Migrants in Libyan jail were reportedly seriously wounded in shooting -UN

File photo shows the Ain Zara prison in Tripoli. (Reuters)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Migrants in Libyan jail were reportedly seriously wounded in shooting -UN

  • IOM has been moving some migrants out of detention centers in Tripoli
  • Libya hosts more than 700,000 people who have fled their homelands

TRIPOLI: Migrants in a detention facility in the Libyan capital Tripoli have reportedly been seriously wounded in a random shooting, the UN migration agency IOM said on Tuesday.
IOM gave no more details of the incident which it said took place in a facility in Qasr Ben Ghashir, a southern suburb fought over by forces loyal to Libya’s rival governments.
IOM has been moving some migrants out of detention centers in Tripoli, which forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been trying to take in a three-week offensive.
But more than 3,000 migrants are still in detention centers there, among them women and children, IOM said in a tweet.
Libya hosts more than 700,000 people who have fled their homelands, often trekking through desert in pursuit of their dream of crossing the sea to a better life in Europe.


Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

Updated 26 min 44 sec ago
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Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

  • Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Lebanon insists that the area lies within its economic zone and refuses to give up a single part of it

BEIRUT: Lebanon has hinted that progress is being made in efforts to resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel following the return of a US mediator from talks with Israeli officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield returned to Lebanon following talks in Israel where he outlined Lebanese demands regarding the disputed area and the mechanism to reach a settlement.

The US mediator has signaled a new push to resolve the dispute after meetings with both Lebanese and Israeli officials.

Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to begin offshore oil and gas production in the offshore Block 9 as it grapples with an economic crisis.

A source close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who met with Satterfield on Monday after his return to Lebanon, told Arab News that “there is progress in the efforts, but the discussion is not yet over.” He did not provide further details.

Sources close to the Lebanese presidency confirmed that Lebanon is counting on the US to help solve the demarcation dispute and would like to accelerate the process to allow exploration for oil and gas to begin in the disputed area.

Companies that will handle the exploration require stability in the area before they start working, the sources said.

Previous efforts by Satterfield to end the dispute failed in 2012 and again last year after Lebanon rejected a proposal by US diplomat Frederick Hoff that offered 65 percent of the disputed area to Lebanon and 35 percent to Israel. Lebanon insisted that the area lies within its economic zone and refused to give up a single part of it.

Satterfield has acknowledged Lebanon’s ownership of around 500 sq km of the disputed 850 sq km area.

Lebanon renewed its commitment to a mechanism for setting the negotiations in motion, including the formation of a tripartite committee with representatives of Lebanon, Israel and the UN, in addition to the participation of the US mediator. Beirut also repeated its refusal to negotiate directly with Israel.

Two months ago, Lebanon launched a marine environmental survey in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters to allow a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies to begin oil and gas exploration in the area.