Maltese authorities seized a cargo ship with two large shipping containers filled with the newly introduced Libyan currency, believed to have been printed in Russia. The shipment was discovered in late September when the ship stopped in Malta. The shipment was intended for Haftar's forces, and have been crucial to funding his military efforts. While Russia is technically neutral, it is believed to be quietly aiding Marshal Haftar's LNA forces with cash, diplomatic and even military support.
Malta, an EU member country, technically recognises al-Sarraj's GNA based in Tripoli. However, a Maltese security source said this was not anti-Russia rather about enforcing international law and UN resolutions.
Al Jazeera's "Rewind" section looks back at a 2013 investigation that revealed how the UK and American intelligence services cooperated with Qaddafi's regime to help detain, interrogate and torture Libyan dissidents.
The original 2013 piece tells of two Libyan dissidents abducted en-route to the UK, and repatriated to Qaddafi's Libya where they were imprisoned. They would only be released after Qaddafi's overthrow in 2011.
With the help of Al Jazeera, the two men investigated the events surrounding their abduction and found that they were captured by MI6 and forced onto CIA black flights to be taken back to Qaddafi's Libya, a controversial process known as rendition. The report also tells of previously unknown collaboration between British and Libyan intelligence services.
After the UK's involvement was revealed in 2013, both men received apologies and compensation from the British government.
Al Jazeera revisited the journalist who uncovered the story and obtained the Libyan documents detailing its cooperation the MI6. Although she refused to share her sources, she noted the level of closeness between the intelligence chiefs apparent from the documents.
German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said he seeks to end all "foreign interference" in the Libyan conflict. Maas identified this as the "fundamental problem" in the country and will discuss this issue at a special conference focusing on Libya, set to take place in Berlin later this year. Mass spoke with reporters while visiting western Libya, along with the GNA foreign minister and UN special envoy Ghassan Salame.
The United States Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, released an update on his activity during his first 60 days in Libya & US involvement in the Libyan peace process.
The US is engaged in two key efforts:
Externally, Amb. Norland & senior US State Department officials participated in a 2nd meeting of the Berlin working group on 1 Oct., aimed a promoting a political solution to the conflict. Following this meeting, Amb. Norland visited Algeria to discuss how the conflict is affecting security & economic prospects in the North African region. He later met with representatives from the UAE & Egypt, followed by meetings with Russian & Turkish officials.
Internally, the US claims it is committed to engaging with all parties & urging them to deescalate military operations. The US is also working to maintain the "unity and integrity" of key Libyan economic actors, especially the National Oil Corporation and the Central Bank of Libya, crucial parts of the Libyan economy.
An image of what is alleged to be western military forces has been captured in an undisclosed area outside of Benghazi. The nationality of the soldiers and their purpose in the region remain unknown at the time of publication.
The vehicle in the photo appears to be an Oshkosh M-ATV, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) introduced in 2009 and originally manufactured by the Oshkosh Corporation for the US Department of Defence, with the majority of deliveries going to the US Army.
Subsequent operators have included the armies of Bahrain, Croatia, Iraq, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Houthi forces in Yemen.
The M-ATV in question appears to be armed with a CROWS (Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station), and, coupled with the appearance of the solider alongside, it is considered unlikely that this vehicle belongs to a Libyan militia; the question would be which nation's special forces: the obvious answer is the US, who have commonly used the M-ATV throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, or someone else possibly trying to disguise their country's involvement?
Oil services giant Halliburton plans to resume its activities in Libya, Sirte Oil Company (SOC) claimed in a statement today.
The statement came after SOC Chairman Naji Ahfaf, Chairman met Colby Fuser, Vice President of Halliburton Petroleum Services, and Mr. Moataz Yousef, General Manager of Halliburton Libya, at SOC offices today.
During the wide-ranging meeting held between the two companies, ways for Halliburton to return to its activities and resume its business in the field of oil services were discussed, SOC reported.
SOC also reported that Halliburton had ‘‘confirmed its intention to participate during the year in the company’s business after the stability of the security situation in the company’s (SOC) areas of operations.
“The resumption of Halliburton’s business is a good opportunity and we are excited about this and look forward to the resumption of Halliburton’s activity in Libya and cooperation in the field of oil services,” Colby Fuser was quoted to have said by SOC’s Information Office.
The stability of the security situation in the company’s oil fields is an important factor encouraging the return of foreign companies to resume their activities, particularly major international companies, SOC added.
Aljazeera TV Channel has reported a high ranking government official at the Presidential Council as saying that a French military unit has set up a control room for drones at Sidra oil terminal in northern Libya amid France's rejection that it has provided military support for Khalifa Haftar's forces.
The official told Aljazeera that the French military unit is controlling drones that are targeting the Air College in Misrata and other Presidential Council's government positions in southern and eastern the city as well as in central Libya.
Aljazeera added that the French military unit is staying with a ring of heavy security presence at the residential area at Ras Lanuf oil terminal.
"Other sources said there is another French military unit at a firm's headquarters in Houn town in Al-Jufra in central Libya. It is operating the fighting of Haftar's forces in southern Tripoli." The report adds.
In the meantime, sources from Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation said a French warship in northern Sirte waters disrupted the radio waves of the Libyan air defense in Misrata, paving the way for a warplane for Haftar's forces to air-attack Misrata.
The sources added that the French warship sent waves disrupting the Libyan Air Force's drones, thus limiting its viability in recent days.
France has rejected any claims that it is supporting Haftar in his war against Tripoli, starting from its troops who were detained on the border with Tunisia, then the finding of Javelin missiles in Gharyan when Haftar's forces pulled out in defeat and now the drones' control room.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed American concerns over the prolonged conflict in Libya in a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart, and they agreed on the need for a political solution, the State Department said.
Pompeo also discussed with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry cooperation to tackle the Islamic State and al-Qaida militant groups, the department said in a statement.
"The Secretary and the Foreign Minister shared concern over prolonged violence and instability in Libya, and agreed on the need to achieve a political solution to the conflict," it said.
Egypt's foreign ministry said the two also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as crises in Syria and Yemen. On the Palestinian crisis, Shoukry "stressed the need to reach a comprehensive solution."
Egypt, along with the United Arab Emirates, is a supporter of Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, whose Libya National Army (LNA) has been trying to take Tripoli from forces allied with the internationally recognized government.
Turkey recently shipped arms to Tripoli to stop Haftar's assault, according to diplomats.
The United Nations envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, last month called for a truce in the North African country and warned that an influx of weapons from foreign supporters, in violation of an arms embargo, was fueling the conflict.
Egypt hailed the humanitarian truce declared by Libyan parties on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, stressing that it is a positive step towards building confidence between Libyan parties, a Tuesday statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said.
Hafez's statement also reported that Egypt confirmed that putting an end to foreign interference, stopping support for armed militias and extremists, and eliminating terrorism and extremism are the only way to end chaos and restore security and stability in Libya.
The statement also stressed that it is important that Libyan parties must reject foreign interference in Libya’s affairs and document violations to UN resolutions by countries that facilitate the smuggling of arms and terrorist fighters to Libya before the international community.
According to the statement, Egypt further calls upon the UNSMIL to cooperate more with the elected representatives of the Libyan people to develop the road map needed to get out of the current crisis and implement all the elements of the initiative approved by the Security Council in October 2017.
In the same context, Egypt condemned the recent terrorist bombing in Benghazi, expressing condolences to the victims’ families.
Italian foreign ministry undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano told The National that while France and Italy cooperated as partners on Libyan issues, in practice, things were often “not going in the right direction”. Of particular concern was the discovery of French weapons in camps abandoned by Libyan National Army (LNA) forces, the undersecretary from Italy’s 5 Star Movement said.
Mr Di Stefano remained concerned that France was not coordinating its efforts in Libya. “We have discovered French movements in the country that were not aligned with the general agenda and the general strategy,” he said, referring to the reports of military deployments in Libya.
The government in Tripoli has claimed French operatives have supported the LNA.
Mr Di Stefano called on the international community to continue pushing for a ceasefire in Libya and warned that further chaos would be unleashed if a sustainable solution to the violence was not reached. “We are really working in a crystal-clear way to avoid this and reach the ceasefire,” he said.
In response to Mr Di Stefano's remarks a French diplomatic source stated that France had continued to work with its European allies in Libya. "As agreed, regarding the situation in Libya, France works closely with its partners, particularly European".