News and Views [ September 2000 ]

Click here for today's news

Saturday, 30 September, 2000: Further details are emerging of serious disturbances in Libya over the past two weeks involving Libyans and nationals from several African countries. Some reports have said that dozens of people died, but no exact figures are available. Since Colonel Qadhafi introduced his pan-African policy, growing numbers of immigrants from other African countries have moved to Libya. Diplomats say the African immigrants, now thought to number about a million, have become the focus of social and economic resentment. [BBC]
Saturday, 30 September, 2000: Ghanian Government official sources are refusing to give exact figures but Chronicle has learnt that scores of Ghanaians have been roasted and others beaten to death by marauding bands of Libyans in Tripoli. Chronicle Intelligence reviewed an urgent SOS message telexed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Ghana's ambassador in Tripoli strongly recommending an urgent evacuation of all Ghanaians from Libya within the next three or four days. Reports reaching government from the Ghana Mission in Tripoli indicate that there was a massacre of Ghanaians on September, 24, at about 10:00 am, when Libyans totaling about 1000 attacked the Ghanaian community at their Refugee Camp in El-Zawia and set it on fire resulting in several fatalities and serious injuries. [Ghanaian Chronicle]
Saturday, 30 September, 2000: The recent violent clashes between Libyans and nationals of other African countries at the Gregarish area in [Tripoli, Libya] were caused by disagreements between Nigerian and Libyan drug gangs. This was confirmed at a meeting in Tripoli between diplomats of countries whose citizens were affected and the Libyan authorities to assess the extent of damage. Sources said that although Ghanaians were only caught in the crossfire, they could not be totally exonerated as some of them are also involved in such businesses. Reports said 42 Ghanaians had been arrested in the Tripoli area alone over the last three months for offences ranging from sale of alcohol to prostitution. The Ghana Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday that about 1,500 Ghanaians fled their homes as a result of the clashes, which also involved nationals of Nigeria, Niger and Chad. [PANA]
Saturday, 30 September, 2000: Scottish police never took out search warrants in Malta when they went to the Mediterranean island looking for clues into the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, a detective testified Friday. Detective Bell confirmed he took away a red hardback diary with Arabic writing that belonged to one of the accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, from the offices of Medtours Services in April 1991. But he argued he was within bounds to do so, as it was Fhimah's business partner Vincent Vasallo who handed him the diary from Fhimah's desk with a Maltese policeman present. Defence lawyer Richard Keen is fighting to get the diary rejected as admissable evidence, saying it was "unlawfully recovered" -- a stance that prosecutor Alastair Campbell rejects. Presiding judge Lord Ranald Sutherland agreed to a "trial within a trial" to bring out the facts about the diary and resolve what Keen described as "a live issue." [AFP]
Saturday, 30 September, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi late Thursday received a message from the Chadian President which was delivered by foreign Minister Mohamed Salah Nadif. The Libyan news agency reported that the message from Deby, current chairman of the Community of Sahelo- Sahelian States, was part of the bilateral dialogue between the two countries on issues of common interest. Nadif's visit in Tripoli comes a few days after the violent clashes between Africans and Libyans in Zawia city, north-western Libya, in which scores of migrants from several African nationals, mainly Chadians, were reportedly killed. [PANA]
Saturday, 30 September, 2000: The Non-Aligned Movement of developing countries Friday urged the U.N. Security Council to lift sanctions against Libya "immediately and irrevocably." In a letter to the council circulated Friday, a six-nation committee charged by the Non-Aligned Movement to follow up on sanctions said it was past time for them to be lifted. The foreign ministers of Cuba, South Africa, Malaysia, Burkina Faso, Laos and Zimbabwe said Libya had fully cooperated with the Scottish court, which is currently trying the two Libyan intelligence agents in the Netherlands. [AP]
Friday, 29 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Thursday made a call to establish a constructive dialog between oil producing and consuming nations based on equality, mutual respect and solid faith. He made the remarks Thursday in a written message sent to the OPEC summit held in Caracas. Qadhafi represented at the meeting by member of the Revolutionary Council Mustafa Al-Kharroubi (photo) recommended OPEC members to tighten cooperative relations with oil producing countries that do not belong to the organization, to favor common objectives and interests. [Xinhua]
Friday, 29 September, 2000: A former Libyan spy denied on Thursday that he fabricated lies about two former associates to claim a $4 million U.S. government reward for evidence in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The spy, who became a CIA mole four months before the Dec. 21, 1988 bombing that killed 270 people — including 189 Americans — is considered a key witness in the mass murder trial. Fhimah's attorney, Richard Keen, wrapped up two days of cross-examination in which he repeatedly accused Giaka of lying. On Thursday he called the witness a Walter Mitty, suggesting his testimony was sheer fantasy. The defense has portrayed Giaka as something of a Mitty-like character: a high school dropout who worked as a car mechanic and in other low-level positions for Libyan intelligence before he offered his services to the CIA. [AP]
Friday, 29 September, 2000: Ali el-Treiki, the secretary general of the Libyan public committee for the African unity who is currently visiting Jordan, said that President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will make an Arab tour soon and it is possible that he will visit Iraq, adding that Qadhafi will officially visit Jordan soon and that there are current communications to set its date which could be October the 3rd. El-Treiki demanded the necessity to lift up the imposed sanctions on Iraq especially that Iraq no longer forms danger to anyone, declaring Libya's support for running Arab and non Arab air flights to Baghdad. [ArabicNews.Com]
Friday, 29 September, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has donated a brand-new vehicle to Sheikh Sulaiman Kakeeto, Uganda's Tabligh Muslim head (Amir). The four-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser, Reg. No. UAD 374A, was handed over to Kakeeto on Tuesday. "It is Col. Qadhafi who has donated the car to me ... He fully paid for the freight charges and the taxes." "I am not the first beneficiary of Qadhafi's generosity. Even the First Lady, Mrs. Janet Museveni, got a brand-new car from Qadhafi which you reported about in your paper," he said. Last year, Qadhafi gave Janet a sleek BMW worth about US$100,000. [New Vision]

Thursday, 28 September, 2000: A Libyan spy who became a CIA double agent was portrayed yesterday as a buffoon and a fantasist who invented evidence against the men accused of the Lockerbie bombing. Abdul Majid Giaka (photo) was described in court in Camp Zeist, Holland, as a second-rate spy who provided low-level material to the CIA. The trial was told that in July 1991, three years after Mr Giaka began working for the CIA, it warned him that if he did not produce something of value he would be dropped. The next day, he mentioned for the first time that he had seen the defendants arrive together at Luqa airport, Malta, on the eve of the bombing, with a Samsonite suitcase of the type that carried the bomb. The defence claimed that this, provided more than 30 months after the bombing, secured him a new life in America. [The Telegraph]
Thursday, 28 September, 2000: A key witness claimed he was related to King Idris and that Colonel Qadhafi was involved in an international masonic conspiracy, the Lockerbie trial has heard. Abdul Majid Giaka, 40, was said by the defence to have made the statements to his CIA handlers. Giaka, a Libyan defector who now lives under protection in the US, is being cross-examined by lawyers for the two accused who are trying to discredit his evidence. Bill Taylor QC referred to a previously secret CIA cable dated late 1989 which suggested the double agent be "cut off without a penny" from 1 January 1990 unless he came up with useful information. He suggested Giaka came up with vital new evidence within hours of a make-or-break meeting with CIA agents and US Department of Justice officials. [BBC]
Thursday, 28 September, 2000: Libyan Intelligence officers began to investigate a retaliatory strike within weeks of a United States bombing raid on Tripoli in 1986, the Lockerbie trial heard yesterday. They looked at the chances of getting an unaccompanied bag on board an aircraft, but one of the men accused of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 two years later advised a colleague, "Don't rush things", the Scottish court in the Netherlands was told. The evidence was given by Abdul Majid Giaka, 40, one of the prosecution's main witnesses, a former double agent who has lived under an assumed identity in the US since defecting from Libya. [The Scotsman]
Thursday, 28 September, 2000: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qadhafi vowed to deepen economic cooperation between their countries during a telephone conversation Tuesday, Berlin said Wednesday. A German government spokeswoman confirmed Libyan media reports that the two leaders had spoken. ``The chancellor wanted to thank Qadhafi personally for his role in the recent hostage crisis on Jolo and they also expressed the desire to intensify economic relations,'' the spokeswoman told Reuters. Libya helped negotiate the release of foreign hostages, including German citizens, held for months by Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines in August and September. [Reuters]

Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: The press organ of the Libyan revolutionary committees, 'Al Zahf Al-Akhdar' Tuesday accused foreign powers of trying to sabotage Libya's drive for stronger relations with sub-Saharan Africa. In its reaction to fights which occurred over the past two days involving Libyans in several towns and migrant workers from sub-Saharan African countries, the paper said the confusion was caused by "agents and valets in the pay of international imperialism." The daily said it considered the clashes as "high treason," affirming that the revolution was capable of eradicating trouble makers bent on demolishing the pillars of African Union. [PANA]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: The General People's Congress has instituted new security measures across Libya. Correspondents say they are believed to be in response to clashes reported to have taken place between Libyans and Africans in the town of Zawiya, forty kilometres west of Tripoli. Unconfirmed reports say about fifty people, mostly Chadians, were killed in the violence. In a statement on state-run radio, the Congress said It had ordered the authorities to stem the hiring of foreigners by the private sector. [BBC]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: Sudan has asked the Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhfi, to intervene following reports of clashes between Libyans and African expatriates, including many Sundanese nationals. The Sudanese independent daily newspaper Akhbar al-Yom reported 50 people were killed in clashes between Libyans and nationals of Sudan and Chad. The Sudanese leader, Omar al-Bashir, has sent a message to Colonel Qadhafi, asking him to try to contain the situation at Zawiya, outside Tripoli. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail had made telephone calls to a number of Libyan officials. [BBC]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: A Yemeni official announced on Monday that Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has postponed a visit he had decided to pay this week to Sanaa to take part in the celebrations to be held to mark the 38th anniversary of announcing the Republican system in Yemen. The Yemeni official added that al-Qadhafi told his Yemeni counterpart Ali Abdullah Saleh he will visit Yemen in a later date which was not defines yet. [ArabicNews.Com]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: Speaking in Jordan, Libya's African Unity Minister, Ali Abdel Salam Triki, dismissed reports of clashes between Libyans and Africans as baseless. But he told the French news agency there had been fights recently between Nigerians and Libyans over moral issues, particularly concerning young women. He said "some fights broke out among members of the Nigerian and Libyan communities" when Nigerian men tried "to tease girls." He said several arrests had been made, but he declined to say whether there had been casualties. Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Monday that about 50 people had been killed in clashes in al-Zawiya, forty Kilometers west of Tripoli. [BBC]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: Ghana's Mission in Libya is yet to recover from an unprecedented scandal that has rocked the embassy involving the theft of about $1,000,000 representing monies belonging to Ghanaians in Libya, who are barred from saving in local banks. The Consul of the mission who took custody of the monies, sustained serious injuries after being set upon by highly agitated Ghanaian women, who clouted his face with raw punches during a demonstration at the premises of the Mission. Chronicle gathered that two Ghanaians died on the spot while many others sustained various degrees of injuries. [Ghanaian Chronicle]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: The prosecution's star witness at the Lockerbie trial said Tuesday he saw the two accused with a brown Samsonite suitcase like the one in which the bomb that destroyed Pan American Flight 103 was concealed. Testifying under tight security, behind a plain white curtain, Abdul Majid Giaka, 40, also said that one of the accused had shown him explosives locked in a desk drawer at a Libyan airline office in Malta's international airport. Giaka, a Libyan spy turned paid CIA informer who defected to the United States in 1991 where he now lives under a witness protection scheme, was testifying against compatriots Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, 48, and Al-Amin Fhimah, 44. Both are charged with being Libyan agents who planted the bomb that destroyed New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board plus 11 on the ground. Both have pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges. Questioned by Scotland's deputy Crown prosecutor Alastair Campbell, Giaka said he worked for the Libyan intelligence agency JSO in Malta, posing as the assistant station manager of Libyan Arab Airlines. Fhimah was his immediate superior with the airline on the Mediterranean island, and Megrahi was head of the JSO's airline security unit in Tripoli, he said. [AFP]
Wednesday, 27 September, 2000: Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov on Tuesday discussed with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the trial in Libya of six Bulgarians accused of deliberately infecting nearly 400 children with AIDS virus. Kostov told reporters after meeting with Mubarak that he raised the issue with the Egyptian leader, explaining the Bulgarian point of view on the case. The six Bulgarians, five nurses and a doctor, have been accused of injecting 393 children with AIDS virus. Twenty-three of them have already died. [Xinhua]
Tuesday, 26 September, 2000: The prosecution at the Lockerbie trial is expected to produce a star witness today - a Libyan double agent who was working for the CIA. Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka is scheduled to appear at the Scottish court in the Netherlands, where two Libyans are on trial for causing the deaths of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Mr Giaka, who has been living under protection in the USA, has been brought to Camp Zeist under armed guard. The judges decided last week not to allow further delays to his appearance. [BBC]
Tuesday, 26 September, 2000: Libyan Oil Minister Abdalla Salem El Badri said Monday the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn't going to discuss oil output at its upcoming heads of state summit and will use its price band mechanism to control output until it next meets Nov. 12. According to OPEC's price band system, production will increase by 500,000 barrels a day if the OPEC basket exceeds $28 a barrel for 20 consecutive trading days. A price below $22/bbl for 10 straight days will trigger a 500,000 b/d output cut. El Badri said the U.S. decision to release oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve was made at the wrong time because it was done just after OPEC increased output to bring prices down. "So, we don't know if prices are coming down because of the (the SPR release) or OPEC's action on output," Al Badri told Dow Jones Newswires. OPEC increased production by 800,000 b/d as of October 1. Libya's quota of OPEC's total output is 1.4 million b/d. El Badri said Libya could increase production by any amount that may be called for in future production increases but refused to say where the country's spare capacity currently stands. [Dow Jones]
Tuesday, 26 September, 2000: Of the 11,084 athletes at the Sydney Games, 38.3 percent are women, an increase from 34 percent at the 1996 Atlanta Games, the International Olympic Committee reported on Monday. Seventeen percent of the nations that failed to send women to Atlanta sent at least one woman to Sydney. Only nine participating countries failed to send any women to Sydney: Botswana, the British Virgin Isles, Brunei, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. [AP]
Tuesday, 26 September, 2000: For Mohammed Addarat, becoming an American citizen is the culmination of a childhood dream. Addarat, who is from Libya, was among nearly 100 people who took their oaths Friday to become naturalized American citizens. The Lexington resident works as an information technologist. Addarat said it took about 2 1/2 years to complete his naturalization process. He has already graduated from high school in the United States and said the ceremony Friday completed a process he has been thinking about since childhood. ''This feels good. I've been wanting to do this since I was a kid,'' Addarat said. [The Kentucky Post]

Monday, 25 September, 2000: In an escalation of the Middle East arms race, Libyan leader Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has negotiated a secret deal with North Korea that will finally give Libya the long-range missile capability he has craved since the Seventies. The first consignment of North Korean No-Dong surface-to-surface missiles and launchers, which have a range of up to 800 miles, were flown to Tripoli in the summer by a Libyan air transporter. The consignment, which cost the Libyans an estimated £300 million, was accompanied by nine North Korean missile engineers and technicians who will remain in Libya for two years. [The Telegraph]

Sunday, 24 September, 2000: Libya's secretary for African Unity, Ali Triki received late Friday in Syrte, Libya, Denis Kwassi, political adviser to the Ivorian leader Gen. Robert Guei. Both men discussed bilateral co-operation between the two countries and the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, Libyan official sources said. Kwassi was said to have expressed Abidjan's satisfaction and gratitude for Libya's support to Cote d'Ivoire. Kwassi's visit came amid tension in Cote d'Ivoire, over the 17 September controversial attack at Guei's Abidjan residence by gunmen. [PANA]

Saturday, 23 September, 2000: The son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and a key figure in the release of Western hostages in the Philippines said in an interview Tripoli paid $6 million to Muslim rebels there. Mr Seif al-Islam (photo) told France's Figaro magazine thet reports his charity had earmarked up to $25 million for development projects in the southern Philippines in exchange for the hostage release were not correct. Press reports said Libya had paid large sums to ensure the release of the hostages, a charge Tripoli has up until now denied. [The Irish Times] Link: Qadhafi Foundation
Saturday, 23 September, 2000: Long term prospects not quick deals will be the aim of over 30 British businessmen on an upcoming trade mission to Libya, one of the world's most unpredictable countries. The trip comes as Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is busy trying to project a polished image to Western countries which have long accused him of sponsoring international terrorism. Libya now seems more interested in luring foreign cash than fierce verbal tirades against the West -- good news for oil executives, long frustrated by United Nations sanctions. The Libyan British Trade and Investment Mission will visit Libya from September 30 to October 3, the second such trip since the United Nations suspended sanctions on Libya last year. [Reuters]
Saturday, 23 September, 2000: Seif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has accused an American being held hostage by Muslim separatists in the southern Philippines of being an arms dealer. Seif al-Islam, who heads a Libyan foundation which helped negotiate the release of other hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf group, made the charge in an interview published Friday in France's Figaro magazine. "We now know that Jeffrey Schilling was selling weapons to the rebels," the head of the Qadhafi Charitable Foundation said. "This is information that no one knew and that I'm revealing for the first time." He alleged that Schilling, 24, an African-American convert to Islam from Oakland, California, had gone "several times" to meet with Abu Sayyaf guerrillas on the southern island of Jolo before he was taken hostage. "He may have converted to Islam but he is above all an arms dealer," Seif al-Islam said. "Libya has no stake in the fate of the American hostage." [AFP]
Saturday, 23 September, 2000: Twenty-one delegates from 13 countries today supported the formation of the World Muslim Congress, spearheaded by the Malaysians' Muslims Solidarity Movement (MMSM), scheduled to be held in 2002. They are from Singapore, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Thailand and Malaysia. "Others who could not join us today had expressed their regrets but registered their support in writing," MMSM president Datuk Zulkifli Ahmad told newsmen after meeting with the delegates at the MMSM headquarters here. The delegation comprised ambassadors, senior embassy officials from Islamic countries and Islamic organisations. [Yahoo]
Friday, 22 September, 2000: Judges at the Lockerbie trial [of al-Ameen Fhaima and Abdel-Baset al-Megerhi (photo)] have ruled that a Libyan double agent working for the CIA should enter the witness box next week. Abdul Majid Giaka, who is living under protection in the US where he defected 10 years ago, is expected to be flown to The Netherlands to begin giving evidence on Tuesday. When the trial resumed on Thursday after a three-week adjournment, defence lawyers sought a further delay in his appearance but that has been overruled and Giaka is expected to give evidence over several days to the Scottish Court at Camp Zeist. [BBC]
Friday, 22 September, 2000: Iraq reached a tax cut agreement with Egypt and Libya recently to promote its trade relations with the two Arab countries, local media reported on Thursday. Hameed Shukur Mahmoud, director general of the Iraqi Customs Committee, said that it has been agreed to cut 40 percent of the taxes levied on imported goods among the three Arab countries. Such a move is expected to promote the trade volume among the three countries by a large margin and help improve the humanitarian situation of Iraq, the report said. [Xinhua]
Friday, 22 September, 2000: Somali President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan Thursday thanked Libya's leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, for his role in advancing "national reconciliation" in Somalia, a Libyan official said. During a meeting with Qadhafi, he also thanked the Libyan leader for economic aid Libya had provided to Somalia. Salat arrived in the coastal city of Sirte late Wednesday on the third leg of an international trip abroad after being elected last month by members of a newly formed transitional parliament, meeting in neighbouring Djibouti. [AFP]
Friday, 22 September, 2000: U.S. nationals seeking refreshment in a hotel next to where IMF and World Bank meetings are being held in Prague must ask a foreign friend to buy them a drink -- or face penalties because of anti-Libya sanctions. The U.S. embassy says the smart Corinthia Towers hotel belongs to a "Specially Designated National of Libya" and is therefore subject to U.S. sanctions against Libya. Any U.S. national paying for services at the hotel could therefore be penalised under U.S. law, the embassy said on its Web site ( Thirsty U.S. delegates could, however, be bought a drink at the hotel by foreign friends. Although the U.S. maintains sanctions against Libya, other United Nations members lifted their embargoes after Tripoli turned over two nationals for trial in connection with the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, when 270 people were killed. [Reuters]

Thursday, 21 September, 2000: Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is expected to visit Jordan on October 3 as part of a regional tour, a senior official told AFP on Wednesday. "Colonel Qadhafi is expected here October 3 for a working visit and talks with King Abdullah II on bilateral and regional affairs, as part of a regional tour," the official said. Jordanian Information Minister Taleb Rifai told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting that Qadhafi was expected "hopefully early next month". Jordan is hoping the visit, the first to the kingdom since 1983, will help bolster relations between the two countries, particularly that Amman is looking for Libyan help to build a water conveyance project. [AFP]
Thursday, 21 September, 2000: An international conference on the rationalization of energy in industry and on the impact of energy on environment and health opened proceedings in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday. The three-day conference will discus technical, economic and ecological aspects likely to lead to the rationalization of energy use in various industrial sectors. The conference is sponsored by the World energy organization and the Arab organization for industrial development in cooperation with the Libyan scientific research institute. Representatives of several universities and international organizations -including the World Health Organization, the Islamic Development Bank and the UNDP-are participating in the conference. [ArabicNews.Com]

Wednesday, 20 September, 2000: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is to begin a few days visit to Jordan today during which he is going to meet king Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss the different International and Arab causes as well as the bilateral ties between the two states. The Jordanian - Libyan relations are witnessing a remarkable progress especially in the water field as it is expected that Libya will present technical and financial support for a Jordanian water project whose costs are nearly 650 million dollars. [ArabicNews.Com]
Wednesday, 20 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is due to visit Yemen next week, a Yemeni official said on Tuesday. The official said Qadhafi would take part in celebrations on September 26 marking 38 years since the introduction of a presidential system of government in Yemen. Jordan's King Abdullah may also attend the celebrations. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 20 September, 2000: Libyan diplomatic sources in Cairo said Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will start a foreign tour expected to start this week and covers Jordan, Syria and Yemen and several states in the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council member states. The sources added the Libyan president will propose during his Arab tour which is considered the first since the suspension of sanctions imposed on Libya in May this year, a new vision for Afro-Arab cooperation, in which he will define grounds for such a cooperation, before the convening of the special African summit to be held in Sirte, Libya in March. [ArabicNews.Com]
Wednesday, 20 September, 2000: Togolese president and OAU current chairman, Gnassingbe Eyadema has discussed with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, "the explosion in oil prices on the international market." The diplomatic exchange was through a message from the Libyan leader to Eyadema delivered Monday by the Libyan ambassador to Togo, Awad Yossef Buhawia. According to Buhawia, Qadhafi wanted to share with Eyadema, his thoughts on the oil price increase which he said, "is not the fault of members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)," but results rather from the "pressure of Western countries". [PANA]
Wednesday, 20 September, 2000: Japanese foreign Minister Kio Hiro Araki arrived Monday night in Tripoli on a working visit. Diplomatic sources said the visit, the first by a senior Japanese official over the past seven years, was aimed at boosting co-operation between Tripoli and Tokyo. A delegation of Japanese foreign ministry experts visited Tripoli in July and August to discuss arrangements for the impending opening of Japanese embassy in Libya. In an arrival statement, Hiro said he hoped his visit would further enhance relations between the two countries, adding that by increasing co-operation with Tripoli, Tokyo hoped to cement its links with Africa. [PANA]

Tuesday, 19 September, 2000: The Libyan People's Congresses Sunday began the first of their three-day preparatory meeting for the 2000 annual assembly. The meeting, which opened Saturday evening, will draw the agenda of the forthcoming assembly, which is scheduled to discuss issues related with internal and external affairs, particularly Libya new African policy. Issues to be discussed include Libya's inclination to invest massively in Africa so as to tap the continent's massive resources; the ratification of the constitutive act of the African Union initiated by the Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [PANA]
Tuesday, 19 September, 2000: The deputy-speaker of the European parliament, Berhard Shmidith, left Tripoli Sunday, after a three-day visit to Libya during which he had talks with government officials on co-operation issues. Shmidith and his delegation were received, shortly before their departure by the Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, for talks centred on relations between Libya and the EU. In a press statement, Shmidith commended Qadhafi's efforts at promoting co-operation between Africa and Europe based on reciprocity and mutual respect. He pledged to strengthen co-operation between the two continents. [ArabicNew.Com]
Tuesday, 19 September, 2000: Sudan and Libya Sunday decided to step up bilateral trade, which the two sides recognised had declined drastically in recent years. At the end of a three-day meeting in Khartoum, the two countries called for the full operation of the existing commercial, financial, economic and investment protocols signed in 1990, to ensure the restoration of trade exchanges to their previous position. The meeting was co-chaired by Mustafa Ahmed Mustafa, director of external relations in the Sudanese ministry of commerce and Muneer Fereeni of the African Unity department of the Libyan Popular Committee. [PANA]

Monday, 18 September, 2000: Libya has added its voice to the latest dispute between Iraq and Kuwait over the ownership of border oilfields. The dispute -- which has reopened arguments which led to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait -- has led to warnings by the United States that President Saddam Hussein should not miscalculate Washington's readiness to protect Iraq's neighbours. The American Defence Secretary, William Cohen said again on Sunday that America was prepared to use force to prevent any aggressive move by Iraq. The official Libyan news agency JANA said the threats to Iraq came at a time of global concern about high oil prices and disruptions to supplies across Europe. The agency said the world should recognise the seriousness of making threats which could lead to damage in oil producing regions. [BBC]
Monday, 18 September, 2000: Libyan Bashir Attarabulsi resigned from the International Olympic Committee amid the uproar over one of his sons, Suhel, receiving Salt Lake bid committee scholarships to attend colleges in Utah. Despite that embarrassment, Attarabulsi (photo) was a participant in Sydney's opening ceremony. He marched behind Libya's flag bearer with several other national Olympic committee officials, and just ahead of Libya's two athletes -- one in judo, the other in tae kwon do. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

Press release: Human Rights Solidarity

Sunday, 17 September, 2000: A son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said in remarks broadcast today that the United States had told Libya its help was not needed to free an American hostage in the Philippines. Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, who heads a Libyan charity that helped free several Western hostages, also said Libyan negotiator Rajab Azzarouq was on his way to the Philippines to receive two French journalists still being held by the Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf. “The reason for Libya’s nonintervention to free the American hostage [Jeffrey] Schilling is that the United States has informed Libya that it is able to free its citizen without Libyan help,” Seif al-Islam told Abu Dhabi television in an interview. [Reuters]
Sunday, 17 September, 2000: The government of Libya yesterday dedicated the Simon Greenleaf Boys' Dormitory at the University of Liberia following five months of renovation. The cost of the 16-classroom project, according to the Libyan Ambassador at the Libyan People's Bureau near Monrovia, Mr. Mohammed Omar Talbi, is put at US $220,000. Ambassador Talbi maintained that no nation can prosper and make sustainable progress and development in the absence of quality health care delivery system, sound and standardized academic program. He said it is in this vein that his government has embarked on a vigorous campaign to revamp and reactivate the extremely important fabrics of Liberia to cater to the people. [The News]

Saturday, 16 September, 2000: An Arab League committee comprising seven foreign ministers has called for the complete lifting -- rather than just the suspension -- of sanctions imposed on Libya in connection with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The sanctions were suspended in April 1999 after the suspects were extradited, under a compromise arrangement, to face a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. In a letter to the president of the Security Council circulated Friday, the members of an Arab League committee set up to monitor the Lockerbie issue said although the two men first appeared before the Scottish court 18 months ago and Libya had fully cooperated with the court, the Security Council had still not lifted the sanctions. They cited a 1993 council resolution, endorsed in 1998, which spoke of lifting the sanctions once Libya had fully complied with the council's demands. [Reuters]
Saturday, 16 September, 2000: Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam dismissed Friday reports that one of Col. Mu'mmar al-Qadhafi's sons would succeed his father as the leader of Libya. Shalgam told the London-based Ash Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that Qadhafi succession by one of his sons "is not possible." "Who knows Libya will discover that the idea of presidency and inheritance is not possible even at the theoretical level," he said, adding that the activities of Qadhafi's sons were limited to "charitable institutions and supervision of some sports clubs." "None of Qadhafi's sons is holding an administrative, political or financial posts," Shalgam said, noting that one of them, Mohammed, is the President of the Olympic Federation, while another, al-Saadi, is the head of the Football Federation "and have the right as citizens to hold ... their posts." [UPI]
Saturday, 16 September, 2000: A major milestone was passed last week when Lundin Oil's wholly owned subsidiary, International Petroleum Libya Limited (IPLL) placed an order for 94,500 meters of pipeline that will connect its production from the En-Naga field with Libya's national export system. The En-Naga North and West Field was discovered by IPLL in 1998, has been appraised and contains certified, proven and probable recoverable reserves of 99 million barrels of oil. The 94.5 Km pipeline will connect the field to the Waha Oil Company's Samah production facility, from where an existing trunk line transports the oil to the Es-Sider terminal on the Gulf of Sirte. The En-Naga field is set to produce in excess of 15,000 barrels of oil a day in phase I, rising to a peak of around 24,000 barrels in phase 2, which is expected within 2 years of first production. [Business Wire]

Friday, 15 September, 2000: Libya on Thursday reiterated its call for the United Nations to lift permanently the sanctions imposed on it following the bombing of an airliner over the Scottish village of Lockerbie. Libyan Minister for International Cooperation Abdurrahman Shalgem (photo) told the UN General Assembly that "The Security Council should, as early as possible, adopt a resolution under which the sanctions imposed on the Libyan people are fully and irrevocably lifted." And he accused the United States of "stubbornness" in opposing the lifting of UN sanctions. Shalgem said that Libya categorically rejected terrorism, and was committed to cooperating fully with the judicial authorities. "Despite all these developments, however, the (UN Security) Council has been hindered from adopting the resolution which should be adopted -- namely to lift the sanctions -- because of the stubbornness of one country, the United States," he said. [AFP]
Friday, 15 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Thursday accused industrial countries of abusing oil producing regions and failing to show sensitivity to those areas whose oil drove the world economy. In a letter to government leaders about the latest oil price increases, which have provoked unrest and protest at high prices in much of Europe, Qadhafi said: "The policies adopted by superpowers towards these regions are crazy, rash and threatening and these areas have become very hot and explosive." "Regions which possess oil must be registered as sensitive and vital areas and there must be a guarantee to avoid handling them with roughness," he added. [Reuters]

Thursday, 14 September, 2000: German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made a brief stopover in Tripoli early Wednesday to thank the Libyan authorities for their role in the release of western hostages in the Philippines island of Jolo. It was the highest-level German visit to Libya since Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi took power three decades ago, and followed the successive release of two groups of western hostages. He changed his intinerary to take in Tripoli as he made his way from Berlin to New York for the United Nations summit. "I am here in the name of the German federal government to say thank you to all those who worked hard for the release of the hostages," he said to the press on arrival at the airport. [AFP]
Photos and video of the demonstration in New York - 1 September, 2000

Wednesday, 13 September, 2000: In the highest-level German visit to Libya since Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi took power three decades ago, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was heading to Tripoli Tuesday to thank Libya's authorities for their help in freeing hostages in the Philippines. Earlier Tuesday in Tripoli, Libya welcomed four westerners released Saturday through its mediation. Fischer's visit appeared to be yet another sign that Qadhafi's intercession in the hostage crisis has indeed helped rehabilitate the international profile of the Libyan leader, who took power in 1969 and has since been accused by the U.S. of masterminding terrorism. [AFP]
Wednesday, 13 September, 2000: Libya has agreed to cooperate in the investigation into the deadly 1986 bombing of a Berlin discotheque used by U.S. soldiers, a German court said on Tuesday. The court said a representative from Germany's state prosecutor's office and a police official would travel to Tripoli to hear the testimony of witnesses suspected of involvement. In a further twist to the case on Tuesday, one of the suspects said he wanted a confession he made earlier in the trial, which was subsequently dropped, to stand after all. Libyan suspect Musbah Abulgasem Eter (photo,) a former Libyan diplomat in East Berlin, had earlier confessed to his part in the attack. But his confession was ruled inadmissible because prosecutors were considered to have wrongly implied that he would be spared life imprisonment for the crime. Eter said on Tuesday the confession should stand. ``My statements were correct, but there are only a few misunderstandings,'' Eter told the court. Eter said he was breaking his silence because of the death of a Libyan secret service agent who had been threatening him. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 13 September, 2000: The third national conference on the Libyan economy ended in Tripoli Monday. Organised by the liaison office of the Libyan revolutionary committee, the meeting focused on the theme "restructuring the Libyan economy on the basis of the third universal theory of the Green Book." In its recommendations, the conference stressed the need "to accelerate the development process of local industries on economic basis that satisfies scientifically the needs of the local market." It reaffirmed the importance of the fight against corruption in all the economic institutions, and the need for the Libyan trade and economy, in general, to take into account the African market, in accordance with the country's new African policy. [PANA]
Wednesday, 13 September, 2000: Four Europeans freed after being held for 20 weeks by Muslim rebels in the Philippines have been handed over by Libya to representatives of their governments. The four were handed over at a ceremony broadcast live by Libyan TV at an historic Ottoman fortress in the centre of the capital, Tripoli. Libyan mediation had secured the release of German Marc Wallert, Frenchman Stephane Loisy and Finns Seppo Franti and Risto Vahanen at the weekend. The ceremony was attended by Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, chairman of the Qadhafi International Charity Foundation, which paid ransoms for the men. [BBC]
Wednesday, 13 September, 2000: The secretary-general of the Maghreb Arab Union (UMA), Mohamed Amamou, arrived in Tripoli Monday on a visit to Libya, official sources said Tuesday. Amamou's visit, whose duration was not stated, is believed to be part of efforts to strengthen the sub-regional organisation, which groups Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The union was founded in 1989 by North African countries except Egypt, which has an observer status in the organisation. It's activities have been stalled since 1995, mainly because of the dispute between Morocco and Algeria over Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, annexed by Morocco in 1975. [PANA]
Tuesday, 12 September, 2000: Libya's national football team Sunday beat that of Sudan 1-0 in Tripoli in a Group 7 duel of the 23rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches. Ezz-Eddeen Al-Misrati scored the lone goal of the match in the 35th minute. With three points, Libya joins Egypt at the top of Group 7. Egypt also beat Cote d'Ivoire 1-0 in Cairo 2 September. [PANA]
Tuesday, 12 September, 2000: Libya gave a red-carpet welcome Monday to four westerners released by kidnappers in the Philippines, the second time in less than two weeks that Tripoli has been an obligatory port of call for ex-hostages. "It will be a great pleasure for all of us to spend the night in Tripoli," said Vahanen, one of the freed hostages. His compatriot, Fraenti, had previously been reported as saying he wanted to go straight home, and not be a "clown" of Qadhafi, but Libyan officials [ of the Qadhafi charity organization lead by Qadhafi's son Seif al-Islam (photo) ] circulated a text Monday quoting the Finns as praising Azzarouq and saying their alleged statements were full of translation errors. [AFP]
Tuesday, 12 September, 2000: American hostage Jeffrey Schilling, in a taped message broadcast on local radio on Monday, denied he was a CIA agent and appealed for Libyan help in convincing Muslim extremist guerrillas to free him. "I would like to appeal to the American and Philippine governments to negotiate for my safe release," he said in the message broadcast on DXRZ radio. The 24 year-old from Oakland, California, said he was held by Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in the remote southern island of Jolo "but not mistreated." "Please see the Libyan government to act as negotiator to end my captivity as soon as possible," he said. [AFP]
Tuesday, 12 September, 2000: The Libyan national cycling team started a training course this weekend on the Velodrome tracks of the Tripoli marine academy sports complex. Seven cyclists, Ali Hadi (Al Ittihad team), Mahrane Souwayah, Abdel Mohsen Sassi and Mohamed Abou Melyana (Police team), Mohamed Mrabet (Al Medina team), Addel Kader Mohamed and Mohamed Mahmoud (Al Jofra team) were participating in the training course. The coach of the Libyan team, Alexander Ivaniok, devoted the first phase of the course to the physical and technical training of cyclists. The Libyan cycling federation said the team will go to Ghiryan, next week, to undergo the second phase of the race against the clock, which will end 25 September. Selected cyclists will leave for Algeria, where the championship is being organised. [PANA]

Monday, 11 September, 2000: Four Europeans freed by Muslim gunmen in the Philippines left Monday for Libya en route home, carrying bitter memories of their four-and-a-half-month jungle captivity. A Libyan plane arrived in Jolo early Monday to ferry the four to Tripoli where they are expected to be met by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi who played a key role in their release. The four were accompanied by medical personnel and diplomats from their countries as well as Libyan mediator Rajab Azzarouq, Tripoli's point man in negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf guerillas. The Russian-made plane was chartered by the Qadhafi Charitable Foundation, an organization headed by Qadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, which offered up to 10 million dollars in funding for development aid to poor Muslim areas in the southern Philippines. Sources close to the negotiations said millions of dollars in ransom were also paid to the guerrillas, but this has been denied by the foundation. [AFP]

Sunday, 10 September, 2000: Economic sanctions imposed on poor countries are just as threatening as terrorist acts of violence, Libya's foreign minister told world leaders at the U.N. Millennium Summit. ``In order for the international community to combat terrorism, we should, first and foremost, define terrorism and the causes which lie behind it, as well as all acts of violence,'' Libya's foreign minister, Abdel-Rahman Shalgem, said Friday. Then he defined terrorism, as Libya sees it: sanctions; resorting to brutal force; the threat to use such force; conditions laid down by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization; nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction. Shalgem also called for apologies and compensation for former colonies ``for the persecution inflicted upon them, the destruction caused to their environment, and for their resources and cultural properties that have been plundered.'' Libya is a former Italian colony. [AP]
Sunday, 10 September, 2000: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Saturday welcomed the release of the last German hostage held in the southern Philippines, Marc Wallert, and thanked those who helped secure his release, particularly Libya. Schroeder also praised his Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer for his involvement in resolving the crisis. Fischer, who earlier singled out Libyan envoy Rajab Azzarouq for special thanks, may well decide to fly to Tripoli to welcome Marc Wallert when the freed hostages are flown there on Sunday. [Reuters]
Sunday, 10 September, 2000: Ordinary Libyans seemed to be more aware of the hostage-release events this time than they were last month. Much of a CNN television interview with Qadhafi about the hostages was rebroadcast on Libyan state television. Imbarak al-Salmani, a bank employee, said: "It's revenge against the West which imposed an unfair embargo on us by branding us terrorists." "This proves that Qadhafi is fighting terrorism and not causing it." Munira Farid Beshir, a pharmacology student, said, "It's Libya's return to the international scene and an excellent prelude to the resumption of our relations with the western world." [AFP]
Sunday, 10 September, 2000: Police in the Central African Republic are reported to have charged two men with the murder of the Libyan ambassador to the country. Officials said the men had admitted to being part of a gang which gunned down the diplomat al-Sanussi Abdullah Awad in the capital, Bangui, eleven days ago. A third man, from Cameroon, is said to have escaped from custody. Libya has accused American and Israeli agents of being behind the killing. [BBC]

Saturday, 9 September, 2000: Libya has invited international oil companies to take part in joint ventures to upgrade and expand its refining and petrochemical industries, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reported on Monday. The authoritative industry newsletter said Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) is seeking bidding from a selected number of companies on joint ventures to build a new refinery at Sebha and to upgrade refineries at Ras Lanuf and Azzawiya. Libya's drive to attract foreign investment in its refining and petrochemical industries comes after the United Nations suspended sanctions on the country last year. [Reuters]
Press release: the Libyan League for Human Rights

Friday, 8 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi expressed optimism Thursday that Libya's strained relations with the United States could be eased and normal ties restored. ``I believe there is nothing which prevents the resuming or normalizing of relations between the two countries,'' Qadhafi told CNN in a live interview. ``It is now a new era,'' Qadhafi said. America should ``reconsider its imperialist approach, because it does not fit with the new era and it will fail in the end,'' he added. Qadhafi sharply attacked the United Nations when he was asked about being absent from the worldwide U.N. summit ongoing in New York. ``Do you expect me to cross the Atlantic Ocean to speak for five minutes? The U.N. is not real now; when it is reformed, we would think of talking there,'' he said. [AP]
Friday, 8 September, 2000: The council of governors of Arab central banks and monetary institutions is to hold its 24th meeting in Tripoli, Libya next Saturday. According to the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, the meeting will discuss recommendations of the ninth meeting of banking monitory committee for the Arab monetary fund and the unified Arab economic report of the current year in addition to development of monetary and financial policies in Arab countries last year. [ArabicNews.Com]
Friday, 8 September, 2000: Police in the Central African Republic have arrested four suspects in connection with the killing of the Libyan ambassador in the capital, Bangui, ten days ago. Reports said two of the suspects are Cameroonian, one a national of the Central African Republic and the other a European, believed to be a Frenchman. Police said investigations were continuing into the death of the diplomat Al Sanussi Abdullah Awad, who was shot by gunmen as he left his home. Libya has accused American and Israeli agents of being behind the killing. [BBC]
Friday, 8 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'mmar al-Qadhafi said Thursday that Libya's negotiators in the Philipinne hostage drama will continue to do their best to achieve the release of all the captives. Asked in an interview on US satellite network CNN about Libya's position on US hostage Jeffrey Schilling Qadhafi said: "We do not differentiate between American and other hostages -- we do our best to release all the hostages." On the issue of money being paid for development aid in return for the release of hostages, he said: "It is not a question of money." If it were, he said, there were others who have more money to pay. "It is a question of moral influence. Libya has supported the rights of the minority in the Philippines, as it has supported the rights of minorities all around the world," he continued. [AFP]
Thursday, 7 September, 2000: Prices a third of what they were, Internet centres sprouting up, Libyans daring to chat with foreigners -- such is the face of the new Tripoli following the easing of international sanctions a year ago, even if the authorities still keep a careful lid on things. Asked about the changes to life in Libya since April 1999 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations seven years earlier, the residents of the capital, Libyan nationals and western diplomats alike, say they can now breathe more freely. First and foremost, daily life has changed radically. "Before, everything was expensive and there were many things you just could not get, it was a nightmare. Now we can find everything, we feel less shut in," says 30-year-old Ali. Prices have tumbled. A packet of cigarettes has gone from five dinars to one and a half, shoes down from 45 to 15. The black market for goods and foreign currency has gradually dried up. Good news indeed for people who earn an average monthly salary of around 150 dinars (around 83 dollars) even if most of them also have an undeclared second job. [AFP]
Thursday, 7 September, 2000: In Tripoli, satellite dishes have become a familiar sight over the last five to six years, and at least 20 Internet centres have been opened in the past eight months or so. As a result, Libyans can communicate with anyone they want to via e-mail or consult any site anywhere in the world -- but if they use the telephone to contact a friend abroad, they have to pass via an operator and can be sure that someone will be listening in. That is the paradox of post-sanctions Libya: the population can watch CNN or surf a website of the foreign-based opposition, but the security services are still everywhere. "Modern technology has completely undermined the authorities' control of information, but they still have the local media firmly in their grasp," said one diplomat. Things may be getting better, but not for everyone. In its report for 1999, Amnesty International noted that "hundreds of political prisoners remained in detention ... Many of them had been detained for more than a decade without charge or trial." It said it had reports of torture, and that some prisoners had died in custody after being held in "inhuman or degrading" conditions. [AFP]
Thursday, 7 September, 2000: The Tunisian and Libyan governments will soon have a joint satellite television covering the Maghreb region and beyond. While overall media creation has been spearheaded by private initiative during the past years, this venture is led by two governments which would result in questionable coverage of the news. This new venture was decided last June during Ben Ali's visit to Tripoli, Libya. It will be based in Tunis and will focus on news coverage. The media sector continues to evolve rapidly in the Maghreb but this latest venture certainly have political motives, primarily to counterbalance the rise in popularity of Middle Eastern satellite stations led by Qatar's El Jazeera TV. This Qatari TV has been the most controversial media outlet due to its critical view of the Arab world including its stance against the Tunisian and Libyan governments. It appears that this new satellite channel is a sort of response to El Jazeera's popularity in the region. [North Africa Journal]
Thursday, 7 September, 2000: Three Frenchmen, two Finns and a German held by Muslim extremist guerrillas for up to four months in the southern Philippines should walk free on Friday, officials said Wednesday. The government's chief hostage negotiator, Roberto Aventajado, announced earlier Wednesday that Abu Sayyaf leader Galib Andang pledged to him that the six would walk free on Thursday. A Libyan jet on standby "within six hours" flying time would then fetch them from Cebu airport in the central Philippines and take them to Tripoli, he added. Libya has played a key role in freeing some hostages after promising development aid to impoverished Muslim areas in the south Philippines, in the process of boosting its image in the international community. [AFP]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: The Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has reinstated his second son, Saadi, as president of the country's football federation. Saadi had earlier resigned - apparently after complaints of bias in his role as Libya's leading referee and player. Fireworks exploded over Tripoli on Tuesday to celebrate Saadi's return to the Football Federation. Fans danced at the steps of his beachside villa and scout troops sang his praises through the early hours of the morning. [BBC]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: The Arab League announced on Tuesday its member states will stop applying United Nations sanctions on Libya "as soon as possible", calling the UN Security Council for an immediate and final lifting of all the sanctions. The final communique of the Arab League ministerial council called on the United States to settle problems blocking the way for normalising relationships with Libya, leaving the Lockerbie issue to the courts. [AFP]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: The secretary of the Libyan- Arab relations bureau in Damascus Salem Muhammad al-Shweihdi and his wife on Saturday evening held a dinner party in Damascus on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of al-Fateh revolution in Libya. It was attended by the Syrian minister of state for foreign affairs Nasser Qaddour, the minister of education Mahmoud al-Sayed, the minister of supply Osama al-Barid, political and trade activists in Damascus and members of the Arab and foreign diplomatic missions in Syria. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: Libya on Tuesday accused the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Israeli Mossad agents of assassinating its ambassador to the Central African Republic last week. Abdullah Awad Sanussi was shot by an unidentified gunman at his home in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on August 29. "Mossad and CIA agents are responsible for masterminding and executing that criminal and coward act," Libya's African Unity Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it would "spare no effort to follow through the investigation into the crime to uncover the perpetrators, who will be punished". [Reuters]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: The Libyan minister in charge of African Affairs, Ali Triki, has urged the European Union to henceforth deal with Africa as a united continent and to stop its colonial policy based on the principle of "divide and rule." He accused the EU before the 114th ordinary session of the Arab League in Cairo of trying to sow the seeds of discord in Africa. Triki also called on Europe to deal with Arab States as a unified community. [PANA]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: The mothers of five Lebanese men who mysteriously disappeared on a flight from Angola to Ivory Coast in 1997 appealed to Libya on Monday to help discover the fate of their sons. In a letter sent through the Libyan Embassy in Beirut, the mothers asked Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, to help them like he did Marie Moarbes. Qadhafi helped secure the release of Moarbes, a French-Lebanese citizen, and five other hostages who were held in the Philippines for four months. [The Daily Star]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Moammar al-Qadhafi, King Abdallah II of Jordan, and Presidents Patasse of the Central African Republic, Kerekou of Benin and Yala of Guinea Bissau and former Algerian President Ben Bella visited several sites and installations of the Great Artificial River. The project, which has cost about 25 billion US dollars, started on 28 August 1984. The aim is to provide Libya's coastal cities and fertile northern plains with six million cubic meters of water daily from the underground reserves located in the southern desert. [PANA]
Wednesday, 6 September, 2000: A Libyan negotiator who recently secured the release of several Western hostages from Muslim rebels returned to the Philippines on Tuesday and said more could soon be freed. Rajab Azzarouq flew into Manila from Tripoli where he had accompanied six Europeans freed last week by Abu Sayyaf rebels based in the southern Philippines.He was in Tripoli for a ceremonial handover of those released to their governments.``We are happy to be back...hopefully in the next few days all the hostages would be released,'' the former Libyan ambassador to the Philippines told reporters.[Reuters]

Tuesday, 5 September, 2000: Libya has named former dissident Abdel-Munim Al-Huni, one-time opponent of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, as its permanent representative to the Cairo-based Arab League, League spokesman Talaat Hamed said Monday. Al-Huni, who fell from favour in the 1980s and lived in exile for a time in Cairo and London, presented his credentials to League chief Esmat Abdel Meguid on Monday, Hamed said. The new diplomat served as Libyan foreign minister in the 1970s and was a former member of the Libyan revolutionary command council, the country's top body until it was abolised in 1977. During his time in London, al-Huni was considered one of Qadhafi's main opponents, according to sources close to the Arab League. [AFP]
Photo: Four of the Libyan opposition leaders: right to left, Abdel-Munem al-Huni, Mansour al-Kikhia, Mahmoud Dekheel and Mohammed al-Mugariyaf. Al-Kikhia disappeared in Cairo, Egypt, in 1993.
Tuesday, 5 September, 2000: Leaders of almost every country on Earth will convene Wednesday at the United Nations, but they are unlikely to agree on much other than an ambitious but nonetheless watered-down agenda for the world body in the new millennium.A few prominent strongmen are not coming, among them Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, whose country was suspended from membership, and Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of Libya, while President Saddam Hussein of Iraq will send his deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz to represent him. Also missing from the roster is President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. [Newsday]
Monday, 4 September, 2000: The television coverage of Friday's festivities in Benghazi, Libya, was not live, and foreign diplomats were excluded for fear they might get a whiff of the undercurrents of rebellion in a town where the Qadhafi name inspires deep loathing. Sources that have been to Benghazi have told The Sunday Times of a riot by local football fans angry at what they believe was an attempt by Qadhafi's son Saadi to rig a match. Soccer-mad Saadi was determined that al-Beida, one of his favourite clubs, should win a vital end-of-season encounter with Benghazi's al-Ahali. He therefore had the game moved from Benghazi to Ajdabiya. Any al-Ahali fans who tried to get near the ground were turned back by the secret police. The 1-0 defeat for the Benghazi side was little more than a formality. The result provoked fury as local fans gathered in the main square of Benghazi's Fweihat district to jeer the Qadhafi clan. Braving the guns of north Africa's most brutal police, youths rampaged through the city, torching cars and smashing shop fronts. The security forces opened fire and detained several members of the crowd. It is not known how many people were injured or killed. [The Sunday Times]
Monday, 4 September, 2000: Citizens of Careysburg District, Monrovia, have appealed to Vice President Moses Blah to prevail on the Libyan Government to renovate more schools in their district. Speaking on behalf of the citizens, Montserrado County Representative Cornelius Porte recalled that the first school renovated by the Libyans was in Careysburg District and was done through the influence of Vice President Blah, during his tenure as Ambassador to Libya. Mr. Porte pointed out that there are more schools in Careysburg that need to be renovated. "Although you are not in Libya, you still have influence there," he said. The Libya government, through its Embassy near Monrovia, recently turned over a school building that was renovated for the people of Careysburg. [The News]
Sunday, 3 September, 2000: Libya, not known for its press freedoms, embraced the international news media in the glory days of its campaign to free western hostages but the welcome mat for journalists was then snatched from under their feet. "The hostages arrived, end of show, you can go home," an information ministry official in Tripoli said last Wednesday. Some Libyan government employees said informally that their country is changing its communications strategy. "We're not interested in propaganda; that's antiquated. We are well aware it's useless," said a senior communications official in the government who asked not to be identified. But in the end, the 31st anniversary ceremonies, held in Benghazi, were closed to international news media even as Jordan's King Abdullah II and several African leaders attended. "We don't need journalists," the foreign press was told. [AFP]
Sunday, 3 September, 2000: The local government of Niger's Zinder State has sent a bill to the Libyan embassy for expenses incurred during a 24-hour visit by Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. According to the Governor of Zinder Colonel Qadhafi and his entourage of about 1,500 people ran up bills for food and fuel of more than $62,000 during a stopover on a journey to Togo in July. Residents of the state hold the Libyan leader in high esteem and the expenses claim is viewed as scandalous because of the tradition, common throughout Africa, that guests do not pay for their food. [BBC]
Sunday, 3 September, 2000: The opposition in Central African Republic on Saturday condemned a fatal attack on the Libyan ambassador and denied any part in an attack blamed on foes of President Ange-Felix Patasse's government. Police meanwhile said they were still questioning witnesses after the shooting of al-Sanoussi Awad Abdallah, who was attacked by unidentified men when he left his Bangui home for a restaurant on Tuesday night. The attack on the Libyan diplomat occurred a few weeks after an attack on the family of the new Central African ambassador to Libya, Joseph Toima, who is still waiting to take up his post. [AFP]

Saturday, 2 September, 2000: The Libyan ambassador to the Central African Republic,
al-Sanoussi Awad Abdallah, has died from wounds suffered in a attack in Bangui earlier this week, Central African President Ange-Felix Patasse said Friday. The ambassador had been shot and wounded at his residence by an unidentified gunman. Patasse said the ambassador, whom he described as "our brother," had "left us today, after an attack perpetrated by the servants of imperialism." The Central African president, who was in Benghazi, Libya, to participate in ceremonies marking the 31st anniversary of the coup that brought Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to power, expressed his condolences to the Libyan people and declared a three-day mourning period in his country. [AFP]
Saturday, 2 September, 2000: Libyan authorities have released more than 1,000 prisoners to mark Friday's 31st anniversary of the country's 1969 revolution. Police sources in Tripoli said the gesture was a demonstration of respect for "individual's freedom," with the hope of integrating the beneficiaries into the larger society. Libyans Thursday began festivities marking the anniversary of the Libyan revolution that brought Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to power. [PANA]
Saturday, 2 September, 2000: King Abdullah of Jordan is in Libya to take part in celebrations marking the thirty-first anniversary of the coup which brought Colonel Qadhafi to power. The king was greeted by Colonel Qadhafi in Behghazi, where the celebrations are being held. King Abdullah goes on later today Saturday to New York, where he will address the millennium summit of the United Nations. During the week, he will meet President Clinton for talks on the Middle East peace process. [BBC]
Saturday, 2 September, 2000: The streets of Tripoli are decked out with flags, banners and photos of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, and illicit homemade alcohol is flowing, as Libyans prepare to celebrate Qadhafi's 31 years in power. Ironically, though, the colonel who overthrew Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969 in a virtually unopposed coup will not be in the capital for the party. Qadhafi and his closest friends have travelled to the city of Benghazi to celebrate. "This revolution is Qadhafi's and his family's; it's not mine," says a man who identifies himself only as Mohammed and who does not mask his pleasure at the fact that the leader of that revolution has left town. [AFP]
Saturday, 2 September, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, his pariah status softened by his role in freeing foreign hostages held in the Philippines, now wants a German public relations expert to polish his international image. Moritz Hunzinger told Reuters on Friday his Frankfurt public relations company was assembling a team of advisers after an approach from Qadhafi, who has been ostracized since he was suspected of involvement in the bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scottland. Hunzinger said the Libyan leader, whose envoy has so far negotiated the release of six Westerners from the hands of separatist Moslem rebels on the Philippines island of Jolo, had already scored a major public relations coup on his own. [CNN]

Press release: The Libyan League for Human Rights - Holland

Friday, 1 September, 2000: Judges have suspended the Lockerbie bombing trial for three weeks, leaving the prosecution's star witness, a Libyan former double agent, still waiting to testify. The adjournment, to let U.S. intelligence services dig up any further information on the witness, was the latest delay in the 48-day-old trial of Libyans Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima and Abdel Basset al- Megrahi at the former U.S. airbase in the Netherlands. The judges conceded that the final and most important witness so far, Abdul Majid Giaka, could not testify until the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had confirmed that all relevant material about him in its archives had been handed over. "The judges have decided that nothing can be done until September 21," a court official told Reuters. [Reuters]
Friday, 1 September, 2000: The Philippines will negotiate with a Muslim extremist group which kidnapped an American man, officials said Wednesday as Libya offered its help and the United States rejected any deals with "terrorists." A government negotiator meanwhile said the abduction of American Jeffrey Craig Schilling would not affect a separate initiative to win the release of six Europeans held by another faction of the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group in the southern island of Jolo. [AFP]
Friday, 1 September, 2000: Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday blasted Libya’s role in securing the release of six foreigners held by Filipino rebels, describing the country as a hub of “international terrorism”. Addressing a rally in the southern port city of Tyre, Berri said it was ironic that Libya would play a part in winning freedom for hostages. "The Libyan role in the release of the hostages did not surprise us as much as it amused us because we know from bitter experience that any one who enters Libya is lost forever," he told about 100,000 supporters on the city’s seafront promenade. Berri said Libya was behind the 1978 disappearance of Imam Musa Al-Sadr, who founded the Shi’ite Muslim Amal Movement now led by the parliament speaker. [Reuters]
To send me the latest news or views please click here:
Back to: Libya: Our Home