On December 27, The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated that Turkey is ready for the military actions against the Libyan National Army. The leader of the Libyan Army is Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Russia. “Haftar and those who support him should know that they will be considered a legitimate target in any attempt to attack the Turkish military,” said Akar.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been contemplating the idea to create the “Turk” military political block. The strategic decision has been made, after interference in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, which resulted in the gain for the Azerbaijan.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly announced an extension of the Turkish armed forces’ presence in Libya. According to a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish military personnel will be stationed in Libya for the next 18 months. Former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was killed nine years ago in Libya.
Turkey has condemned the detention of one of its ships by eastern-based Libyan forces in the Mediterranean, saying the ship should be allowed to resume its voyage to western Libya, and warning of a possible act of retaliation. The ship, which was heading to the port of Misurata, was stopped off the coast of Ras Al Hilal.
This week, the Venezuelan leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, gave an interview regarding the continuation of the US’ bipartisan support of the Venezuelan opposition by the newly-elected US President, Joe Biden, and his administration. However, Venezuela can suffer the same fate as Syria, except the trajectory will differ.
On November 3rd, American citizens voted to elect the new President of the United States. The winner is Democrat Joe Biden, who has a long history in politics. Many major changes are coming to the US’ national and foreign policies in the new year. Furthermore, for the European Union, it will be a welcome change.
On Monday, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) began in Tunisia, with the participation of 75 personalities from various Libyan parties, and in the presence of the Tunisian President, Qais Said. The Tunisian President emphasized that this step was “for the sake of peace.”
The National Petroleum Corporation of Libya said on Friday that it expects to open up oil exports from Sider Port in the next few days, and Libya will increase its oil production to more than 1 million barrels per day within four weeks. Its production has been increasing over the last month.
Representatives of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), the main parties to the conflict in the country, reached an agreement after four days of negotiations on a lasting ceasefire. UN Special Representative Stephanie Williams spoke of the historic moment when the agreement was signed.
The European Union discussed (but failed to agree on) sanctions against Turkey over the weekend, Euronews reported. Several countries want to punish Turkey for violating the sovereign rights of Greeks and Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and Malta blocked the proposal.
Libya has been embroiled in a civil war. The conflict began to escalate in April 2019 in Lybia, when field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched his campaign to capture the capital, Tripoli. With the support of foreign forces, including Egypt, France, and others, he felt quite confident opposing the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, supported by Turkey, Italy, and Qatar.
Germany, France, and Italy have stepped up pressure on violators of the Libyan arms embargo. The three had previously threatened to punish violators of the embargo in mid-July, on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels. A list of Turkish, UAE, and Jordanian companies has been compiled.
The U.S. military alleges that Russia has sent new military equipment to its mercenaries in the city of Sirte, in Libya. If the report is anything to go by, then Russia is in full violation of the embargo in force in the North African country. The information was released by the U.S. Army African Command (AFRICOM).
The leaders of three European countries threatened to impose sanctions on foreign powers that violate the arms embargo on the Libyan war parties. Although they have not named any country, their threat appears aimed at Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
Sudanese authorities announced that they had arrested 122 people who were on their way to Libya to “work as mercenaries,” according to the official SUNA news agency. The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has long accused Sudanese mercenaries of supporting the forces of Khalifa Haftar.
According to Russian news outlet avia.pro, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that it is time for Turkey to actively continue its military operations in Syria’s Idlib province. The publication quoted him as saying that the Turkish military will continue to fight all “terrorist organizations” that pose a threat to Turkey’s security, whether inside its borders or outside them.
In Libya, the operation by the forces under the Government of National Accord (GNA) to retake the city of Sirte back from the hands of General Khalifa Haftar continues. Rejecting Haftar’s call for a ceasefire, the Tripoli government, supported by Turkey, say they will not sit at the table without Sirte.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi confirmed in a speech on Saturday, broadcast on Egyptian television, that Egypt’s direct entry into Libya “has become available to international legitimacy,” and involves goals. Sisi said this while inspecting the Egyptian army units in the western military zone.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that Turkey’s actions in Libya by the hands of militants transferred to the region threaten the European Union. Furthermore, France will not allow anyone to annex the Mediterranean Sea. The Head of the French Foreign Ministry said this in an interview with the French newspaper, La Croix.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) today called for an urgent investigation into possible war crimes committed by Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces in Libya, marking “apparent evidence of torture” and “summary executions.” HRW cited videos showing Haftar’s forces being involved in such acts.
Russia and the United Arab Emirates praised the “Cairo Declaration” on Libya, which was approved by retired general Khalifa Haftar. The leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) backed a cease fire to take effect from Monday. However, the Turkish-backed, UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) rejected it.
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi was murdered in 2011. There after, Libya became a divided state. Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. Shortly after his death, it was announced that the war in Libya was over. In reality, the war mutated with a new trajectory.
The forces of the Tripoli government, also known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), managed to re-seize the capital’s airport from forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar on Wednesday. The news of the airport’s seizure was broken by the GNA’s army spokesman, Mohamed Qanunu.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested a businessman in Dhaka on suspicion of being involved in human trafficking of 26 Bangladeshis who were shot dead by their captors in Libya. A RAB director, Lt. Col. Rakibul Hasan, said the man, identified as Kamal Uddin, was arrested from Dhaka’s Shahjadpur area on Sunday night.
The recent crackdown on rebel leader General Khalifa Haftar’s forces in Libya has made it increasingly clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan are set to take over covert control of the country’s future. Turkey provides military assistance to support of the government in Tripoli, while Gen. Haftar’s army has several thousand Russian “mercenaries.”
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Libya has said that 26 Bangladeshi migrants have been killed after being abducted by human traffickers. Libya’s UN-backed government says, however, that 30 migrants, including the 26 Bangladeshis, were killed by the family of a Libyan human trafficker in retaliation for his death.
The leader of one of the belligerents in the ongoing conflict in Libya has announced a truce during the month of Ramadan. After two similar announcements were launched this year, the leader of the “Libyan National Army,” Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, announced Wednesday night “the cessation of all military operations” of the forces loyal to him on the occasion of the month of Ramadan.
Militias loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli and recognized by the United Nations, announced Monday that they recovered two strategic cities that were in the hands of the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of the territory of the country.
Due to a large number of victims of armed confrontation in Libya, hospitals are overloaded and unable to counteract the spread of the coronavirus, the Red Cross warns. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the extremely limited capacity of hospitals in Libya to counter the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The former Libyan Prime Minister, Mahmoud Jibril, succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The death was officially announced on Sunday by his party, the National Forces Alliance. The leader is said to have suffered cardiac arrest. Three days later he tested positive for the virus.
Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar has told French President Emmanuel Macron he will sign a ceasefire if militias backing the internationally recognized government respect it. The meeting was held discretely for nearly an hour at the Elysée Palace in Paris, and left off President Macron’s schedule.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference that the International Berlin Follow-up Commission on Libya agrees that the UN Security Council resolution on Libya is binding to all parties. Four weeks ago, world leaders in Berlin pledged to comply with the UN arms embargo on Libya and not support parties involved in Libya. But the negotiations were unsuccessful, because, through land, and sea, weapons entered the battlefield in Libya.
The 33rd African Union Summit will be launched Sunday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, under the slogan “Silencing the guns to create conditions for Africa’s development.” The presidency of the summit will move from Egypt to South Africa, and to President Cyril Ramaphosa from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Today, Ramaphosa presides over a closed session to present the challenges that stand in the way of Africa’s progress.
News sources on Tuesday released a report from Geneva announcing progress in the Libyan peace talks. The issue is about a permanent ceasefire in the war-torn country. With the mediation of the United Nations, all parties involved in the civil war in Libya have agreed on the need for a “permanent and lasting” ceasefire to replace an uncertain truce. However, the terms of each party’s acceptance and implementation of the ceasefire are subject to discussion by their representatives.
Less than two weeks after the Libyan conference in Berlin, French President Emmanuel Macron has sharply criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to Macron, Turkey has broken its promise not to interfere in the affairs of the troubled North African state. The French president views the issue as a “clear violation” of what was agreed in Berlin.
The Congolese capital, Brazzaville, will host a mini-African summit on the Libyan crisis on January 30, before the AU summit scheduled for February 9th. It comes at a time when the Libyan capital is witnessing a state of security chaos, after the expansion of the presence of militias and foreign mercenaries in its various parts that are still under the authority of the government.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged higher international pressure on the military forces in eastern Libya to accept a provisional truce, and said that Turkey remains committed to supporting the Libyan government recognized by the UN. Erdogan made the comments after a meeting in Istanbul with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who last Sunday hosted a peace conference on Libya in Berlin. The conference resulted in a provisional ceasefire.
International allies of the Libyan government, supported by the United Nations, and rebel forces led by General Khalifa Haftar agreed on Sunday to respect a ceasefire initiated a week ago, and an arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council. World leaders are hoping for a way out of the civil war that has plagued the country for five years.
On the eve of the Libyan conference in Berlin, Libyan Prime Minister Faiz al-Saraj called for international support for the government. Meanwhile, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar is seizing on Libya’s important oil ports to step up his pressure on the government. The Libyan Prime Minister has formally called on the United Nations to support the country’s official government by calling for peacekeepers.
Russia will host Fayez al-Serraj and Khalifa Haftar in Moscow in an attempt to achieve peace in Libya. According to Russian news, Haftar is already in Russia. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who is a Turkish politician and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey since 24 November 2015, is expected to join them. Hakan Fidan is a retired Turkish army sergeant, teacher, diplomat and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization. he is expected to attend as well. Hulusi Akar is the current Turkish Minister of Defense and a former four-star Turkish Armed Forces general who served as the 29th Chief of the General Staff. He will be arriving with al Serraj for the talks. Observers from Egypt and United Arab Emirates will be in attendance. The latest development is that Haftar left without signing any type peace resolution.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, called for a solution to the crisis in Libya Saturday. After a meeting in Moscow, which also discussed the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, both leaders urged the parties to negotiate. Earlier this week, Russia and Turkey— which support opposing sides— called for a cease fire.
Turkey’s parliament has approved the deployment of soldiers to Libya for one year. The Turkish soldiers are to support Libya’s internationally-recognized government, currently under pressure from General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. During Thursday’s vote, 325 MPs voted in favor and 184 against the move by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Social media has become part of our daily lives, from reading breaking news, to communication for business and personal purposes. It is an important tool for many in their daily lives, no matter how one uses it. It is also a dangerous tool, where one can have their life ruined. People have lost jobs over their posts, as well as being targeted and bullied on social media platforms. Some take it upon themselves to label other people online with the false narrative of being trolls (even though the profiles are legit!), just to cause turmoil.
There has been a tug of war for geopolitical influence and attempts to disrupt the already established balance throughout 2019. We also saw the formation of interesting and very invasive social media polices around the globe. Hence, there were ramifications and changes to the social media landscape:
- France implementing new measures to track and monitor the social media of its citizens.
- Russia is working to complete their digital iron curtain.
- China implementing draconian verification process impacting social credit and privacy.
- UK to ruthlessly start collecting DNA.
- We’ve also seen the rise of deep fake technology that could have a great impact on the US 2020 Presidential elections as well as on the global scale.
Let’s look at the world’s main players and regions: