Libyan authorities seeking 37 suspects over attacks on oil, military facilities

The closure of Libya’s oil crescent has led to production losses of up to 450,000 barrels per day. (Reuters)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Libyan authorities seeking 37 suspects over attacks on oil, military facilities

  • The closure of the oil crescent has led to production losses of up to 450,000 barrels per day

TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities issued arrest warrants for 37 suspects over attacks on key oil ports in the east of the country and a military base in the south, a source in the attorney general’s office said on Friday.
The source, who asked not to be named, confirmed the authenticity of the arrest warrants, which were dated January 2 and were leaked on Facebook on Thursday.
The warrants showed that 31 members of the Chadian and Sudanese opposition based in Libya, along with six Libyan nationals, are wanted for attacks on the oil ‘crescent’ in the east of the country and on the Tamanhint military base as well as for their participation in fighting between Libyan rivals.
After the toppling of veteran Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, fighters from neighboring Chad and Sudan joined the ensuing turmoil. Competing Libyan armed factions frequently accuse each other of deploying mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa.
The Libyan suspects include Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a rebel leader who helped to topple Qaddafi in 2011 and is now an Islamist political leader.
Last year Britain apologized to Belhadj and his wife over the role of British intelligence officers in their 2004 rendition from Thailand to Libya.
Ibrahim Jadhran, who is accused of launching an attack last June on the oil crescent, is also among those sought by the Libyan authorities.
Jadhran’s forces controlled the oil crescent for years until it was taken over in 2016 by the Libyan National Army, which is loyal to Commander Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.
The closure of the oil crescent, where key oil ports are located, has led to production losses of up to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a total national output of little over one million bpd.
Last September, the UN Security Council added Jadhran to the list of individuals subject to an assets freeze and a travel ban.
Libya’s east-west division, in place since disputed elections and an escalation of fighting in 2014, has split key institutions and produced a deadlock between the rump parliaments and the shifting military factions they are aligned with.


Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

Updated 26 May 2019
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Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

  • Former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were referred to the Supreme Court
  • Five other former ministers were also referred

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.
Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven politicians will be investigated by the court over alleged corruption cases, Ennahar said, without providing details.
They include former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned on April 2 after coming under pressure from protesters and the army.
The list of the former ministers, who are under investigation, includes Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi and Abdessalam Bouchouareb.
They were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and industry respectively.
Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.
The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.
Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to appease the protests that started on Feb.22.
Bouteflika's youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge over "harming the army's authority and plotting against state authority."
At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.
Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.