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Libya in chaos, Rocket Ignites Blaze Near Tripoli Airport Tags: Libya News North Africa War

Two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other's positions for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.

The huge fire from fuel tanks near Tripoli's international airport that has been ignited by rockets attack is out of control as clashes between rival militias have resumed in the area, the National Oil Company (NOC) spokesman said on Monday.

"It is out of control. The second tank has been hit and the firefighters have withdrawn from the site as the fighting has resumed in the area", NOC spokesman Mohamed Al-Harrai told Reuters.

Foreign governments have looked on powerless as anarchy sweeps across the North African oil producer, three years after NATO bombardment helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi. They have urged nationals to leave Libya and have pulled diplomats out after two weeks of clashes among rival factions killed nearly 160 people in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The Netherlands, the Philippines and Austria on Monday prepared to evacuate diplomatic staff. The United States, United Nations and Turkish embassies have already shut operations after the worst violence since the 2011 uprising.

Two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other's positions with Grad rockets, artillery fire and cannons for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.

In the three messy years since the fall of Gaddafi, Libya's fragile government and fledging army have been unable to control heavily armed former anti-Gaddafi fighters, who refuse to hand over weapons and continue to rule the streets.

Libya has appealed for international help to stop the country from becoming a failed state. Western partners fear chaos spilling across borders with arms smugglers and militants already profiting from the turmoil.

After the U.S. evacuation, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the "free-wheeling militia violence" had been a real risk for American diplomats on the ground, and called for an end to the violence. U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was killed by militants along with three others in Benghazi in September 2012.

PALL OF SMOKE OVER TRIPOLI
On Monday, a huge cloud of black smoke trailed across the skies of Tripoli a day after the rocket hit a fuel storage tank near the airport containing six million of litres of gasoline. Nearby residents were evacuated.

Libya's government has asked for international help to try to contain the disaster at the fuel depot on the airport road, close to other tanks holding gas and diesel, authorities said.

The conflict has forced Tripoli International Airport to shut down. Airliners were reduced to smouldering hulks on the tarmac and the aviation control centre was knocked out.

"This crisis is causing lots of confusion, lots of foreigners are leaving and diplomats are also departing through here," said Salah Qahdrah, security controller at Mitiga air base, now a secondary airport operating limited flights.

Monday was the start of Eid el-Fitr festivities to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and fighting had eased in the morning. But fuel supplies were growing scarce in the capital with power cuts increasingly frequent.

The health ministry said on Sunday nearly 160 people had been killed in fighting in Tripoli and in Benghazi where regular forces and militias have clashed in open street battles with Islamist militants entrenched there.

WARPLANES, ATTEMPTED HIJACKING
With Libyan security deteriorating, the United States evacuated its embassy in Tripoli on Saturday, spiriting diplomats across the border into Tunisia under heavy military guard including warplanes and a Marine escort.

A British embassy convoy leaving by road for Tunisia came under gunfire in an apparent attempted hijacking on Sunday outside Tripoli as it headed to the border. There were no injuries, but one of its armoured vehicles was damaged.
The Italian embassy has helped 100 citizens and other nationals leave by road or by military aircraft, foreign ministry officials said, while the Dutch embassy was preparing to temporarily close with the departure of its last citizens.

Austria and the Philippines were also down to basic staffing on Monday, with Manila urging its nationals to evacuate "before all routes and options become extremely difficult."

Libya's government and special envoys from the United States, the United Nations and European countries on Saturday pushed for a cease-fire and a political deal within the newly elected parliament due to begin sessions in August.

"We have been working to try and improve the situation in Libya through the work of our special envoy alongside the U.S. special envoy, to try and get more of a dialogue going," British Prime Minister David Cameron's spokeswoman said.

Since Gaddafi's demise, Libya has struggled to keep its transition to democracy on track, with its parliament deadlocked by infighting among factions and militias often using threats of force against political rivals.

FACTIONS, TRIBES AND OIL
Former fighters have repeatedly stormed parliament and taken over ministries. One former rebel commander working for the state mutineered and blockaded oil ports for nearly a year to demand more autonomy for his eastern region.

Libya's oil production was at 500,000 barrels per day last week, down slightly from previous levels when output had began to recover following the end of the port blockade. Oil ministry officials on Monday declined to give updates on output.

Production was more than three times as high before the civil war that toppled Gaddafi. The desert country depends almost entirely on oil exports to feed and employ its population of around 6 million people.
Thousands of ex-rebels have been put on the state payroll as semi-official security forces in an attempt to co-opt them, while others have joined the nascent armed forces.

But often their loyalties are stronger to region, tribe or faction. Fighting now involves two loose confederations of armed factions and their political allies in Tripoli and Benghazi, whose deepening standoff is shaping Libya's transition.

In Tripoli, on one side are troops from the western town of Zintan and their allies the Qaaqaa and al-Sawaiq brigades, who include some former Gaddafi troops who rebelled in 2011. They have controlled the airport since the fall of the capital.

Against them are ranged various militias allied to the port city of Misrata, which is closer to the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Libya. Those militia have now dug in a few kilometres from the airport.
In Benghazi, regular special forces and air force units have joined up with a renegade former army general who has launched a self-declared war on militants in the city. More than 55 people have been killed over the last week there.

Source: worldbulletin

34 People Dead In Guinea Concert Stampede, Celebrating The End Of Ramadan Tags: Guinea West Africa Local News Crime Concerts Diaster

At least 34 people, including several children, were killed in a stampede at a beachside rap concert celebrating the end of Ramadan in Guinea's capital Conakry, medical sources said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Donka hospital in predominantly Muslim Guinea's capital to visit the injured and identify the dead.

A Reuters reporter saw the bodies of three children among the dead, while witnesses put the number at around 10.

"There are currently 34 bodies in the morgue. The list of injured keeps growing," a medical source told Reuters, requesting anonymity. "The oldest among them can't be more than 20. There are young girls among them," he said.

The presidency declared a week of mourning. The head of a government agency for entertainment was removed from his post following the incident overnight, the presidency added.

Witnesses said the event was attended by up to 10,000 people, mostly children and young people, who came to see popular local rap groups 'Banlieuzart' and 'Instinct Killers'.

Debris is seen after a stampede in Conakry, Guinea, July 30, 2014. At least 34 people, including several children, were killed in a stampede at a beachside rap concert celebrating the end of Ramadan in Guinea's capital Conakry, medical sources said on Wednesday. CREDIT:  REUTERS/SALIOU SAMB


Adama Bah, a promoter who attended the event in the Ratoma neighborhood, said it was overcrowded and that he saw only about a dozen police officers on the site.

"When I saw that crowd, with all the people jostling, some children choking, I understood that there would be a tragedy and I told the organizers, who weren't listening to me," said Bah.

The event's promoter Abdoulaye Mbaye did not respond to several attempts to contact him by telephone.

A senior police source said that Mbaye was called into the station on Wednesday alongside two other people involved in the event.

In January, six youths were killed on another beach in Conakry when a bridge collapsed during New Year's celebrations. Conakry's beaches are small compared to other regional capitals like Dakar and Freetown and entrances and exits are often narrow.

The stampede came at a time when health workers are stretched by an outbreak of Ebola. The deadly tropical virus was first detected in the poor, mineral-rich West African country in February and has since spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 670 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Source: Reuters

Nigeria Isolates Lagos Hospital Where Ebola Victim, A Liberian, Died Tags: News Liberia Nigeria Eloba

The hospital, where a Liberian died from the Ebola virus, will be shut for a week and all staff monitored to ensure the virus has not spread.

The Nigerian city of Lagos shut down and quarantined on Monday a hospital where a man died of Ebola, the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa's most populous country.

Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian finance ministry aged in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20. He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of a city that is home to 21 million people, and died on Friday.

"The private hospital was demobilised (evacuated) and the primary source of infection eliminated. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced," Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told a news conference.

Some hospital staff who were in close contact with the victim have been isolated. The hospital will be shut for a week and all staff closely monitored, Idris added.

Authorities are monitoring a total of 59 people who were in contact with Sawyer, including airport contacts, the Lagos state health ministry said. But the airline he flew in with has yet to provide a passenger list for the flights he used, it added.

Ebola has killed 672 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was first diagnosed in February.

The fatality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent although the disease can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it. Highly contagious, its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external bleeding.

Derek Gatherer, a virologist at Britain's University of Lancaster, said anyone on the plane near Sawyer could be in "pretty serious danger", but that relatively wealthy Nigeria was better placed to tackle the outbreak than poorer neighbours.

"Nigerians have deep pockets and they can do as much as any Western country could do if they have the motivation and organisation to get it done," he said.

Nigeria's largest air carrier Arik Air has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the risk of Ebola, Arik spokesman Ola Adebanji said in emailed response on Monday.
 
"RED ALERT"
David Heymann, head of the Centre on Global Health Security at London's Chatham House, said every person who had been on the plane to Lagos with Sawyer would need to be traced and told to monitor their temperature twice a day for 21 days.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that Sawyer's flight had stopped in Lome in Togo on its way to Lagos.

"WHO is sending teams to both Nigeria and Togo to do follow- up work in relation to contact tracing, in particular to contacts he may have had on board the flight," spokesman Paul Garwood said.

Liberia closed most of its border crossings and introduced stringent health measures on Sunday, a day after a 33-year-old American doctor working in Liberia for the relief organisation Samaritan's Purse tested positive for Ebola. The group said he had followed strict safety protocols when treating patients.

Nigeria's airports, seaports and land borders have been on "red alert" since Friday over the disease.

Exacerbating the difficulty of containing its spread, Nigerian doctors are on strike over conditions and pay. The chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Tope Ojo, was quoted by local media on Saturday as saying the strike would not be called off because of the Ebola threat.

The WHO said that in the past week, its regional director for Africa, Luis Sambo, had been on a fact-finding mission to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which have 1,201 confirmed, suspected and probable cases between them.

"He observed that the outbreak is beyond each national health sector alone and urged the governments of the affected countries to mobilize and involve all sectors, including civil society and communities, in the response," the WHO said.

A relative surge in cases in Guinea after weeks of low viral activity showed that "undetected chains of transmission existed in the community", the WHO said, calling for containment measures and contact tracing to be stepped up in Guinea.

Source: Reuters

Obama Hosts Young African Leadership Summit Tags: News Barack Obama & Africa Barack Obama Youths

Kenyans account for almost 10 percent of the 500 young Africans chosen to take part in a leadership summit in Washington hosted by President Barack Obama.

A group meeting on Monday with the US head of state opens a three-day series of events that includes a discussion with First Lady Michelle Obama on girls' education in Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry, members of the US Congress and other government officials are also making presentations at an event that caps the six-week-long Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) sponsored by the State Department.

President Obama launched the YALI programme in 2010 as a way of helping groom Africa's future leaders while seeking to ensure they propagate positive views of the United States.

The 500 participants in this year's initiative, including 46 Kenyans, were chosen from 50,000 applicants from all over Africa. “That says to us that there is a huge, huge need” for the opportunities offered through the programme, observed Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the State Department's top Africa official.

Fellowships

Half of those in the initiative's current cohort are women, and all participants are between the ages of 25 and 35. Each of sub-Saharan Africa's 49 countries is represented in the group.

Magdalene Kelel, a project leader in the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya, was chosen for her work on HIV/Aids, youth advocacy and women's self-reliance. When she returns to Kenya, Ms Kelel plans to work on promoting young persons' involvement in democratic processes, according to the YALI website.

Like each of the other YALI participants, Ms Kelel was awarded a fellowship to study either business development, civic leadership or public management at one of 20 US universities during the past six weeks.

Some of the young Africans will be invited to remain in the US for an additional eight weeks to complete internships at businesses, government agencies or non-governmental organisations.

A total of $10 million will also be made available in the form of grants to help the initiative's alumni start their own businesses or social enterprises in Africa and to build a network of young African leaders.

Source: Africa Review

Pastor Arrested, 3-Years-Old Boy Body Parts Found At Church Tags: Shocking OMG News South Africa

ASouth Africa---  pastor has been arrested for the murder of a three-year-old boy after his body parts were found at a church in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Wednesday.

Police received information about a body at a church in Ncontshane and when they went there on Saturday they found a plastic bag containing body parts, said Captain Thulani Zwane. "It is suspected that the parts were of a three-year-old boy who was reported missing on 2 July [the previous Wednesday] in the area," he said.

Some body parts of the child were still missing and police were searching for them. A case of murder was opened. Zwane did not say when the pastor was arrested, or disclose the name of the church.

On Tuesday, angry community members set the church and a house alight. Cases of public violence were opened, and 15 people were arrested, said Zwane.

Some of those arrested appeared in the Pongola Magistrate's Court and were remanded in custody until July 11 for their bail application. Two 17-year-old teenagers were released into their parents custody and told to attend the bail hearing.

The 51-year-old pastor was due to appear in the same court soon. Zwane could not be reached for further information. Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mmamonnye Ngobeni urged the community to remain calm and allow the police to do its work.

"The community must not take the law into their own hands by destroying the property because they are putting the lives of innocent people in danger," she said.

"[The] community must stop this uncalled-for behaviour because crucial evidence in a murder case might be tampered with. Those who involved themselves in criminal activities will be arrested and charged accordingly."

Source: sapa

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"WHY ALL OF THIS ARE HAPPENING IN AFRICA.IS THIS A CASE OF END..."
In: African woman Naked Her Self For RICHES (PHOTOS, Cameroon)
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