News and Views [ March 2001 ]

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Saturday, 31 March, 2001: The head of U.S. oil giant Conoco said yesterday he was confident the United States will one day lift unilateral sanctions on Libya and Iran, but will stand guard over U.S. oil assets in Libya for now. "Based on my relationships and understanding of the (George W. Bush) administration, I am reasonably optimistic that (in the) long term sanctions will be modified or eliminated," Conoco Chairman and CEO Archie Dunham told Reuters. "That will allow U.S. companies to freely participate as other U.S. allies participate today in the development of energy resources," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Dubai. [Reuters]
Saturday, 31 March, 2001: Italian tour operator Valtur has signed a contract to manage a new 145-hectare tourism complex to be built on the coast of Libya, 90 km east of Tripoli, tourism officials confirmed Thursday. The Libyan Tourism Investment and Promotion Board said the government was planning to issue tenders before the second half of the year for the construction of the new complex at Villa Silin. First phase development of the site is estimated at 50 million US dollars, and is part of Tripoli's five-year plan to attract foreign investment. Tripoli would meet 30 per cent of costs and the remaining 70 per cent would come from bank loans, subject to government approval. [PANA]
Friday, 30 March, 2001: Libya and Iran are at the top of the world charts for new petroleum exploration ventures. A survey published on Tuesday found that Libya pipped Iran into second place among international oil firms in the league of the most popular countries for investment in new exploration activities in the wake of last year's oil price boom. The results come swift on the heels of news that Washington is expected to renew the 1996 Iran-Libya sanctions act, which threatens sanctions on foreign energy firms investing more than $40 million in either country. The poll of 85 international oil companies, including U.S. firms, by UK consultants Robertson Research surveyed 146 oil and gas producing countries outside North America. [Reuters]
Friday, 30 March, 2001: Arab leaders have pledged funds for Palestinians fighting Israeli rule and edged towards reviving a boycott of Israel, but have failed to agree on Iraq. Debate over Iraq's conflict with Kuwait took most of the energies of the Amman gathering right up to the last minute. "Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have shown great flexibility, but Iraq ... will have wasted a fine chance if it does not accept this proposal," Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said. [Reuters]

Thursday, 29 March, 2001: Here are the main points of the final communique from the Arab summit in Amman [concerning Libya] : The leaders "demand the Security Council to lift sanctions imposed on Libya immediately and permanently based on Libya's compliance with the demands of the Security Council because there is no longer any justification for their continuation under any guise. "The Arabs consider themselves free from any commitment to the sanctions in the event that they are reimplemented since Libya has fulfilled all its obligations as required by the Security Council." The leaders "demand the immediate release of Libyan citizen Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi (found guilty in January of blowing up a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988) who was convicted for political reasons." [AFP]
Thursday, 29 March, 2001: More than 3.5 million people in the Arab world are logging on to the internet, led by computer-savvy Emiratis, according to a survey by the Arabic-English web portal published Wednesday. Topping the list for highest number of users was the United Arab Emirates with 660,000, representing 24.4 percent of the population. The UAE was followed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt with 570,000 and 560,000 users, making up 2.6 and 0.8 percent of their respective populations. The best Internet penetration rate, after the Emirates, was in Bahrain, with 16.7 percent of the population surfing the web, followed by Qatar with 10.3 percent and Kuwait with 8.2 percent. Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Iraq had a mere 106,500 Internet users between them, the survey said. [AFP]

Wednesday, 28 March, 2001: At the two-day Arab summit in Amman, Jordan, Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi proposed that Israel should join the 22-member Arab League, but under certain conditions. "All the Palestinians must return to the occupied territories, Israel must agree to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and solve the question of Jerusalem," Colonel Qadhafi was quoted as saying. The summit coincides with a dramatic rise in tension in Israel and the Palestinian areas. Two bombs went off in Jerusalem and a Palestinian youth was shot dead in Hebron on Tuesday, following the shooting of an Israeli baby in Hebron on Monday. [BBC]
Tuesday, 27 March, 2001: The Libyan high commission for childhood and the Moroccan association of assistance to childhood and family signed in Tripoli Saturday a cooperation convention. The convention seeks to enhance cooperation, consultation, coordination and experience exchange between the two sides to improve the situation and well-being of children in the two states. This legal implement will help enlarge the bases of activities initiated by Morocco and Libya. The convention was signed on the sidelines of a conference on childhood legislation held in Tripoli last week in cooperation with the UNICEF. []
Monday, 26 March, 2001: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi arrived Sunday in the Jordanian capital of Amman to take part in Tuesday's Arab summit. Qadhafi was received at the airport by Jordan's King Abdullah II and was the first Arab leader to arrive in the kingdom for the summit. The Libyan leader's participation in the first so-called ordinary Arab summit to be held in more than a decade came after he refused to attend an emergency high-level meeting in Cairo in October that focused on the bloody confrontations between the Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. One of the draft resolutions being drawn up by the ongoing Arab foreign ministers preparatory meeting to be presented to the summit, the Arab leaders call on the U.N. Security Council to immediately lift the economic sanctions against Libya. [UPI]
Sunday, 25 March, 2001: Libya's General People's Congress (GPC) has commended the high court in France for "resisting pressure" from what it described as "Zionist circles and forces at the service of injustice". The Paris Court of Cessation, which is the highest French legal organ, on 13 March, decided to close a case whose sole target was Col. Qadhafi. Opened in 1999, the case had aimed at accusing Qadhafi in connection with a UTA DC-10 plane crash. In a statement issued in Sirte late Thursday at the end of its annual conference, the GPC pointed out that the ruling of the Paris Court was an illustration of "objectivity and refusal to give in to pressure" by the French justice system. The Congress denounced the imprisonment of Libyan national, Abdelbasset Al-Maghrahi, who was given a life sentence in connection with the Lockerbie case. [PANA]
Saturday, 24 March, 2001: Libya pulled off an upset Friday by defeating Egypt 2-0 in Benghazi, Libya, in the Group 7 qualifier for the African Cup of Nations. Although the Egyptians dominated in terms of possession, a determined Libyan defense stymied their efforts to score. Forwards Walid Abdel Latif and Ahmed Salah Hosni gave the Libyan defense a few problems but failed to capitalize on the few chances they were allowed. The turning point of the game came in the 53rd minute when Libyan midfielder Ahmed Abu Qobba met a low cross from the right and powered his shot into the top of the net from six meters (yards) out. In the 65th minute, Libya increased their lead as Ahmed Mesali, who found himself wide open on the right side, fired his shot past Egyptian goalkeeper Essam al-Hadari from outside the 18-meter (yard) area. [AP]
Saturday, 24 March, 2001: Libya has sent a protest to Qatar for naming an opponent of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime to head an ongoing Arab film festival in Doha, a Qatari official said Thursday. "Libya sent a memorandum of protest to the Qatari government about the naming of Libyan dissident Mohammad Maklouf as chairman of the festival of documentary and short films," a high-ranking official told AFP. Asked about the move, Maklouf told AFP that "the Libyan protest will have no effect on my future as chairman of the Festival of the Arab Screen." "I am not taking part in any political activity, but am organizing an artistic and cultural festival," said Maklouf, the festival founder, who also holds British nationality. Relations between Qatar and Libya have been poor since last April, when Tripoli withdrew its ambassador to protest a program broadcast by the Qatar-based satellite television station al-Jazeera critical of the Libyan government. [AFP]

Friday, 23 March, 2001: The Libyan ambassador to Botswana, Saleh Ali al-Maraghani, Thursday said that plans are underway for Libya to import beef from Botswana. Speaking to PANA in Gaborone, Maraghani revealed that a three-man official delegation is expected in the country Friday to discuss the modalities of the transaction. The Libyans will tour the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoirs to determine the quality and hygienic conditions of Botswana beef. Maraghani said Libyan delegation will tour all southern African countries which produce beef, except South Africa because of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease there. [PANA]
Statement by : A. Omar Turbi
Presented at : Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Thursday, 22 March, 2001: Four members of the British parliament (MPs) arrived in Libya to persuade Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to hand over the murderer of WPc Yvonne Fletcher, the police officer shot outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984. The group was led by Tam Dalyell, a Labour MP. Before flying to Tripoli, Mr Dalyell said: "... I have been intimately involved in the Yvonne Fletcher case and I will be raising it." WPc Fletcher, 25, was shot in the back from a bullet fired from the Libyan embassy in St James's Square. The gunman and 21 embassy staff were allowed to return to Libya under diplomatic immunity. Scotland Yard believe that they have strong evidence against several suspects, including Abdulgader al-Tuhami, an intelligence officer. Officers also want to interview Moustfa al-Mighirbi, the chief intelligence officer, and Omar al-Sodani, a diplomat. [The Telegraph]
Thursday, 22 March, 2001: The World Resources Institute in Washington DC has warned that the world's freshwater systems are in peril. It predicts that "by 2025, at least 3.5 billion people or nearly 50 percent of the world's population will face water scarcity." A report by the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) indicates that Africa will be particularly hard hit by the impending global water crisis. The GEO's predicts that by the year 2025, "25 African countries will be subject to water scarcity or water stress" and points out that already, "14 countries in Africa are subject to water stress or water scarcity, with those in Northern Africa facing the worst prospects." Meanwhile, Libya's Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, who is currently spearheading a campaign for African Union, has called on Arab businesses to invest in Africa's water resources and the tapping of the continent's "vast water reserves, lakes and rivers such as the Nile, Senegal and Congo rivers." [Africa News]
Thursday, 22 March, 2001: The British government agreed to drop napalm bombs - widely used by US forces in the Vietnam war - in military exercises in Scotland and Libya, according to official documents released yesterday. The plan was to drop the bombs in 1970 on firing ranges at Tain, Scotland, and at el-Adem, an RAF base in Libya. In June 1969 - three months before Colonel Qadhafy seized power from King Idris in a coup - the British ambassador to Libya, Roderick Sarell, told the Foreign Office that the RAF was confident that explosions from napalm, called "firebombs", looked like "ignitions of a barrel of oil to the uninitiated" and that "the fragments would not be identifiable". He continued: "In the light of this advice I am quite clear that we can go ahead and certainly say nothing to the Libyans." The papers do not say whether the RAF did go ahead with the training exercises. Denis Healey, the defence secretary, noted that napalm bombs were used to attack the Torrey Canyon, the tanker wrecked off the Isles of Scilly in 1967. That was the first time British possession of napalm had "come to public knowledge", he said. But, he added, that appeared to have been forgotten. [The Guardian]
Wednesday, 21 March, 2001: Libya's ambassador presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, formally healing a diplomatic breach after 17 years. Britain suspended relations in 1984 after a London policewoman was killed by gunfire apparently coming from the Libyan Embassy, and Libya refused to cooperate with the investigation. Britain announced in 1999 that diplomatic ties would resume, after Libya accepted responsibility for the policewoman's death and agreed to hand over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. The new ambassador, Mohamed Abul-Qasim Al-Zwai, a former justice minister, went to Buckingham Palace in the traditional procession of three horse-drawn carriages to present his credentials. [AP]
Wednesday, 21 March, 2001: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi held talks Sunday evening in Sirte with four visiting British MPs led by Tam Dalyell of the Labour Party. According to a Libyan official source, the MPs stressed the need to strengthen relations between Libya and Britain and overcome past frictions especially over the Lockerbie affair. They also underscored the need to let the law follow its normal course so as to shed light on the Lockerbie affair. Relations between Tripoli and London, severed in 1984, markedly improved in 1999 following the lifting of the UN embargo imposed against Libya over the Lockerbie affair. The visit by British MPs, the first of its kind for several years, occurred at a time when bilateral relations between the two states eased up following the judgement by the Camp Zeist court in the Netherlands. [PANA]
Tuesday, 20 March, 2001: Lawyers acting for the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing have been granted an extra six weeks to work on his appeal. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of killing 270 people in the 1988 bomb attack on Pan Am airliner Flight 103. However, shortly after his conviction, the 48-year-old's legal team announced that he would seek to appeal. A Scottish courts official said: "The lawyers have been granted an extension of six weeks from the 21st of March." Al-Megrahi was convicted on 31 January at a special Scottish Court in the Netherlands, which was set up for his trial and that of co-accused al-Amin Fhimah. Fhimah was found not guilty but Al Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation by the court that he serve at least 20 years in jail. [BBC]
Tuesday, 20 March, 2001: Libya's U.N. envoy said on Monday he believed Britain and the United States were acting in good faith in talks aimed at spelling out how Tripoli can end U.N. sanctions imposed after the 1988 bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. "Every day, we do understand each other much better," Libyan ambassador Abuzed Omar Dorda said after his latest meeting with U.S. ambassador James Cunningham and British ambassador Jeremy Greenstock on Lockerbie. The two envoys were acting in "very good faith," Dorda said in response to a reporter's question. "Knowing each other leads to the necessary confidence." The three have met twice since Scottish judges on Jan. 31 convicted intelligence agent Abdelbasset al-Megrahi in the Pan Am bombing. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 20 March, 2001: At the invitation of the Government of Libya, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) will be holding its 29th Ordinary Session, in Tripoli, Libya, from 23 April to 7 May 2001. Delegates of State Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, representatives of United Nations Agencies, Inter-Governemental Organisations ( IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) will also be in attendance. Among other issues to be discussed at this session are: - the examination of complaints on Human and Peoples' Rights violations, the examination of the reports of the Special Rapporteurs on : Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa and the Rights of Women in Africa, ... situation of human rights defenders in Africa, etc. [Africa News]
Monday, 19 March, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi called on Libyans Sunday to devote their economic strength to the development of Africa, saying Libya's future lies in the continent. "Your future and the future of your children is in Africa. ... You have money, oil and gas; Africa should benefit from them," Qadhafi told the annual session of the General People's Congress, Libya's legislature. Echoing his announcement earlier this month of the creation of a united Africa, Qadhafi said: "We have the chance now with the birth of the African Union. Our riches and our oil must be put at the service of the African economic zone." "Africans should also benefit from Libya's riches and you should not be opposed to it," Qadhafi said, alluding to the deadly riots last year that forced 33,000 black Africans to flee Libya. Qadhafi was addressing the annual one-week session of the General People's Congress, which is due to look at Libyan internal developments and foreign policy and to question officials about their ministries' activities. [AFP]
Sunday, 18 March, 2001: A Libyan court postponed for the tenth time on Saturday the trial of six Bulgarian health workers charged with deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus, a Bulgarian official said. The medics' trial formally opened on February 7, 2000. "The Libyan People's Court postponed the trial until April 28," a spokeswoman for Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov told Reuters. The delay was granted at the request of the medics' Libyan lawyer Othman al-Byzanti, the spokeswoman said. She gave no details. Previous delays were also at the request of the defense. Bulgarian state radio on Saturday quoted al-Byzanti as saying that the court had again rejected his request for foreign experts to testify in the case. The six medics are charged with intentionally infecting the children with blood products contaminated with HIV in what the indictment says was a bid to destabilize the Libyan state. Eight Libyans and a Palestinian face similar charges. [Reuters]
Sunday, 18 March, 2001: Mohammed Abul-Qasim Al-Zwai will be entertained with other Arab ambassadors at a banquet in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday by leaders of the Scottish parliament. Sir David Steel, a longstanding advocate of closer ties with Libya, will host the event. Al-Zwai is the first Libyan ambassador to Britain in 17 years. His trip to Scotland will be among his first official duties after he presents his credentials to the Queen on Tuesday. Peter Lowenstein, one of the founders of the American group Victims of Pan Am 103, who lost his son Alexander in the bombing, said: "It's the old story that money, greed and oil rule and everything else falls by the wayside. The Scots should have perhaps tried to avoid having the Libyan ambassador to dinner." Opposition members of the Scottish parliament are likely to raise questions about Steel's role. Steel, presiding officer of the Scottish parliament and former Liberal leader, flew to Tripoli several years ago to meet Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan leader. [The Sunday Times]

Saturday, 17 March, 2001: Emirates airline will launch its inaugural flight to Libya on March 25, Emirates officials said. The Dubai carrier will run three non-direct flights to Tripoli through Malta on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and direct return flights to Dubai on the same days, the officials added. Emirates' new service is part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Dubai and Libyan civil aviation authorities in March 1999. The MoU allows both to run unlimited flights and grant them open rights for transportation of passengers, cargo and mail courier. Under the MoU, both civil aviation authorities are also allowed to exchange information, expertise in aircraft and aerial control, maintenance and training. It also recommended the signing of an avoidance of dual-taxation pact between the two countries. [Golf News]
Friday, 16 March, 2001: Libya's Ambassador in Seoul, Ahmed Mohamed al-Tabuli, expressed Thursday his hopes that Dong Ah Construction Industrial Co. will continue its large-scale Libyan waterway project that has been in jeopardy since Dong Ah was ordered to liquidate last week, Yonhap News Agency reported. The ambassador conveyed the hopes in a meeting with Kang Ghil-boo, South Korea's vice construction and transportation minister, Yonhap said. Last week, Seoul Bankruptcy Court ordered Dong Ah to be placed out of court receivership, a move that will likely liquidate the fifth largest Korean builder. Dong Ah will face formal liquidation unless it, along with creditors or shareholders, appeal the case to a higher court within two weeks. [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 15 March, 2001: Palestinian President Yasser Arafat arrived in Libya on Wednesday for talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Palestinian officials said. They said Arafat's talks with Qadhafi would focus on Arab support for the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation ahead of an Arab summit later this month in Jordan. A Palestinian official said by telephone that Arafat, who arrived in Qadhafi's hometown Sirte, east of Tripoli, would also visit other Arab countries. A least 345 Palestinians, 13 Israeli Arabs and 65 other Israelis have been killed since the Palestinian uprising erupted in late September. [Reuters]
Thursday, 15 March, 2001: Up to 34 African countries have ratified the Constitutive Act to establish an African Union (AU), Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge said on Wednesday. Mudenge told foreign diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe that a total of 36 member countries of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) are needed to ratify the act. "We are confident that within the next year the AU would be a reality," he said. Formation of the AU was mooted by Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and endorsed at an extraordinary summit of the OAU in Sirte, Libya earlier this month. The AU, whose headquarters will be in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, is to have several institutions under its auspices, including a Pan-African Parliament and an African Court of Justice. [Xinhua]
Wednesday, 14 March, 2001: France's highest court has ruled that Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi cannot be prosecuted in connection with the bomb attack on a French DC-10 airliner over Niger in 1989. Ten years after the bombing of UTA Flight 772 which killed 170 people, six Libyans - including Colonel Qadhafi's brother-in-law - were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment. Last October, a French appeals court ruled that Colonel Qadhafi did not have diplomatic immunity in the case although he is a serving head of state, and could therefore be prosecuted. The court ruled that diplomatic immunity did not apply to acts of terrorism. But on Tuesday the Cour de Cassation overturned the appeals court ruling, effectively ending France's case against the Libyan leader. [BBC]
Wednesday, 14 March, 2001: Libya welcomed Tuesday night France's highest court of appeal's refusal to authorise a criminal investigation into Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. "This decision proves the extent of the lie of which Libya is the victim," according to Hassuna al-Shauesh, an official spokesman for the Libyan authorities, who welcomed "the improvement in relations between France and Libya." The Cour de Cassation, France's highest court of appeal, refused to authorise a criminal investigation into Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qadhafi over his alleged role in the destruction of a DC-10 airliner over Niger in 1989. [AFP]
Wednesday, 14 March, 2001: Official sources in Tripoli Monday confirmed the signing of a cooperation agreement between Libya and Somalia, in the information sector. By the terms of the agreement, Libya would help Somalia rebuild its media infrastructure destroyed by years of civil strife. Libya would also train Somalis in various media fields including the audio-visual. The general manager of Libyan Radio and Television, Abdallah Mansour, signed the agreement on the Libyan side. Somalia's Information minister Zakariya Belhadj, who was on an official visit to Tripoli, signed for his country. [PANA]
Tuesday, 13 March, 2001: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries needs to cut crude output by around one million barrels a day when they meet later this week to sustain OPEC's basket price at $25.00 a barrel, a Libyan oil official told Dow Jones Newswires Monday. Speaking by telephone, the official said, "We (Libya) believe around one million b/d is a good figure as during the second quarter oil demand is expected to fall by a daily average of 1.7 million b/d." Friday, OPEC's basket price stood at $24.59/bbl. The official said that all OPEC members recognize that an output cut is now needed so as to protect prices from dipping in the second quarter amid forecasts of lower demand. He said he was confident "a collective decision" would be made at the forthcoming meeting on an output cut figure. [Dow Jones]
Tuesday, 13 March, 2001: Korea Express Co. said it can't take over the Great Manmade River (GMR) project in Libya without financial assistance from the government or creditors, Tuesday's Korea Herald reported. "The government asked us to continue the GMR project, stressing the fact that we're a member of the Dong Ah consortium and therefore best able to complete the project," company spokesman Lee Po-kyong told the Herald. "However, it made no mention of any financial or technical assistance that we would need to carry out the work." [Dow Jones]
Monday, 12 March, 2001: Splendidly decorated in their best for the occasion, 52 African rulers obediently marched to Tripoli, Libya, recently to sign the African Union. Even if their continent is immersed in bitter regional conflicts, violent ethnic rivalries, and at the bottom of the world economic and human development ladder, Africa's drowning chiefs, true to their taste for hypocrisy, declared their new little Qadhafi-sponsored toy a resounding success. Qadhafi, impatient about the birth of his "Union" since he has failed in similar endeavours with his Arab relatives, urged the Africans to sign, instructing them that they did not need "a pilgrimage" to affix their signatures to his document. And they obediently did. Indeed an African Union, but only a union of like-minded dictators and thieves without their people's endorsement. Such is no union, only the beginning of more confusion and endless conferences. [The Perspective]
Sunday, 11 March, 2001: Zambia beat Libya 2-0 on Saturday in an African World Cup qualifying match. Zambia now has six points in Group A while Libya has just one point from four matches. Cameroon leads the group with 12 points while Angola has six points and Togo has one point. Libya's coach Mohammed Salim said his team viewed Saturday's encounter as a friendly match because qualification for the World Cup finals was already beyond Libya's reach. [AP]
Saturday, 10 March, 2001: In Korea, the Seoul district court Friday ruled against the creditors of Dong Ah Construction Co., canceling court receivership for the ailing builder and putting it on a course to bankruptcy. But the ruling also said that the ailing company's waterway construction projects in Libya will not be affected, even after the company begins bankruptcy procedures. The ruling effectively raises prospects that the construction firm will be declared bankrupt as the chances are slim that an appeal to the higher court by the company and creditors will be accepted. The court can rule the company bankrupt if it fails to make an appeal within two weeks. The company's bankruptcy, if it takes place, could lead to the bankruptcies of its subcontractors, a drop in the country's overseas credit and a diplomatic row with Libya. [Asia Pulse]
Saturday, 10 March, 2001: The Libya soccer contingent, in Zambia for Saturday's World Cup match in Chingola yesterday lambasted FAZ (The Zambian Football Committee) for what they claimed shoddy accommodation arrangements and later checked themselves out of the Savoy Hotel in Ndola. After the morning work out at Dola Hill stadium, the Libyans took Ndola based FAZ committee member Pivoty Simwanza to task and demanded to be driven to Kitwe where they wanted to be booked at Edinburgh Hotel as earlier arranged. Simwanza explained that Edinburgh Hotel was fully booked and that they should be patient as the association was looking into their accommodation issue. But the Libyan officials, expressing dissatisfaction at Simwanza's statement that Edinburgh was full and ordered all their players out of their rooms and onto the bus to Kitwe. While Simwanza insisted Edinburgh Hotel was fully booked, the Libyans travelled to Kitwe and managed to get accommodated at the hotel without difficulties. [Times of Zambia ]
Friday, 9 March, 2001: Results and standings in the World Cup African zone soccer qualifying competition ahead of this weekend's matches: ... Libya: games played: 3, games won: 0, games drawn: 1, games lost: 2, goals for: 4, goals aginst: 9, points: 1. Angola beat Libya 3-1, Libya ties with Togo 3-3 and Libya lost to Cameroon 3-0... . [Xinhua]
Friday, 9 March, 2001: Dong Ah Construction Industrial Co.'s liquidation will be manageable to Korea Express as long as the Great Manmade River Project in Libya is completed, according to a report in Friday's Korea Herald. Korea Express holds a 12% stake in the Libya project and has 700 billion won in debt payment guarantees from Dong Ah. A Korea Express official said that Korea Express would be viable if it were not for its ties to Dong Ah Construction. [Dow Jones]
Friday, 9 March, 2001: Nigeria Thursday urged the African countries to take more active actions to promote the materialization of the African Union (AU). The signing of the AU Treaty is a right step in the right direction, said Bimbola Ogunkelu, Nigeria's minister of integration and cooperation in Abuja. Ogunkelu noted that there is need now more than ever for African countries to work together to make a reality of the AU. Nigerian President Obasanjo attended the summit held in Sirte, Libya, which announced the coming into being of the AU. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 8 March, 2001: The creditors of South Korea's embattled Dong Ah Construction said they would discuss the conversion of the financially troubled builder's debts into equity if Dong Ah is put under court receivership. The nine creditors, including Korea Exchange Bank, submitted a petition Tuesday to have the troubled builder put under court management to the Seoul district court. This is being interpreted as an expression of the creditors' willingness to swallow part of Dong Ah's losses if the court grants court receivership, an official at a creditor bank said. According to the application, the creditor banks will pursue Dong Ah's overseas and civil engineering projects, as they are more profitable than its construction and plant operations. The company's promising projects include a waterway project in Libya and engineering projects for highways, dams, harbors and railroads. [Asia Pulse]

Wednesday, 7 March, 2001: Jeune Afrique, the Paris-based African magazine, has reported in its current issue that Guinea's President Lansana Conte recently rejected a US $500,000 "gift" from Libyan leader Qadhafi. The money was allegedly taken to Conakry in a suitcase by Libyan envoy, Mr. Ali Treiki. Treiki, who in the 70s announced that, "a bag of cash can take care of any problem in Africa," is believed to center his diplomacy on bribing corrupt African leaders. Jeune Afrique said Qadhafi's special envoy went to pay a friendly visit to Guinea and was received in audience by Lansana Conte. According to witnesses to the meeting, the Libyan Envoy had brought a valise containing cash in the amount of 1/2 of a million dollars, as a gesture from the leader of the Jamahirya. Conte refused the money. According to Jeune Afrique, few days before Treiki's visit, Guinean forces had arrested a rebel at the Guinean border with Liberia who admitted having been trained in Libya and entering in Guinea through Liberia. [The Perspective]

Tuesday, 6 March, 2001: "Rogue nations," an expression discouraged by the Clinton administration in June 2000, has crept into the language of the Bush administration. U.S. President Bush has used the expression twice in the past week, sending a signal to his subordinates that they can follow suit if they choose. "The president thinks it's a term that means something to people. It's pretty clear what it means," National Security Council spokeswoman Mary Ellen Countryman said on Monday. It was former Secretary of State Albright who decided to drop the term, in recognition of the fact that countries such as North Korea, Libya and Iran can change their policies. She advocated the alternative expression "states of concern" but that phrase never really caught the imaginations of diplomats, policymakers and journalists. [Reuters]

Monday, 5 March, 2001: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has received a message from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in which Mubarak stressed his country's backing to the foundation of the African federation and its readiness to proceed forward into African unity. In his message, the Egyptian President also stressed Egypt's stand with Libya in the question of Lockerbie and its demand to immediately and ultimately lift the oppressive measures imposed on Libya because of this case. The message was delivered by Egyptian foreign minister Amr Mousa who led his country's delegation to the extraordinary African summit. [ArabicNews.Com]
Sunday, 4 March, 2001: Some of the biggest names in Africa came to Libya to applaud Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and his ideas. But they left without making any concrete progress toward the "United States of Africa" that the Libyan leader says is the only way to rescue the continent from poverty and powerlessness. At the end of two-day Organization of African Unity summit in the coastal Libyan town of Sirte on Friday night, the leaders announced the "establishment" of an African Union but said not enough nations had formally ratified the proposal, first floated by Qadhafi in 1999 and adopted as a goal a year later at a summit in Togo. Two-thirds of the OAU's 53 nations, or 36 states, must ratify the union before it can come into force. The failure at Sirte to institute Qadhafi's latest foreign policy objective is not likely to slow his pursuit of a leading role in Africa and a place in its history. [AP]

Human Rights Solidarity : A Press Release

Saturday, 3 March, 2001: The 5th extraordinary summit of the Organization of African Unity ended Friday in the Libyan city of Sirte with the proclamation of the African Union, a launching pad for greater continental unity and integration. OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim read the declaration, saying all the member states had signed the Constitutive Act of the Union. Salim said that following the signing of the Constitutive Act, the assembly of Heads of State and Government "proudly declared the African Union by a unanimous decision." He explained that the act would go into operation 30 days after all the members would have deposited their instruments of ratification with the OAU secretariat. At the last count some 32 of the 53 member-states countries had either ratified or informed the OAU of their ratification of the Act. [PANA]
Saturday, 3 March, 2001: Nelson Mandela on Thursday urged leaders attending the fifth OAU extraordinary summit in Sirte to take a clear decision calling for the immediate and definitive lifting of UN sanctions against Libya. He regretted that the states dealing with Libya in the affair had not respected their commitments as had initially been agreed by all the parties. "A special tribunal has just condemned one of the two Libyan citizens at the end of the Lockerbie trial. During my mediation, it had been agreed that if Libya fully co-operates, The U.S. and U.K. would do their best to lift the sanctions..." "It was agreed that a Security Council resolution in this direction would be tabled as soon as Libya surrendered the said suspects. I expected the powers involved to call for the lifting of sanctions," Mandela added. Mandela said that he had written the leaders of these two countries and the UN secretary general to remind them of their commitments but up to now Libya has not received any reprieve. [PANA] - Home of "The Libyan Relief Fund"

Friday, 2 March, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, calling for a "United States of Africa," said Thursday that African leaders support plans for a union with a central bank, court and a single currency. Qadhafi opened a two-day summit of leaders of the Organization of African Unity by saying it marks an "historic juncture that will impact on the course of the entire world." Qadhafi said there is "a consensus" on the creation of an African union. It was not clear whether his proclamation meant the summit had already approved the declaration to create an African union. Two-thirds of the OAU's 53 countries must formally ratify it before it can become a reality. It is also unclear whether the union Qadhafi envisions would be anything more than symbolic. With Africa riven by rivalries, members are unlikely to give up any of their sovereignty. [AP]
Thursday, 1 March, 2001: African leaders have begun arriving at the Libyan town of Sirte for a summit which will discuss proposals for an African Union. Forty-four African countries which belong to the Organisation of African Unity have expressed their support for such a union, although it would have to be ratified by two-thirds of member states before it could become a reality. The summit is being organised by the Libyan leader, Colonel Qadhafi, who earlier this week helped to pay off the arrears of ten OAU states so that they could take part. [BBC]
Thursday, 1 March, 2001: Some 20 African Heads of State and government had arrived in the Libyan city of Sirte by late Wednesday ahead of Thursday's opening of the OAU's fifth Extra- Ordinary Summit on the African Union. OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim told PANA that more than 40 leaders were expected at the Summit. By the last count, some 46 of the Organisation's 53 member- states had signed the Union's Constitutive Act, while more than 22 had ratified it, according to OAU officials. [PANA]
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