While UN envoy Martin Kobler is realizing political talks with Libyan factions, waiting for Trump’s first step on the North African front, ISIS and migrant questions remain on Tripoli table.
A French national has been captured at an Islamic State (IS) training camp and he is held at Benghazi’s Grenada military prison. A video of him was broadcast yesterday by French TV channel M6 but it did not state where he was arrested nor they revealed his name. We know he was of Algerian origin and from the east of France. Questioned by a French reporter, the man said he had been a second-hand car salesman and that he was gone to Libya planning to move on to Syria and join the Nusra Front, the jihadist organisation previously part of Al-Qaeda. He had not intended to join IS. He refused to send a message to his family on the basis that French intelligence will know who he is soon.
Most migrants in Libya want to remain in the country and do not intend to head for Europe. The revelation came in the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest Libya Displacement Tracking Matrix Flow Monitoring Analytical report. Libya remains the main country of intended destination for 56 percent of all 1,946 migrants surveyed, with 17 percent destined for Italy, 7 percent to Germany and 5 percent to France, the report says. The report says 81 to 83 percent of migrants from Egypt, Chad and Sudan surveyed intended to stay in Libya. Only 16 percent of Nigerian migrants intended to stay in Libya while 43 percent intended to travel to Italy, 12 percent to Italy, 12 percent to Germany and the remaining 29 percent to a variety of other countries. The demographic age of migrants surveyed were in their twenties, averaging of 29 and 98 percent were male. Most were from the countries bordering Libya: Niger, Egypt and Sudan. Nigerians were the fourth most represented group making up 10 percent of those surveyed. Economic reasons were given by 88 percent of all respondents as the main factors driving them to leave their countries of origin as well as the main reason determining migrants’ choice of destination. Seventy-four present of respondents said that they had spent over 6 months in Libya.
On Thursday, Libyan forces resumed their advance against Daesh militants holding out in a few streets in their former stronghold of Sirte, saying they had captured 25 houses and a stash of arms. Backed by US air strikes, the Libyan brigades have reduced the area held by the militants to a small patch of land near Sirte’s Mediterranean seafront after a campaign of more than six months. Lately, they say, they are advancing with more caution in the Ghiza Bahriya district to limit casualties among their own fighters and among any hostages and families still held there. “According to our information there are still civilians including women and children inside,” Mohamed Al Gasri, a spokesman for the brigades, told private TV station Libya’s Channel. “The instructions are not to rush in, in order to limit the damage.” Rida Issa, another spokesman for the brigades, said they had recovered a 106 mm anti-tank gun and a store of ammunition during Thursday’s advance. One of the Misrata-led forces had been killed and three wounded, he said. He said perhaps 70 houses remained under Daesh page6 Centro Studi Roma 3000 – Via Marco Simone, 80 00012 Guidonia Montecelio – Tel. 0039.0694801821 www.roma3000.it control. As of Tuesday, the United States had carried out 420 air strikes in Sirte since Aug.1, according to US Africa Command.