African Union to host Libya ‘reconciliation’ conference

The African Union will host a “reconciliation” conference in July aimed at uniting Libya’s political rivals, AU commission chief Moussa Faki (C) said late Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 31 March 2019

African Union to host Libya ‘reconciliation’ conference

  • Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi and a series of international efforts have so far failed to unite the country
  • The UN backs a Government of National Accord in the capital Tripoli, while a rival administration in the east is supported by Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army

TUNIS: The African Union will host a “reconciliation” conference in July aimed at uniting Libya’s political rivals, AU commission chief Moussa Faki said late Saturday.
“It’s an opportunity for the Libyans,” Faki said during a press conference in Tunis, on the sidelines of an Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital.
Announcement of the July talks in Addis Ababa followed a meeting on Libya which included Faki, UN chief Antonio Guterres and the EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini.
“It’s high time that the (political) actors discuss the fate of their country,” Faki said.
Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi and a series of international efforts have so far failed to unite the country.
The United Nations is due to hold another conference next month in the central Libyan city of Ghadames, which is aimed at drawing up a “roadmap” to lead to elections.
Between 120 and 150 delegates are expected to attend the forum from April 14-16, UN envoy Ghassan Salame said earlier this month.
The UN backs a Government of National Accord in the capital Tripoli, while a rival administration in the east is supported by Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army.
Reaching a lasting accord is seen as vital for creating stability in the country, as well as getting the economy back on track.


Jordanian charged with ‘terror’ over tourist stabbings

Updated 27 min 5 sec ago

Jordanian charged with ‘terror’ over tourist stabbings

  • The suspect, Moustafa Abourouis, 22, faces up to 20 years in prison
  • Prosecutors accused Abourouis of committing a “terrorist act” and “promoting the ideas of a terrorist group”

AMMAN: A Jordanian court on Sunday levelled “terrorism” charges against a man suspected of wounding eight people in a November knife attack at a popular tourist site.
The suspect, Moustafa Abourouis, 22, faces up to 20 years in prison after the stabbing of three Mexicans, a Swiss woman, a Jordanian tour guide and a security officer at the Roman city of Jerash.
At a hearing open to the press, prosecutors accused Abourouis of committing a “terrorist act” and “promoting the ideas of a terrorist group” — a reference to the Daesh group.
Abourouis, who is of Palestinian origins and grew up in the refugee camp of Souf, was arrested immediately after the attack at Jerash, close to the camp and around 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Amman.
The Jordanian prosecutor accused Abourouis of trying to join Daesh, an operative of which in Syria had “ordered him to commit attacks against foreigners.”
Two alleged accomplices, also Jordanians of Palestinian origin, were charged with “terrorism” in the same case. All three pleaded not guilty.
The court is scheduled to hear witnesses next Sunday, with the date for a verdict to be confirmed.
It was not the first time a Jordanian tourist attraction has been attacked.
In December 2016, in Karak, home to one of the region’s biggest Crusader castles, 10 people — seven police, two Jordanian civilians and a Canadian tourist — were killed in an attack that also left 30 wounded.
That attack was claimed by Daesh and 10 people were later convicted of carrying out the assault, two of them sentenced to death.
Tourism is a key lifeline for Jordan, a country lacking in natural resources and reliant on foreign aid. The sector accounted for 14 percent of GDP in 2019.
The kingdom, bordering conflict-torn Syria and Iraq, has been working to revive its tourism industry and aims to attract seven million holidaymakers a year.