Tripoli ceasefire remains steadfast despite recent clashes: UN Libya envoy

UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé briefed the UN Security Council on the security and humanitarian situation in Libya. (Screengrab)
Updated 18 January 2019
0

Tripoli ceasefire remains steadfast despite recent clashes: UN Libya envoy

  • Fighting broke out this week between rival armed groups in the south of the capital

UNITED NATIONS: A cease-fire in Tripoli remains steadfast despite heavy recent clashes, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé told the Security Council on Friday.
Fighting broke out this week between rival armed groups in the south of the capital, breaching a shaky ceasefire brokered by the UN in September.
In a comprehensive briefing, Salamé said the UN mission in Libya was cooperating with the Libyan Reconciliation Government to transfer control of prisons to the authority of the state, but armed groups are assuming responsibility for law enforcement rather than official Libyan bodies.
He also said new divisions emerge in Libya every day that should be dealt with.
Salamé said the country can not succeed without a united national leadership, calling on Libyan parties to cooperate constructively to approve and pass the UN backed constitution. 
The UN envoy says the United Nations is seeking to bring Libyans together in the coming weeks to agree on a national agenda to rebuild the fractured north African nation and spell out the path to elections.
Ghassan Salame told to the Security Council that the UN will announce the date and place of the National Conference once Libyan representatives agree on “the essential ingredients for a new consensus on a national agenda.”
He said only Libyans can plot a way out of the political deadlock in the country which “has been underpinned by a complex web of narrow interests, a broken legal framework, and the pillaging of Libya’s great wealth.”
Libya has been split between rival parliaments, one in tripoli and one in Benghazi, since a civil war erupted in 2011 during the downfall of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
The UN envoy said “we need additional effort to establish a stable and prosperous economic system in Libya,” adding that the Libyan currency has gained stability, inflation has decreased and progress has been achieved in resolving the liquidity crisis.
He said the UN mission stressed the importance of allowing aid to civilians in Libya without hindrance, noting that all Libyans suffer from violations, violence and difficult humanitarian conditions.
“Without international support, the saboteurs will succeed in undermining the political process in Libya,” he added.
Finally, Salamé said they expect the UN office in Benghazi, in the east, to be reopened before the end of January


8 caught after Baghdad breakout from police: ministry

Updated 04 August 2019

8 caught after Baghdad breakout from police: ministry

  • The 15 suspected members of a drug trafficking network escaped custody on Saturday
  • The interior ministry said eight had been recaptured

BAGHDAD: Eight out of 15 drug trafficking suspects have been recaptured after escaping custody in a Baghdad police station, Iraq’s interior ministry said, as the breakout prompted several dismissals.
“The search continues to find the others,” a police officer said, on condition of anonymity.
The 15 suspected members of a drug trafficking network escaped custody on Saturday, after having “insulted the police, then beaten them,” according to a security services official.
The interior ministry said eight had been recaptured without specifying where they were being held.
Baghdad’s police chief and the heads of Al-Russafa police department in the capital’s east and the station where the suspects pulled off their escape have all been fired, the ministry said.
On social media, images of videosurveillance purported to be from the police station shows men in civilian clothing running through a door, apparently without any resistance.
No one in uniform is visible in the footage.
Prison security is a critical issue in Iraq, where escapes are not uncommon, whether by violence or bribery.
Iraq is the 12th most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International, and experts have pointed to high levels of corruption in its prisons.
During the insurrection and sectarian violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion, hundreds of militants were able to escape from prison.
Iraq is currently seeking to try thousands of local and foreign jihadists, while keeping them in overcrowded prisons.
Many prisons have been rendered unusable by repeated conflicts.
The sale and use of drugs have been booming in Iraq. Authorities regularly announce the seizure of narcotics and the arrest of traffickers, particularly along the border with Iran.