The landscape in Libya is gradually turning into an international military conflict. The worlds warring states are engaging in a clash over Libyan territory. This dangerous transformation predicts a renewed war again in a way that is more violent than ever before. During the week, the Al-Watiya Air Force Base, which the government of National Accord forces recovered last month, was targeted. The National Accord government said the attack on Al-Watiya base was carried out by a “foreign air force,” but it did not mention the suspect state. Currently, each party is seeking to reposition itself by being present on the ground in order to influence the political level. With the aim of confronting the government of National Accord’s victories on the ground, and to stop its intention to move to Sirte, the Crescent Petroleum and Al-Jafra, Egypt began threatening with military intervention, while France made its speech more severe towards Turkey.
Although several days have passed since the July 4 incident, Turkey, on the military and political levels, has remained silent, awaiting the Turkish response. It is a reference that Kameel Al-Taweel expected in the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Libya is living “the calm before the storm…”. This is at least what the threats of the government of National Accord in Tripoli suggest, and the huge and sophisticated military reinforcements that Turkey is pushing to Libya. He also added: “The establishment of calm or the outbreak of the storm will appear, without a doubt, by determining the fate of the coastal city of Sirte and the base of Jufra to the south of it in the center of the country. It is clear that the government of National Accord’s control over these two sites cannot take place without greater Turkish involvement in the fighting, which places Ankara in direct confrontation with Cairo, which drew a ‘red line’ that prevents them from being crossed. On the other hand, the visit of the Turkish Minister of Defense, “General Hulusi Akar,” and the head of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, “Lieutenant General Guler,” to Libya, suggests that Turkey does not intend to withdraw from the Libyan arena, and wants to insist on its positions
This is part of Turkey’s strategy, which wants to confirm its presence strongly in Africa and the Middle East. Not long ago, Turkey began to emerge from its position as a terminal country into a country involved in conflict and politics internationally. It anticipates all its movements by economic presence in addition to the military presence. Libya considers a strategic stage for these reasons, in addition to its calculations in parallel with the Syrian issue, in which Syria has taken a stake in its borders.
The new military moves came in parallel with the visit of the aforementioned general, which reflects the intention of all parties to become more involved in the Libyan issue, which turned out to have escaped from the hands of the Libyans for a long time. On the other hand, the Qatari newspaper Al-Raya said that the Libyan government of National Accord forces played down the damage caused by the aviation bombardment of Khalifa Hifter’s General Command forces, on Al-Watiya Air Force Base. It also provided clarifications on a possible operation to recover the city of Sirte and the base of Jafra, while the United Nations expressed its fear of a new military escalation in Libya. The London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that Turkey published “maps of the situation in Libya, showing the movements of the forces of the government of National Accord, loyal to it, towards the city of Sirte, as well as the locations of elements of the Russian ‘Wagner’ security company. This happens amid anger after the losses it received as a result of the bombing of the Al-Watiya base in western Libya, while its defense Minister and Chief of Staff were in Tripoli, and its unwillingness to rush from the other side to accuse a certain party of carrying out the attack, and hinting that it would respond to those who bombed
Concerning the French position, France continues to voice its stances towards Turkey and insists on maintaining balances in the interest of its allies on the ground. Jean-Yves Le Drian indicated that Libya is about to enter into the Syrian scenario, while stressing the need to stop the supply of arms and breach of the existing urban decision of the United Nations. He also indicated that French support for the public forces does not go beyond advice and political support
In the context of the possibility of a ceasefire agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the position of the Libyan parties regarding the signing of the ceasefire agreement has changed during the recent period, calling for pushing towards achieving the matter to resolve the crisis. This came in a statement after a meeting with his counterparts from Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa, according to the Russian news agency TASS and Lavrov continued: “Last January, the positions of the Libyan National Army would have been more preferred, but it was not ready to sign a document that the President of the Presidency Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj considered acceptable, and now the army, according to our estimates, is ready to sign, but this time the (National Accord) government is the one that does not want to do it, and rather depends on the military solution.
The political solution seems to be stalled for nearly half a year without the appointment of a new envoy, replacing Ghassan Salameh, with American attempts to influence the appointments.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stated that the Libyan conflict entered a new stage with external interference reaching unprecedented levels, noting the efforts of the United Nations to declare a demilitarized zone in Libya.
Guterres, during a video meeting of the UN Security Council, expressed his grave concern over the military build-up around the city of Sirte and direct foreign interference in violation of the United Nations arms embargo. He added that the United Nations mission is making efforts to reduce tension in Libya. This includes the creation of a possible demilitarized zone in the country, “in order to implement the agreements concluded and save lives.” Earlier, reports spoke about the idea of establishing a demilitarized zone on the Sirte-Jafra axis on the current line of contact between the Libyan army forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter and the forces of the National Accord government.
With regard to the economic situation in the country, Guterres stressed that the process of auditing the accounts of the Libyan Central Bank is being hindered by some key senior officials, and he called on the Security Council to take action in this regard.
He added that the United Nations has been involved in mediation efforts to end the blockade imposed by January forces loyal to the authorities of eastern Libya, which led to the loss of more than $6 billion in Libyan oil revenues, with the aim of alleviating the economic difficulties that were exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, affirmed that the discovery of mass graves in Tarhuna “was shocking,” stressing that the United Nations agreed to the request of the Prime Minister of the National Accord government, Fayez Al-Sarraj, to investigate these graves. Guterres expressed his concern over the military escalation and violation of the arms embargo and foreign interference in Libya, and said that the conflict there entered a new stage, as foreign intervention reached unprecedented levels.
There are currently 400,000 people in Libya, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who have been displaced from their areas by the war in Tripoli, while mines have claimed the lives of other civilians. Guterres called on the Security Council to employ special tools to accelerate the political process in Libya, and said that the United Nations will work With the Libyan parties to reach a cease-fire and resume a political process.
In relation to the parliamentary work, the office of the People’s Assembly approved the distribution of members of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on suspicion of conflict of interest related to Head of the government Elyes Fakhfakh according to the proportional representation of the blocs, and the chairmanship of the committee for the Tunisian Heart block.
This plateau is a sign of the new balances within the Parliament, the new political coalition between Ennahda, the Heart of Tunisia, and the Dignity Coalition. This same coalition contributed to the endorsement of the Committee on Rights, Freedoms and External Relations on Wednesday, 8 July 2020, to refer the legal initiative related to the revision of Decree 116 of 2011 regarding freedom of information and audiovisual communication, submitted by the Dignity Coalition bloc to the plenary session. On the other hand, the deputies of the Democratic Bloc retained their votes and the deputies of the Free Constitutional rejected the initiative.
The General committee of Media of the Tunisian General Labor Union has called for the parliamentary initiative to be dropped. The committee considered in a statement on Wednesday July 08 that this legislative initiative has “its known political backgrounds”, announcing the readiness of all its structures to “confront the project of the Dignity Coalition”.
It has also expressed “its condemnation that many political parties have directed to pass this draft law,” which it described as “dangerous”, without seeking, listening and engaging the parties involved in the file, a process that “represents a passage by force and foreshadows the people’s congressional transformation into an institution aimed at striking press rights and freedoms,” according to the text of the statement .
It is noteworthy that on Tuesday 07 July 2020, the Council of Ministers approved a basic law related to the freedom of audiovisual communication, which aims to regulate the sector and the powers of the independent constitutional body. This confirms that the media file is still open, without a participatory approach based on the opinion and concerns of the people of the sector.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission in the House of Representatives held a session on Monday 06 July 2020, the first of which was devoted to continuing to sort files of parliamentary bloc nominations for membership in the Constitutional Court and the second for selecting candidates to fill vacancies in the Access to Information Committee in the category of administrative judge. The Electoral Commission would have completed the study of the files of nominations for the parliamentary blocs to membership in the Constitutional Court, pending the transmission of the results of its work to the Council Office.
In the second part of its meeting, according to the committee’s completion of the administrative screening of all candidacy files and the setting of the final list of accepted candidates to fill the vacancy in Access to Information Committee in the category of an administrative judge of 7 candidates. Two (2) candidates may obtain the required majority during a first electoral cycle. A second and third rounds were passed to select another candidate, but no candidate obtained the required majority. The committee decided to schedule a future session to continue selecting the third candidate to fill the vacancy in the body of the Committee of Access to Information in the category of administrative judge by a majority of three-fifths (3/5) of its members by secret vote on the names.
In parallel with the beginning of the work of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on the near-conflict of interests related to the Head of Government Elyes Fakhfakh, the decision of the Minister of State for Transport and Logistics Mohamed Anwar Maarouf to make a change at the level of the plan of the General Manager of the Tunisian Airlines Company caused a constitutional and legal controversy. Likewise, Tunisian public opinion has regained the controversy surrounding the fight against corruption and government performance, which it considers less than expected and far from what is required of it. It is reported that Chapter 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia gives the Head of Government to “make appointments and exemptions in senior civil positions.”
Normally procedurally, the Minister of State for Transport and Logistics works on proposing three names for the Head of Government who has the power to estimate by choosing or rejecting all names and asking the Minister to submit other proposals, while the current procedure means dismissal and appointment of a temporary administrator until the appointment of a new general manager. This violates the constitution and the law.
Some sources suggested that the prime Head of Government was not satisfied with the decision of the aforementioned Minister, as he intended to announce the dismissal decision himself, against the background of corruption files in the national carrier. It seems that eagerness to record political gains has flooded government action. The Minister is considered known to be affiliated with Al-Nahda, and with his decision aims to achieve political gains in fighting corruption. The Head of Government’s announcement of the action taken by the Minister of Transport appears to be a later attempt to assert his control over government action.
On the human rights level, the Tunisian Forum presented new figures on the number of irregular migrants from indigenous sub-Saharan countries who surreptitiously crossed the Tunisian border and were arrested by the Tunisian authorities
: According to the forum, the number increased by nearly 4 times between 2016 and 2017
According to the Forum’s report, which was titled 2019 Annual Immigration Report Tunisia, which was at the top of the list of countries exporting irregular migrants to European lands, it has become a destination for African migrants from sub-Saharan countries. The report explained that while Tunisia has become a transit country towards the old continent for a large number of sub-Saharan Africans, some of them have chosen to settle in and search for jobs, according to the same report, which indicated that those who crossed the Tunisian border from sub-Saharan work in many small occupations such as workers in cafes, homes, barber shops, etc. subjected to exploitation and racial discrimination.
Regarding the status of children’s rights in Tunisia, the Minister of Women, Family, Childhood, and the Elderly, Asma El-Sehairi, confirmed that during the period from 6 April to 2 July 2020, the Ministry received
: Among the notifications
The Ministry has received 316 notices of violence from the children themselves
Meanwhile, the mayor of El-Karam returns to cause controversy after the requirement of the El-Karam municipality to present a certificate in converting to Islam by a non-Muslim man to marry a Tunisian woman, within the documents required to conclude a marriage contract.
It is reported that the 1973 posts that banned the marriage of a Tunisian Muslim woman to a non-Muslim were previously canceled. Fathi El-Ayouni exploited the existence of other texts, including Chapter 5 of the Personal Status Code, within an interpretation that ignores the rest of the chapters, such as Chapter 14, which relates to life and temporary barriers.
This case raises again the problem of downloading the constitution and the principles of human rights and individual freedoms in reality and the necessary legislative framework for that. All this appears to be a delayed action despite its sensitivity.
Regarding the parliamentary work in Egypt, Counselor Lasheen Ibrahim, Vice-President of the Court of Cassation and President of the National Elections Authority, announced that he had invited voters to cast their votes inside and outside Egypt, in the Senate elections, and the timetable for the electoral process that includes opening the door to receive applications for candidacy, starting from July 11 to July 18.
The House of Representatives also approved, in its plenary session, amendments to 6 laws regarding the armed forces, on top of which is draft law No. 55 for the addition of two new articles, the first of which is number 5 bis. Their position is occupied by a decision of the Minister of Defense, and the second, with number 5 bis «A», requires the determination of the terms of reference of the military adviser to the governorate.
In view of the militarization of the regime, the military adviser will actually be the governor, within a country where the division between civil and military functions has become a reality and evident, in favor of the second
On the human rights level, and with regard to the status of women in Egypt, the National Council for Women’s complaints office announced that it had received 400 complaints and various inquiries, most of which came about violence in its various forms that women are exposed to, during the period from July 1 to July 5. It is worth noting that the rates of harassment and rape crimes in Egypt are among the highest in the world. The victim faces a series of difficulties, especially societal, in obtaining her right to justice and to punish the criminal. These crimes remain silenced and considered taboos that are avoided. The legal framework is flawed in terms of not criminalizing marital rape, for example.
This continues with a formal approach that maintains the feeling that sexual abuse is a defect that befalls the victim before anyone else. Perhaps the last decision of the Council of Ministers that approved the draft law submitted by the Ministry of Justice, which aims to preserve the confidentiality of the data of victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault, which are not to be archived in the circulating records and papers, and to be kept in a subfolder in the possession of the investigator, falls in the context of the state’s interest in preserving moral values and principles. Perhaps this decision has its reasons for preserving the victim’s psyche, but it is limited due to the failure to address the social and cultural context that has its impact on women.
The legal bulletin for this week reviews a number of provisions that challenge the law, the constitution and human rights principles by imprisoning militants, youths, and citizens, and their only charge is to exercise their individual rights and freedoms. The violations and their justifications range from morals, values to terrorism and affiliation, while the real title is suppressing the regime and its boldness on man in Egypt.
Meanwhile, the “moralist” campaigns of the security services in the Giza Security Directorate continue, after the arrest of Hadeer El-Hadi, in the Hadayek October District, for publishing indecent videos of modesty on the Tik Tok application.
On the other hand, the Public Prosecution announced the detention of Ahmed Bassam Zaki for 4 days in reserve. Then, the opposition judge decided that he would continue another 15 days to accuse him of attempting to rape and raping another girl under threat and violence. In addition, he is accused of menacing the girls by relating them to the practice of dishonest deeds, and requesting them to practice vice with him, not end the relationship with them, and incite them to immorality with signs and words. He deliberately annoyed and harassed them by misusing telecommunication equipment.
The “Saturday A” circuit of the Court of Cassation, headed by Counselor Wajih Adib Abd al-Malik, confirmed today the felony ruling issued to punish political activist Ahmed Doma with a 15-year prison sentence and compel him to pay 6 million pounds worth of fabrications. He was convicted for the events of the Council of Ministers, whose events date back to December 2011. The cassation denied the accused’s appeal, so that the verdict of his conviction becomes final, and it is not permissible to appeal it in any way.
The Court of Cassation also issued its verdict to overturn and cancel the ruling in the case known to the media as “Downtown Grievances.” The decision included all of the 105 defendants who filed the cassation, while the court decided to fix December 7, 2020 date session to consider the matter on its own.
On July 8, the Criminal Court in southern Cairo decided to suspend the decision of the Attorney General to seize the funds of Dr. Hassan Nafeh, with the consequent effects, until the Supreme Constitutional Court decided on the constitutionality of Article 47 of the Anti-Terrorism Law 94 of 2015.
On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the unionist and member of the Cairo Doctors Syndicate, Dr. Ahmed Safwat Ibrahim Ali, appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecutor for investigation, pending case 535 of 2020 State Security, two days after his arrest on the morning of June 28. He was accused of spreading false news, joining a group established contrary to the law, and the misusing of social media. The prosecution decided to imprison him for 15 days pending the investigation. This followed his posting opinions on Facebook criticizing the conditions of doctors in the context of the Corona crisis. He is in prison today.
With regard to trade union work and workers’ rights, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information monitored fourteen protests which were documented by the Social Movements Observatory during the time period from June 15 to June 30, 2020, including 5 labor and professional protests, in addition to 9 social protests.