US Military: Russia has deployed military aircraft to Libya

Image supplied by the US military in support of their statement. (US AFRICA COMMAND)
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Updated 26 May 2020

US Military: Russia has deployed military aircraft to Libya

  • Libya has been gripped by violence since Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011

LONDON: The US military said Tuesday that Russia has recently deployed military fighter aircraft to Libya.

The jets are likely to be providing air support for the Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor operating in Libya, the US Africa Command said.

The statement also said Moscow has employed the state-sponsored contractor in Libya to conceal its direct role and to afford Moscow “plausible deniability” of its actions.

US Army General Stephen Townsend, commander of the US’ Africa mission, said: “Just like I saw (Russia) doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner.”

The statement warned that Russian presence in Libya could “exacerbate the regional instability that has driven the migration crisis affecting Europe.”

Libya has been gripped by chaos since longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and west vying for power.

In April, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord rejected a truce unilaterally proposed by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), saying it “did not trust” them.

The LNA is led by the commander Khalifa Haftar, who launched an offensive to capture the capital Tripoli last year.

His forces have suffered a series of setbacks in recent months as Turkey stepped up support for for the Government of National Accord and the militias that support it. 

Kuwait public sector begins reducing number of foreign workers

Filipinos who availed general amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government are seen here gathering at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4, on April 3, 2020 on their home to Manila amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis. (AFP)
Updated 54 min 20 sec ago

Kuwait public sector begins reducing number of foreign workers

  • The move is part of the nation’s move toward Kuwaitization

RIYADH: Several Kuwaiti government ministries have started to lay off expatriate workers, according to a report on Tuesday by Al-Rai newspaper.

It said the ministries will dismiss 50 percent of foreign employees, in particular those who work in non-technical fields and for subcontractors.

“The process of terminating expats working in the governmental agencies will happen gradually and we will be notifying them to ensure that the work is not affected,” a source told Al-Rai.

The dismissal process is expected to take three months but it is understood that employees who were hired directly by the ministries have already been redeployed to companies that provide subcontracted services.

Arab Times reported that expatriates who work in specialist fields requiring certain levels of expertise will be laid off gradually to avoid disrupting workflow.

The move is part of the nation’s move toward Kuwaitization. The policy was introduced in 2018 in an attempt to reduce the number of foreign workers in the public sector, and provide a more balanced workforce that offers more job opportunities for citizens.

“The committee has taken concrete steps to address the issue in the demographic imbalance,” said MP Khalil Al-Saleh, head of the parliamentary Human Resources Development Committee. “We will be holding a meeting next week to prepare a report, with data and statistics, that we will present to the National Assembly.

“We have achieved what we agreed upon to solve the problem, especially since there are expats that are working in non-technical jobs in the governmental sector.”

According to data published in December 2019, about 120,000 of the 3 million expatriates in Kuwait work in the public sector.