya has slipped deeper into division since the August 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi, with two opposing governments and two parliaments, each backed by competing groups of heavily armed former rebel fighters. (more)

Libya's El Sharara oilfield restart another breakthrough for Tripoli
8 July 2014 - Libya's oil sector took another big step back to normality with the restarting of an oilfield that could double its current meagre crude output, a week after blockades ended at major ports. The El Sharara oilfield has resumed operations after protesters ended a four month strike, state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on 8 July. Last week, eastern rebels handed over to the government the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports, ending an almost year-long occupation. Both terminals had accounted for 500,000 bpd. The restart of El Sharara and the two eastern ports give hope to the weak central government to restore vital oil production and revenue to help fight a worsening budget crisis. (more)

Libya to restart oil exports from major eastern ports
6 July 2014 - Libya plans to resume exports from the major eastern Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports after government forces took over the terminals following the end of an almost year-long blockage by a rebel group, officials said on 6 July. Disputes over Libya's vast oil resources have been among the many triggers for conflict between rival brigades of former rebels and allied political factions since civil war ended four decades of Muammar Gaddafi one-man rule in 2011. Port rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran had agreed in April to reopen two smaller eastern ports, Zueitina and Hariga, and then gradually free up Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. (more)

Libya sees 'good intentions' in oil port talks; rebel split seen
3 April 2014 - Libya has seen evidence of 'good intentions' at indirect talks with eastern rebels which could lead to the lifting of their blockage of major oil ports within days, a government minister said on Thursday. Hopes have been building in oil markets that an eight-month blockage of major oil exports ports will end ever since rebels and the government said they were close to an agreement. Any deal will help stabilise the North African country. (more)

UNICEF and Libya sign agreement to improve basic education system
25 June 2013 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Libyan Government have signed an agreement that aims to improve the basic education system in the North African country. 'Quality education for all is fundamental for a peaceful, democratic and productive society, and UNICEF commends the Ministry of Education for tangible achieved results,' said Carel de Rooy, the agency's Libya Country Director. (more)

Libyans find old treasures at Tripoli book sale
26 April 2013 - Flicking through an old book about Libyan history he never imagined he could buy under Muammar Gaddafi, Ashraf Hussein points to a picture of Tripoli's main square in the 1920s. This is where we are standing now, Martyrs Square. Back then it was called Piazza Roma,' the 31-year old history masters student said, referring to Libya's Italian colonial days. 'Such books were forbidden before because they told the true history of Libya -- Gaddafi did not want that. I bought many such books today.' Hussein was one of the hundreds of Libyans who descended on the capital's Martyrs Square this week to browse through thousands of books in Tripoli's first major second hand book sale after the 2011 war that ousted Gaddafi. (more)

Libya: UNICEF initiative to provide better quality education through teacher training
3 April 2013 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has announced the development of 'a high-level road map' for effective teacher management in Libya as part of the agency's continuing efforts to improve access to quality education for all children in the North African country. The new two-year initiative, to be funded by the European Union and elaborated under the leadership of Libya's Ministry of Education, will ultimately 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. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Militants attack Libyan election commission, 14 Killed
2 May 2018 - Islamic State suicide bombers attacked Libya's election commission in the capital on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people in the worst such attack in years that aimed to disrupt a nation-wide vote planned for later this year. IS and other Islamic extremists in Libya oppose democratic elections, which the United Nations and Libya's foreign backers are urging to take place this year despite security problems in the oil-rich North African country. Militants have often targeted elections in other countries, and IS has called for attacks on voting infrastructure in Libya. (more)

Libya's Tripoli sees worst militias clashes in 2 years
2 December 2016 - Clashes continued for the second day among heavily-armed militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli, vying for power and control over the city, with one dislodging another in at least two posts, a five-star hotel and a barracks, in what appears to be the worst outbreak of violence the city has seen in two years. In a statement Friday, U.N. Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler called for halt to the fighting, saying he is 'extremely alarmed.' (more)

EU: Libya's cities making $346M a year from people smuggling
1 December 2016 - Libya's coastal cities are making millions each year from people smuggling, a European Union military task force commander in the Mediterranean Sea says in a confidential report. The report, issued to the EU's 28 member states Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press, illustrates just how much the flow of migrants toward Europe is a central part of the economy in war-torn Libya. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 4,690 people have lost their lives this year trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, and over 348,650 migrants and refugees have reached the continent. Libya's economy has suffered badly since the 2011 ouster and slaying of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi plunged the sprawling North African nation into chaos. (more)

How Libya is slowly becoming 'Somalia on the Mediterranean'
13 September 2016 - On 15 September 2011 David Cameron flew into a newly liberated Tripoli with the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, to be mobbed by rebels grateful for NATO airstrikes that had helped them secure victory over Muammar Gaddafi. Back then, optimism was in the air. In rebel camps, coffee bars, hotels already jammed with foreign businesspeople -- even amid the shattered concrete ruins of Gaddafi's giant Bab al-Azizia compound -- the talk was of progress. Back-of-the-envelope calculations showed Libya would undoubtably have the brightest future of any of the emerging Arab Spring states. It had Africa's largest oil reserves and only 6 million souls to share it. Democracy was on the way. What could go wrong? As it turned out, everything. (more)

Support for Libyan unity government 'crumbling': U.N. envoy
12 August 2016 - Support for the U.N.-backed unity government in Libya is 'crumbling' amid increased power outages and a weakening currency that is hitting crucial imports, the United Nations' envoy to the embattled north African country told a newspaper. The Government of National Accord (GNA) has been struggling to impose its authority on a country riven by political and armed rivalries, posing extra challenges as it tries to quash Islamic State jihadist militants. (more)

In Libya's anarchy, migrant smuggling a booming trade
22 April 2015 - Libya's chaos has turned it into a lucrative magnet attracting migrants desperate to make the dangerous sea voyage to Europe. With no central authority to stop it, business is booming, with smugglers charging ever more as demand goes up, then using the profits to buy larger boats and heavier weapons to ensure no one dare touch them. It's a vicious cycle that only translates into more tragedies at sea. With each rickety boat that sets off from Libya's coast, traffickers rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars. So assured are they of their impunity that they operate openly. Many even use Facebook to advertise their services to migrants desperate to flee war, repression, and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. (more)

IS in Libya kills 12 fighters loyal to Tripoli government
18 March 2015 - An attack by militants from Libya's Islamic State affiliate on Wednesday killed 12 fighters loyal to the militia-backed government based in the country's capital, Tripoli, according to a militia statement. It was the latest in a deadly campaign by IS extremists seeking to expand their foothold in the country and targeting Libya's lucrative oil facilities. The militants have already overrun several oil fields and control the cities of Sirte and the eastern city of Darna. (more)

Libya says 11 oil fields non-operational after IS attacks
5 March 2015 - Libya's state-run oil corporation has declared 11 oil fields in the country non-operational after attacks by suspected Islamic State militants, opting for a force majeure clause that exempts the state from contractual obligations. The National Oil Corporation blamed Islamist-backed authorities in the capital Tripoli for failing to protect the oil fields. The statement, issued late Wednesday, said 'theft, looting, sabotage, and destruction' of the oil fields have been on the rise despite pleas for the authorities to ensure the safety of Libya's oil installations. Three years since the ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is engulfed in chaos and bitterly divided between two rival governments and a wide array of militias. (more)

Islamic State militants find a foothold in chaotic Libya
18 February 2015 - Libya, virtually a failed state in recent years, has succeeded in one way: It's providing a perfect opportunity for the Islamic State group to expand from Syria and Iraq to establish a strategic foothold closer to European shores. Extremists loyal to the group have taken control of two Libyan cities on the Mediterranean coast, have moved toward oil facilities and are slowly infiltrating the capital, Tripoli, and the second-largest city, Benghazi. They have siphoned off young recruits from rival militant groups linked to al-Qaida and in some places taken over those groups' training camps, mosques, and media networks. (more)

Libyan oil pipeline sabotaged, gunmen storm Sirte offices
15 February 2015 - Libya's National Oil Corporation urgently called on Saturday for more official protection for its installations after an oil pipeline from its El Sarir field was sabotaged, halting flow to Hariga port. Libya is riven by conflict, with two rival governments operating their own armed forces under separate parliaments, nearly four years after the civil war that led to the overthrow and death of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The fighting also involves Islamist militant groups, former rebels, soldiers who fought for Gaddafi, and tribal and federalist factions often pursuing local causes. (more)


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