Libya: Bashagha Chairs First Meeting in Sebha

Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
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Libya: Bashagha Chairs First Meeting in Sebha

Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)
Libya's Fathi Bashagha (Reuters)

The Libyan government, chaired by Fathi Bashagha, held its first official meeting in the southern city of Sebha after failing to enter the capital, Tripoli.

At the onset of the meeting, Bashagha said that the assembly was conducted in Sebha to ensure that the government is for all Libyans and regions.

Bashagha stated that Libya is not to be seized by a particular person, government, or family that believes it can buy the country with the money of the Libyans, in reference to his rival Abdulhamid Dbeibeh.

"The era of corruption, chaos, and despotism is gone. Today marks the beginning of a new national era where all Libyans will unite to achieve reform, reconstruction, and justice," said Bashagha.

Before the Sebha meeting, Bashagha pledged more than once to enter Tripoli and exercise his governmental duties from within.

The government renewed its commitment to pursuing the "peaceful option" to assume its duties in the capital.

Meanwhile, the official Tunisian news agency (TAP) quoted a brief statement from the Department of Information and Communication in the Dbeibeh government denying any tensions in the relations with Tunisia.

TAP asserted that Dbeibeh's recent meeting with the Tunisian ambassador in Tripoli was fraternal and cordial, addressing ways to enhance cooperation in various fields, contrary to what is being promoted.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Libya Richard Norland and Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Meyer discussed with the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor the joint efforts to enhance transparency at the CBL, especially in public spending.

Norland underlined that "The US shares Libyan concerns that funds can be diverted to support partisan political purposes or undermine Libya's peace and security."

The Ambassador and Meyer urged the CBL to safeguard Libya's oil revenue from misappropriation to rebuild confidence in the institution and contribute to stability.

The participants in the call jointly reaffirmed that it is critical to provide financial support for the National Oil Corporation's operations, even as discussions continue to reach broad agreement on other government expenditures.

Norland also expressed concern about half of Libya's oil production shutdown.

"Forced, prolonged disruptions to oil production create adverse conditions for the Libyan people, including power outages, water supply issues, fuel shortages, and damage to oil infrastructure, threatening the future of Libya's energy sector and its ability to continue generating revenue for the benefit of the people," said Norland.



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
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UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.