Morocco repatriates its last migrants from Libya

In this file photo, migrants walk at a detention center run by the Interior Ministry of Libya’s eastern-based government, in Benghazi, Libya Jan. 11, 2018.(Reuters)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Morocco repatriates its last migrants from Libya

RABAT: Morocco on Saturday said it has started the third and final operation to repatriate its nationals stranded in Libya, a stepping stone to illegal migration to Europe.
The ministry of expatriates and migration said the operation was launched on Friday and aimed at bringing home 338 Moroccan migrants stuck in Libya.
The migrants were to be flown to Casablanca on the Libyan airline Afriqiyah and then transported by bus to their home towns, the ministry said in a statement.
It did not say when the operation was expected to be concluded.
Since the 2011 fall and killing of its longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has become a key launchpad for migrants making desperate bids to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.
The plight of migrants in Libya has garnered fresh attention after an outcry over reports of slave auctions in the country, an enormous transit hub for sub-Saharan Africans seeking to reach Europe.
Morocco has already repatriated 435 of its citizens from Libya in two separate operations in August and December.
The International Organization for Migration has called on Libya to shut down 30 detention centers holding 15,000 migrants.


US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

Updated 19 September 2018
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US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

  • The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism
  • The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened

WASHINGTON: The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.

"Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon," he said.
All three -- Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Iran -- "have both the capability and intent to strike the United States and our allies," State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said.
The report indicated a general increase in global cooperation to fight terrorism, including tracking and blocking financial flows to the groups.
But this remains a challenge, Sales noted.
"You have got to stop the flow of money to these organizations."
"You have got to stop terrorist travel" as well, he added, pointing to the spread of airport detection systems like biometric face identification as a potent tool.
In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Daesh group has been largely displaced.