PICTURES: Last residents in Tunisia’s underground houses swear to never leave

Saturday, 24 February 2018

In the arid valleys of southern Tunisia's Djebel Dahar region, people have lived for centuries in underground houses whose earthen casing provides protection against searing summer heat and winter winds. But in recent decades, rural depopulation has meant fewer people live in the homes, which are composed of rooms hewn into the walls of an excavated circular courtyard. The few remaining families say they are attached to the homes and the land or see no way of moving. "My father died, my ...

Libyans mark seven years since protests that ousted Qaddafi

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Thousands of Libyans on Saturday marked the seventh anniversary of the start of protests that ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi, with rallies and concerts despite the country's political and economic morass. In the capital Tripoli, and across many cities in the North African country, thousands packed public squares where the authorities were organizing concerts and other festivities. Libya descended into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed uprising, with rival militias, tribes and extremists vying ...

EXCLUSIVE: Tunisia probes Qatar involvement in dubious funding in North Africa

Friday, 16 February 2018

An investigation has been opened in the Tunisian Parliament by deputies to uncover and prosecute the parties and entities involved in the case of the “suspicious” financial transfers carried out by an officer in Qatar’s armed forces for purposes related to the financing of terrorism and fueling chaos and instability in Tunisia and the region. The new documents revealed by the deputy from the Al Hurra parliamentary bloc, the representative of the movement Machrou Tunis, Sahbi ...

Libyan army says agreement to unify military institution to be signed soon

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Libya’s armed forces spokesperson, Colonel Ahmed al-Mesmari, said that discussions aimed at unifying Libya’s military institution will continue in Cairo on Thursday, adding that most clauses were agreed upon in a draft agreement which will be signed soon. The agreement is sponsored by Egypt, and will be a stepping stone towards unifying the country’s military, al-Mesmari said. The second stage will be the signing of the document which was drafted by the different Libyan parties ...

23 killed after truck carrying illegal immigrants overturns in Libya

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

WARNING: Graphic images, viewer discretion advisedTwenty-three people, including two children and a women, were killed when a truck transferring illegal immigrants overturned in the early hours of Wednesday Bani Walid, 230 kilometers away from east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. A medical source told Al that 35 injured people were transferred to health centers in Bani Walid while others with more severe injuries were transferred to hospitals.According to a security source, the truck ...

Could a plate of couscous warm up ties between North Africa nations?

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Could a plate of couscous warm up relations between wary North African nations? A drive to win coveted UNESCO status for the dish could at least get them talking around the same table. The hearty meal itself however is a bone of contention between countries that haven’t always got along. Who makes it the best? And given that the fluffy semolina can be topped with everything from fish in Tunisia to camel meat in Libya, what truly makes a couscous a couscous? As with the “hummus ...

At least two killed, 37 wounded by twin mosque bombing in Libya’s Benghazi

Friday, 9 February 2018

Libyan officials say twin bomb explosions at a mosque in the city of Benghazi have killed at least two people and wounded 75 others. Motaz Agouri, an official at Benghazi security directorate's media office, said the explosion took place during Friday prayers inside the Saad Ibn Ibada mosque in Benghazi's busy Berka district. Agouri said the bombs were planted in separate rooms inside the mosque. The devices appear to have been activated remotely using a mobile phone, one military source said. ...

UN report says human smugglers in Libya have links to security services

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Most armed groups involved in human smuggling and trafficking in Libya have links to the country’s official security institutions, sanctions experts said in a confidential report to a UN Security Council committee seen by Reuters on Wednesday. People smugglers operating with impunity in Libya have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe, mainly Italy, by sea since 2014. Thousands have died during the voyages. “Armed groups, which were party to larger political-military ...

UN envoy Ghassan Salame hopes for Libya elections ‘by end of 2018’

Thursday, 8 February 2018

UN envoy Ghassan Salame said Wednesday he hoped for elections in Libya by the end of 2018 but that conditions in the strife-torn country were not yet ready for polling.“There are several conditions. For the time being, we have only achieved one: the start of voter registration,” the UN envoy for Libya told a news conference in Tripoli.Last September, Salame submitted an action plan to stabilize Libya centered on holding legislative and presidential elections this year. “All the ...

Libyan commander wanted for summary executions hands himself in to military police

Thursday, 8 February 2018

A Libyan commander sought over alleged summary execution of dozens of people has handed himself in to the military police in eastern Libya, a military source said on Wednesday. It was not clear whether the apparent move would lead to any action being taken against the commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, or any restrictions on his movement. Werfalli is a member of an elite unit of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the dominant force in eastern Libya. The ICC ...

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