23 Nov 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Libya


UNHCR Flash Update Libya (16 - 23 November 2018) [EN/AR]
ReliefWeb, 23 Nov 2018

UNHCR calls on states to increase access to safe and legal pathways for refugees in Libya, including resettlement places. On 22 November, UNHCR evacuated 132 vulnerable asylum-seekers (from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan) from Tripoli to UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niamey. Since November 2017, UNHCR evacuated 2,476 individuals out of Libya (2,069 to UNHCR’s ETM in Niger, 312 to Italy and 95 to the Emergency Transit Centre in Romania). Since September 2017, UNHCR also submitted 987 individuals for resettlement to seven countries (Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland) directly from Libya. A total of 114 individuals have departed on resettlement directly from Libya to Canada, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

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Exclusive: Libyan wealth fund to hire auditors in push to unfreeze assets
Reuters, 22 Nov 2018

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund will appoint auditors within weeks and conclude a wide-ranging examination of its assets by 2019 as part of its efforts to get billions of dollars of assets unfrozen, the fund’s head told Reuters. Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed, the chairman and chief executive of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), said financial auditing and consulting company PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was one of the firms the fund was considering. About 70 percent of the LIA’s $67 billion worth of assets have been frozen under United Nations sanctions since the toppling of veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 pushed the country into turmoil. UN diplomats say they want to see a stable government in Libya before relaxing the sanctions.

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With a lack of progress in Libya’s transition, what would a national conference in 2019 mean?
The Washington Post, 21 Nov 2018

U.N. Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salame indicated in a statement to the Security Council that a national conference should be convened at the start of 2019 to “create a space for Libyans to crystallize their vision for the transition and no longer be ignored by their politicians.” This follows a conference in Palermo, Italy, that brought together international partners and Libyan stakeholders to discuss the situation.

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Libya uses tear gas, rubber bullets to force migrants off ship
Al Jazeera, 20 Nov 2018

Libyan authorities have used rubber bullets and tear gas to forcibly disembark more than 90 refugees and migrants who had refused to leave a cargo ship docked in the port of Misrata. The Panama-flagged ship rescued them off the Libyan coast 10 days ago, as their boat began sinking, and brought them to Misrata. Once there, 14 disembarked willingly but, in the first documented case of its kind, the other 92 refused to leave. "A joint force raided the cargo ship and used rubber bullets and tear gas to force [them off the ship]," the commander of the central region coastguards, Tawfiq Esskair, told the Reuters news agency by phone on Tuesday.

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Libya: child refugees abused in UK-funded detention centres
The Guardian, 20 Nov 2018

Child refugees are facing abuse and malnutrition in a network of 26 Libyan detention centres the British government is helping to fund, the Guardian has learned. In the first accounts to the media from minors being held in the camps, the children described being starved, beaten and abused by Libyan police and camp guards. One said the conditions were like “hell on earth”. According to documents seen by the Guardian, there are 26 active camps which are part-funded by the UK across Libya. While the existence of the camps had previously been reported, the scale of the network was not public. There are no exact figures available on the number of children being held but there are thought to be hundreds and possibly more than 1,000. There are at least 5,400 refugees and migrants being detained in total, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says.

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