New clashes in Libya despite UN cease-fire call

Rival forces clashed in the Libyan capital Thursday, witnesses and pro-Government of National Accord (GNA) forces said. (File/AFP)
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Updated 13 February 2020

New clashes in Libya despite UN cease-fire call

  • The UN Security Council adopted on Wednesday a resolution calling for a “lasting cease-fire” in the conflict-hit country, a first since Haftar launched his offensive to seize Tripoli in April
  • More than 1,000 people have died in the clashes between Haftar and the GNA, while another 140,000 have been displaced, according to the UN

TRIPOLI: Rival forces clashed in the Libyan capital Thursday, witnesses and pro-Government of National Accord (GNA) forces said, a day after a UN Security Council resolution called for a “lasting cease-fire.”
Flights were again suspended at Mitiga, Tripoli’s sole functioning airport, following rocket fire, as fighting broke out between forces loyal to the GNA and fighters of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar in the capital’s south.
Witnesses heard explosions in the largely agricultural area of Machrou Al-Hadhba about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of the Tripoli city center.
Rockets also struck residential neighborhoods, killing one woman and wounding four other civilians, according to a spokesman for the health ministry, Amin Al-Hachimi.
GNA spokesman Moustafa Al-Mejii confirmed fighting had broken out in the suburb.
Mejii accused forces loyal to eastern Libya-based Haftar of having repeatedly violated a fragile truce called for by outside powers Russia and Turkey since January 12.
Despite the truce, there has been sporadic fighting almost every day near Tripoli, and arms continue to flow into the country.
The UN Security Council adopted on Wednesday a resolution calling for a “lasting cease-fire” in the conflict-hit country, a first since Haftar launched his offensive to seize Tripoli in April.
The resolution called for continued negotiations by a joint military commission set up in January between the two sides, with the goal of achieving a “permanent cease-fire.”
This would include a monitoring system, a separation of forces and confidence-building measures.
The commission’s Geneva meeting ended Saturday without a resolution, but the UN proposed resuming talks from February 18.
More than 1,000 people have died in the clashes between Haftar and the GNA, while another 140,000 have been displaced, according to the UN.


Egyptian ministry of irrigation — torrent season begins

A general view of the High Dam in Aswan, Egypt February 19, 2020. (REUTERS
Updated 21 September 2020

Egyptian ministry of irrigation — torrent season begins

  • Preliminary indications of the flood showed that it is higher than average and that the incoming waters during August and September are so far higher than those of last year

CAIRO: Egypt’s flood season began in August and will continue for three months — and the torrent season is about to begin — Mohamed El-Sebaei, spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, has confirmed.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation continues to prepare for the torrent season and to deal with flooding, which has caused the levels of the Nile to rise significantly over the past few days.

El-Sebaei said the ministry is monitoring the quantities of water that reach Egypt and accumulate in front of the High Dam on a daily basis, pointing out that the Minister of Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel-Ati, has been in Aswan since yesterday to inspect the water facilities of the High Dam.

He said that the torrential season is about to start in the period between autumn and winter, and that the ministry is following up with all torrent, canal and drain networks to ensure that they are ready to receive any volume of water and to preserve private and public property.

The ministry is preparing to cope with the torrents and rains expected to occur during autumn and winter by preparing Lake Nasser, located behind the High Dam, which is one of the most important strategic points in containing the quantities of water coming from the Ethiopian plateau.

The Egyptian River Revenue Regulatory Committee, in its meeting headed by Abdel-Ati, reviewed the situation of the Nile flood, the procedures for monitoring, analyzing and evaluating its condition, and the quantities of water expected to arrive until the end of the current water year 2021-2022.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Irrigation, the rates of rain in the sources of the Nile is expected to start decreasing by the end of September.

Preliminary indications of the flood showed that it is higher than average and that the incoming waters during August and September are so far higher than those of last year. Is still too early to make a final judgment on the type and size of this year’s flood.

Eman El-Sayed, head of the planning sector and head of the forecast center at the Ministry of Irrigation, said the center works to calculate the rates of rain that fall on the upper Nile River countries until it reaches the country on a daily basis. She explained that the latest technology is used to take satellite images and download mathematical models to determine the amount of rain falling and when it will fall.

El-Sayed added that the ministry holds two meetings every week to discuss the developments of the flood season, which have been confirmed more than once to be very high — once during the meeting of the River Revenue Regulatory Committee and the other during the Leadership Committee meeting.

She pointed to the development of three scenarios to deal with a flood. If it comes at a power 10 percent stronger than expected, it will be water drainage as usual. If it comes 50 percent stronger than expected, the excess will be dealt with through drains and waterways and the Toshka spillway will open. If it is stronger than that, the country will declare a state of emergency, she said.