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Africa in August 2023

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August 1, 2023

  1. International Recognition Withdrawn from Dabaiba’s Government; Inclusive Government Formation Underway in Libya (Libya Akhbar). Presidential Candidate Al-Bioudi Reveals Withdrawal of International Recognition from Dabaiba’s Government in Libya. UN Envoy’s Support for Two Councils’ Map Aims to Form Inclusive Government. Regional and International Developments Shaping Libya’s Next Stage with New Government Formation and Focus on Elections.
  2. Algerian Army Chief in Moscow to Bolster Military Cooperation with Russia Amid Growing Rapprochement (Al-Sharq Al-away). Algerian Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Said Chanegriha, is in Moscow to discuss strengthening cooperation between the People’s National Army and the Russian Armed Forces. The visit reflects a growing rapprochement in positions on international issues between Algeria and Russia. The two countries have historically strong relations in defense and military industries, with Algeria being a major importer of Russian weapons. The visit comes after agreements were signed during President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s state visit to Russia in June, focusing on military industry, technology transfer, and space exploration. The enhanced cooperation has raised concerns among Western countries, particularly the United States.
  3. Egyptian President Sisi Reaffirms Support for Palestinian Rights in Meeting with President Abbas (English Ahram). Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New Alamein to discuss the outcomes of the unity meeting of Palestinian factions hosted in Egypt. President Abbas expressed gratitude for Egypt’s historical support for the Palestinian cause. Both leaders discussed ways to resume the peace process for a two-state solution based on relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. The meeting aimed to achieve comprehensive and just peace in the region with an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

August 2, 2023

  1. Escalating Mutual Defections Between Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces Amid Ongoing Conflict (Sudan Akhbar). Sudan has witnessed a series of defections between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, with both sides experiencing officers switching allegiances. The head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, returned 33 officers who had defected from the Rapid Support Forces back to the army. Conversely, dozens of officers recently defected from the army to join the Rapid Support Forces. The conflict’s escalation, which began in mid-April, has led to continuous clashes between the two parties. The Sudanese airspace remains closed to air traffic until August 15, except for humanitarian aid and evacuation flights.
  2. Power Struggle and Security Tensions in Libya as Dabaiba Extends Influence in the East (Al-Sharq Al-away). Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba, head of the interim Libyan “unity” government, is seeking to expand his influence in the eastern region of Libya at the expense of the “stability” government. The city of Zawiya, west of Tripoli, witnessed sudden airstrikes on sites suspected to belong to an armed group linked to the “Volcano of Rage” operation. Meanwhile, tensions have been renewed in Gharyan, and Dabaiba held a surprise meeting with the head of Tobruk Municipal Council, raising speculations about an unannounced understanding between Dabaiba and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. The country’s leadership is also engaging in discussions about the political situation and preparations for upcoming elections.
  3. Egypt’s Net Foreign Assets Deficit Rises to $27 Billion (Sky News Arabia). The net foreign assets deficit in Egypt increased to $27.1 billion in June, rising by 82.1 billion pounds from the previous month. Egypt’s public finances have been strained by a persistent foreign exchange shortage and a significant increase in the money supply over the past three years. The drawdown in net foreign assets has helped support the value of the Egyptian pound. However, net foreign assets are declining due to increased borrowing by banks from abroad. The rising money supply poses a threat of exacerbating record inflation in Egypt and putting more pressure on the value of the pound.
  4. Egypt Achieves Initial Surplus and Positive Growth Amidst Ongoing Fiscal Challenges (Egypt Independent). Egypt’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait, announced that for the first time in more than 20 years, the country achieved an initial surplus of 1.3 percent in fiscal year 2022-2023. The budget’s initial outcomes showed a real growth rate of 4.2 percent. However, the total deficit increased to 6.2 percent due to rising inflation, interest rates, and changes in the dollar exchange rate. Revenues experienced a growth rate of 12.5 percent, with tax revenues rising by 23.1 percent. Subsidy allocations for subsidized commodities reached EGP 129.7 billion, and public treasury-funded investments increased by 15 percent, reaching EGP 228 billion.
  5. Russia Bolsters Military Ties in North Africa with Algeria (Sputnik). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with the Chief of Staff of the Algerian People’s National Army, Said Chanegriha, to discuss the dynamic and positive development of Russian-Algerian relations. During the talks, they emphasized Russia’s interest in enhancing the combat capabilities of the Algerian Armed Forces.

August 3, 2023

  1. Security Council Session on Libya in August Amid Concern Over the Electoral Law (Al Wasat). The UN Security Council will hold a special session this August to review the developments in the situation inside Libya, amid great concern about the delay in agreeing on an election law that paves the way for the national elections at the end of this year. During the session, the Council will review developments in the political process, security, and humanitarian developments in Libya, and will also discuss the latest report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on the work of the Special Mission in Libya, according to what was published by the Security Council Report, today, Wednesday.
  2.  Saudi Arabia Grants $1.5 Billion for 3,524 Projects in Egypt, Generating Thousands of Jobs (Egypt Independent). The Saudi Arabia Grant Management Committee (SAGMC) has provided $1.5 billion to finance 3,524 projects in 27 governorates across Egypt, creating around 17,000 job opportunities in sectors such as industry, agriculture, healthcare, trade, and more. This Saudi grant marks the third agreement signed between SAGMC and Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, continuing their cooperation in supporting micro, small, and medium-sized projects. Notable beneficiaries include financial institutions like the National Bank of Egypt and the Agricultural Bank of Egypt, as well as direct grant financing recipients like EFG Hermes Leasing Company and Enmaa Finance Company. The recent agreement was witnessed by Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.

August 4, 2023

  1. Libya’s Al-Dabiba Rejects Departure from Office Amid Elections Focus (Ean Libya). He emphasized that the government’s singular focus is on the upcoming elections and that there will be no parallel governments or stages beyond this goal. During a cabinet meeting in Ghadames, Dabaiba urged all those seeking power to allow the people to choose their leaders through the electoral process. He cautioned against provocative political discourse and maneuvers that could hinder the stability and success of the elections. He also expressed concern for neighboring Niger’s security and affirmed support for political legitimacy based on elections, pledging to help maintain the stability of the region.
  2. UNITAMS Condemns Civilian Targeting in Darfur Conflict, Urges Immediate Halt to Military Operations (Al Arabiya). The United Nations Integrated Transitional Support Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) has condemned the indiscriminate targeting of civilians and public facilities by the Rapid Support Forces, particularly in the Sirba locality of West Darfur. The mission expressed concern about the impact of the conflict on civilians in the Darfur region, highlighting similar incidents in Nyala, South Darfur, and Zalingei. UN envoy Volker Peretz expressed worries about reports of preventing civilians from escaping to safer areas, resulting in casualties. UNITAMS called for an immediate halt to military operations by all involved forces and urged for a return to talks through the Jeddah platform. The mission reaffirmed its commitment to facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Sudan conflict.
  3. Egypt’s El-Sisi and Greece’s Mitsotakis Discuss Regional Issues, Emphasize Cooperation and EMGF (English Ahram). Egypt’s President El-Sisi and Greece’s Prime Minister Mitsotakis discussed regional matters, emphasizing the importance of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) for boosting gas trade. They aimed to strengthen bilateral ties, cooperate in various sectors, and address challenges. El-Sisi supported Libya’s political track and sovereignty restoration. The leaders focused on mutual interests and fostering peace and stability. Mitsotakis’s visit followed his re-election and government formation.

August 7, 2023

  1. New President Elected for Libya’s Supreme Council Amidst Push for Election Law Resolution (Libya Akhbar). Muhammad Moftah Takala becomes Libya’s Supreme Council of State president with 67 votes, after a close contest with Khaled Al-Mashri. The Council’s roles include choosing the government and submitting budget observations. UN envoy urges swift election law finalization. Haftar discussions stress election necessity and law significance in resolving political tensions. For the most updated news of North Africa’s event, read this week’s The Region. 

North Africa Report: Russia’s Expanding Influence in Africa, Week’s Update Reveals Role in Sudan’s War and Niger’s Tensions

SUDAN:

Continued Failure of Political Initiatives in Resolving the Two Sudanese-Generals War: A Summit for Sudan Lacks Sudan’s Participation.

Against the backdrop of Sudan’s absence, neighboring nations convened to discuss the Sudanese conflict’s repercussions in Chad, underscoring the urgent need for international aid to support the influx of refugees. Amid the army and Rapid Support Forces conflict from mid-April to mid-July, Gezira State’s Ministry of Health witnessed a substantial influx of patients, totaling nearly half a million, seeking medical care across health affairs, hospitals, and health centers. This prolonged conflict cast a grim shadow over Sudan’s agricultural season, imperiling millions with famine. United Nations data exposed 6.3 million in food insecurity, while projections unveiled acute food shortages for over 20.3 million, constituting around 42% of the population.

In recent developments, Malik Agar, Vice President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council led by Fattah al-Burhan, traveled to Moscow, proposing a base in Sudan to Russia for assistance in mediating with the Rapid Support Commander or neutralizing the force. Previous reports, however, establish a direct connection between Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Wagner, and Hemedti’s Rapid Support Forces, notably involving the smuggling of gold from Sudan to Moscow.

Amid ongoing clashes between the opposing sides, Sudanese artillery targeted Rapid Support Forces (RSF), while RSF surrounded the army’s General Command in an intelligence building. During a recent meeting with the leadership of the “Women Against War” Initiative, the vice president proposed a roadmap to end the conflict. The plan first involves separating the fighting forces, expediting humanitarian aid delivery, ensuring citizen safety, and initiating a political process based on state establishment rather than power sharing.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, established a committee to investigate “war crimes and violations of the Rapid Support Forces,” composed of officials from various sectors. The committee seeks to document alleged RSF violations since mid-April and pursue legal actions for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and potential genocide, particularly in West Darfur.

Notably, Russia’s Sputnik echoed a Sudanese expert’s perspective that both warring parties lacked the qualification to rule Sudan, emphasizing the necessity to remove them from the equation. The four-month conflict between the army and “rapid support” forces displaced 3 million internally. They led to a million refugees in neighboring countries, leaving the situation of Sudanese migrants in Tunisia ambiguous. Tragedy struck as over 30 migrants went missing after two iron boats sank off Italy’s coast, highlighting the dangerous Mediterranean migration route, which has seen 20,000 deaths or disappearances since 2014.

The Sudanese conflict between the army and “rapid support” forces has extended over four months, displacing 3 million internally and causing a million refugees in neighboring countries. Amidst a growing wave of racism against migrants, organizations overseeing refugee and migrant affairs in Tunisia remain silent. Although Sudanese migrants significantly populate Tunisia, their situation remains uncertain.

Tragedy struck as more than 30 migrants are missing after two boats, believed to be frail iron vessels, sank off Italy’s coast near Lampedusa Island. Survivors lost track of 28 individuals on one boat and three on the other. Departing from Sfax, Tunisia, Italian authorities are investigating the incident. The Mediterranean route connecting North Africa with Italy is the world’s most dangerous migration path, witnessing over 20,000 deaths or disappearances since 2014.

NIGER:

Defiant Nigerien Putschists Close Niger’s Airspace

Amid international pressure, defiant Nigerien putschists let their ultimatum lapse, rallying supporters in Niamey under the Russian flag, chanting anti-French slogans, and endorsing the coup. President Mohamed Bazoum’s plea in the Washington Post about his hostage status garnered little attention from the putschists. As the ECOWAS deadline expired, the military junta closed Niger’s airspace, accusing superpowers of preparing for aggression.

This week witnessed the departure of 65 Italian and ten American soldiers from Niger to Rome. Meanwhile, Algerian President Tebboune opposed military intervention while actively engaging with Russia. In a parallel vein, retired Libyan general Haftar affirmed his forces’ vigilance concerning neighboring tensions without declaring a clear position. However, intriguingly, the Nigerien coup leaders seemingly explored a contrasting path, purportedly seeking support from the Wagner Group. Chad and Burkina Faso also objected to military intervention in Niger.

France’s Defense Minister, Sebastien Lecorno, challenged the legitimacy of the coup, emphasizing recognition of acknowledged Nigerien authorities endorsed by ECOWAS and allied nations. Nevertheless, France faces intricate military choices due to its diminished presence contrasted with the substantial influence wielded by Russia. In reaction to the endorsement of the coup in Niger by militant groups in Burkina Faso and Mali, France declared this past weekend that it would suspend all assistance to these two nations.

August 8, 2023

  1. President of Libyan Presidential Council Meets with Field Marshal Haftar to Discuss Elections and Security Challenges (Lana.Gov.Ly). The President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Muhammad Al-Manfi, held a meeting with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi. The discussions centered around creating favorable conditions for upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, as well as addressing national security challenges along the Libyan border. Al-Manfi’s visit to Benghazi included an inspection of development projects and their requirements ahead of a financial committee meeting.
  2. Libyan Protests Erupt Over Naval Base Decision Amidst Turkish Forces Presence (Only Lebanon). Protests surged in western Libya as citizens denounced the decision by the Military Prosecutor of the “National Unity” government to integrate the Al-Khums sea port into a naval base controlled by Turkish forces. Residents of Al-Khums expressed anger by setting fires and blocking roads, demanding Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dabiba reverse the decision. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqila Saleh, deemed the move “null and illegal.”
  3. Violence Escalates in Sudan’s Capital Amid Clashes Between Army and Rapid Support Forces (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat). Artillery shelling erupted from the Karari military area in Sudan’s Omdurman city as the army targeted the positions of the Rapid Support Forces. The latter had laid siege to key locations in southern Khartoum and Omdurman. Clashes in central neighborhoods of Omdurman were reported, with residents demanding the prime minister reverse the decision to integrate the Al-Khums sea port into a naval base controlled by Turkish forces. Witnesses noted market closures due to looting fears, urging the “rapid support” forces to allow essential supplies. Despite ceasefire attempts, daily battles continue, raising concerns of a prolonged civil war. The conflict has displaced millions and caused widespread destruction.
  4. Egypt’s Foreign Currency Reserves Increase to $34.878 Billion in July (Sada Misr). The Central Bank of Egypt has reported a rise in the net cash reserves of foreign currencies by approximately $72 million in July 2023. The reserves reached around $34.878 billion by the end of July, compared to about $34.81 billion at the end of June. Egypt’s foreign reserves encompass a variety of major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen, and Chinese yuan, following a strategy outlined by the Central Bank.

August 9, 2023

  1. Sudanese Sovereignty Council Presents Plan to End the War (Sky News). The deputy head of the council, Malik Agar, revealed a roadmap proposed by the government to end the war and explained that the plan begins with the separation of the warring forces, leading to the establishment of a comprehensive political process based on the establishment of the state and not the sharing of power, in addition to facilitating the arrival of aid and ensuring the security of citizens.
  2. Clashes Rage in Omdurman (Al-Arabiya). Violent clashes have renewed between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, especially in Omdurman, north of the capital. Al-Arabiya/Al-Hadath reported on Tuesday that the military bombed with heavy artillery several separate locations of the Rapid Support Forces south of Khartoum, specifically in the capital’s southern parts and the Sports City’s vicinity. At the same time, military reconnaissance aircraft continued to fly over the three cities of the money.

August 10, 2023

  1. 10 Officers of the Sudanese Security and Intelligence Service killed in Omdurman (Al-Ghad). An al-Ghad correspondent from Khartoum reported that 10 Sudanese security and intelligence officers were killed in the Omdurman clashes. Our correspondent added that the conflicts between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces lasted 10 hours yesterday in Omdurman. However, there is a state of pressure from which hospitals suffer due to the large number of injuries and victims due to the clashes.

August 11, 2023

  1. Italian Company Obtains $1B Contract to Use Gas in Libya (Al-Saaa24). The Italian multinational company “Sabem” has obtained a new contract from the Mellitah Oil and Gas Company to develop the Bouri field project, at a value of about one billion US dollars, for the use of gas in Libya—water depths ranging between 145m and 183m, off the Libyan coast. The contract includes engineering, construction, installation, and commissioning works, laying 28 kilometers of existing lines in the offshore facility, and increasing 5,000 tons of gas recovery units.
  2. Khartoum Calls for Replacement of Peretz as UN Envoy for Sudan (Al-Arabiya). The Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Al-Sadiq, on Thursday that Khartoum’s refusal to attend the head of the United Nations Mission to Sudan, Volker Peretz, at the UN Security Council session, on Wednesday, does not involve “any blackmail or threat to anyone.” Al-Sadiq added, in statements reported by the Sudanese news agency, that Sudan’s refusal to attend Peretz the session “is an exercise of its legitimate right to accept those it deems serving Sudan and its people and reject those who work against it.”
  3. Rapid Support Forces Claim New Victory in Omdurman (Rakoba News).  The Rapid Support Forces announced they had recently won over the army forces on many axes in Omdurman. A statement by the Rapid Support Forces stated that its forces killed 174 of the army and wounded about 300 others. It also captured 83 battles between the two sides in several neighborhoods in Omdurman, Khartoum.
  4. Humanitarian Situation Worsens, Clashes Expand in Sudanese Capital (Al-Araby). The circle of conflicts between the Sudanese army and the “rapid support” forces expanded today, Thursday, in the capital, Khartoum, interrupting public services, including water and electricity. The army stated that “the action forces of the Armored Corps (south of Khartoum) are carrying out extensive combing operations in the Jabra and Al-Ashra areas.” The cities of Omdurman, west of the capital, Khartoum, and Bahri (North), are also witnessing clashes, with intense flights of warplanes in Bahri and army forces combing the old neighborhoods of Omdurman. The Rapid Support Forces pursued, while residents of those neighborhoods fled to other places to escape the ongoing clashes.
  5. Egypt’s Annual Core Inflation Eases to 40.7 Percent in July (English Ahram). Egypt’s annual core inflation rate recorded 40.7 percent in July 2023, a slight decrease from 41 percent in June, according to data released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Thursday.

August 14, 2023

  1. Libyan Ministers Visit Iran to Consolidate Relations (Lywitness). The Chargé d’Affairs of the Iranian Embassy in Libya, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, and the Minister of Health in charge, Ramadan Abu Jinnah, visited Tehran. They discussed cooperation mechanisms between the two countries in various fields, and the Iranian charge d’affaires invited Abu Jinnah to visit Iran and meet with officials of the Iranian Ministry of Health to discuss aspects of cooperation in the health sector and the provision of medical services. Abu Jinnah welcomed the invitation and promised to accept it, stressing the importance of establishing a solid relationship between the two brotherly countries and his keenness to open horizons of cooperation with Iran to achieve the higher interests of the Libyan state.
  2. Fighting Rages in Darfur, and Residents Flee their Homes (Al Arabiya). In a continuation of the raging tension in Darfur, western Sudan, the circle of clashes expanded in the city of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, today, Sunday, between the army forces and the Rapid Support Forces. The hits included five neighborhoods north and south of the city, in which heavy and light weapons were used, killing 13 civilians and wounding dozens.
  3. Sudanese Foreign Ministry Claims UN Envoy Peretz’s “Bias” Helped Cause Sudan’s War (Al Arabiya). A spokesman for the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed today, Friday, that the actions of the head of the United Nations mission to his country Volker Peretz is one of the reasons that led to the outbreak of the war, accusing him of cooperating with some parties and not others in a “biased manner.” Spokesman Khaled Al-Sheikh told the Arab World News Agency (AWP) that the UN envoy “excluded some parties in the country that are looking for solutions to the crisis and focused only on others who have intransigent opinions.”
  4. Sisi to Host Abbas and Abdullah II for Tripartite Summit in Alamein City (English Ahram). President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will host President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazen,” due to arrive in Egypt on Sunday, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, both of whom are visiting Egypt to participate in the tripartite summit in Egypt’s New Alamein city. WAFA also stated that the conference demonstrates the continuity of consultation and cooperation between the three leaders on various Arab, regional, and international issues, adding that it aims to unify perspectives on dealing with these issues.  

August 15, 2023

  1. Violent Clashes Between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces in 3 Sudanese States (Rakoba News). Violent clashes took place between the forces of the two parties to the conflict in the country in 3 areas, and eyewitnesses said to “Sputnik,” that “clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces took place in the vicinity of the Armored Corps, south of the capital, Khartoum,” the city of Omdurman in the state of Khartoum, and…in the city of Nyala…[F]or more than three months, violent and large-scale clashes have continued between the Sudanese army forces and the Rapid Support Forces.
  2. Tripartite Summit in El Alamein Stresses Need to End the Israeli Occupation (Youm7). The official spokesperson for the Presidency of the Republic, Counselor Ahmed Fahmy, announced the final statement of the Egyptian-Jordanian-Palestinian tripartite summit, which was held today in the new city of El Alamein, Where President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, hosted, in a tripartite summit, King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, in El Alamein today, August 14, to discuss developments of the Palestinian cause in light of the current developments in the land of the State of Palestine and occupied and the associated regional and international situations.
  3. Egyptian-Syrian Talks in Cairo on Tuesday to Discuss a Settlement (Al-Arabiya). The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today, Monday, that the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, will hold talks with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Al-Miqdad, tomorrow, Tuesday, regarding developments in the situation in his country, and said that the two ministers will participate in the meeting of the Arab Ministerial Liaison Committee concerned with Syria after that.

August 16, 2023

  1. Renewed Sounds of Heavy Artillery and Direct Clashes in the Ain Zara Area of ​​Tripoli (Al-Mashhad Libya). Violent clashes continued today, Tuesday, in the capital, Tripoli, between the forces of the 444th Brigade, fighting with the loyal troops on the one hand and the details of the deterrence apparatus and the judicial police on the other, despite widespread calls to stop them from preserving the lives of civilians—heavy vehicles in several streets of the capital, Tripoli, including tanks and heavy artillery. Brigade 444 forces reviewed a video clip showing their control of several vehicles and armored vehicles belonging to the deterrence apparatus and the judicial police inside the University of Tripoli and captured several forces.
  2. Rapid Support Forces Claim Shootdown of an Army Warplane in Khartoum (Rakoba News). On Monday, the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces announced the downing of a Sukhoi warplane in Khartoum North, saying that the plane had bombed several Khartoum neighborhoods, killing dozens of civilians:  “On Monday evening, a Sukhoi warplane belonging to the militia of the putschists and the remnants of the defunct regime took place in the city of Bahri…The soldiers of the Rapid Support Forces responded to the attacks of the remnants of the defunct regime against innocent civilians by shooting down a Sukhoi aircraft that was bombing innocent citizens.”
  3. Egypt Hosts Meeting of Arab Liaison Committee on Syria (Youm7). Today, Tuesday, the meetings of the Arab Liaison Committee for Syria began at the Tahrir Palace in the center of the capital, according to what was confirmed by Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zaid, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs…Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zaid indicated that the Arab league strives to find practical and sustainable solutions to the Syrian crisis and end the suffering of the brotherly Syrian people.

August 17, 2023

  1. Libya Awaits the Fate of Consensus Between the House of Representatives and the State (Al-Mashhad Libya). Ambiguity in Libya still surrounds the position of the High Council of State and its new president, Mohamed Takala, regarding the fate of the Council’s previous agreements with the House of Representatives relating to electoral laws and the implementation of a “road map” that includes the formation of a new government in the country. In light of the lack of Takala’s statements…several parties in the political arena are now waiting for the next session of the Supreme Council of the State to know its positions on several issues more precisely.
  2. Sisi Says Egypt Will Establish Border Logistics Zone with Libya (Al-Saaa 24). Egypt intends to establish a new logistical area near the Salloum land crossing on the border with Libya, which it developed recently, to create the western region and enhance trade movement with its neighbor. Many projects target Matrouh Governorate, whether in terms of ports or the express train that will reach the city of Salloum on the Libyan border. The logistics area will cover ​​more than one million square meters near the port.

August 18, 2023

  1. Tensions Subside as Libyan Capital Witnesses Release of Commander Amidst Ceasefire (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Following intense clashes in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, a sense of relief and festivity has replaced the atmosphere of bloody conflict. Celebrations and fireworks filled the skies of Tripoli to mark the release of Mahmoud Hamza, the leader of the “444 Combat” brigade, temporarily closing a chapter of recurrent battles between armed factions. The clashes led to 50 casualties and over 160 injuries, prompting local, regional, and international condemnation. 
  2. Sudan’s Dire Situation Deepens After Months of War; International Relief Agencies Raise Alarm (Sudan Akhbar). Sudan’s situation has deteriorated significantly after four months of ongoing conflict, with battles spiraling out of control, as expressed by international relief agencies. The war’s devastating impact has led to widespread displacement and a looming threat of famine for millions of people. In a joint statement, leaders of twenty international organizations have emphasized the urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Sudan. They’ve highlighted that a staggering 14 million children need aid, with over four million displaced.
  3. New Gas Pipeline to Link Israel and Egypt for Enhanced European Gas Exports (CNN Arabic). Israeli and Egyptian companies engaged in the gas export sector have concluded technical studies for constructing a new gas pipeline connecting the two nations. This pipeline aims to transport increased gas quantities to Egyptian liquefaction facilities, paving the way for its re-exportation to Europe. According to an informed source, gas production companies in Israel will bear the pipeline’s construction costs, projected to take two years to complete.

August 21, 2023

  1. Libyan Parties Hail Unification of the Central Bank of Libya (DW). The Governor of the Central Bank of Libya announces, after nearly a decade of division into two branches, the return of the bank as a “unified sovereign institution”, and the step is welcomed by Benghazi and Tripoli Governor of the Central Bank of Libya and his deputy regarding the unification of the institution of the Central Bank of Libya. .
  2. Life Returns to Normal in All Places of Clashes in Tripoli (Sputnik Arabic). Life has returned to normal after opening roads in all places of clashes that took place in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Friday. The Libyan News Agency quoted the General Services Company in Tripoli as a notice confirming the opening of roads and the return of life to normal in all places of clashes that recently took place in the capital, Tripoli.
  3. Clashes Continue in Khartoum and Kordofan, and International Accusations Against the Rapid Support Forces (Arabia News 24 ). Clashes continue between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in the capital, Khartoum, and the cities of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, and Al-Fula, in West Kordofan state, while the United Nations has accused the “Rapid Support Forces” of sexual violence. Al-Jazeera correspondent monitored the flight of army fighters in the sky of the cities of Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North, in conjunction with heavy weapons fire from the Rapid Support Forces, in different directions in the capital.

August 22, 2023

  1. Cairo University Geology Professor Discusses Ethiopia’s Water Retention Impact on Nile Flooding (Egypt Independent). Professor Abbas Sharaky, an expert in Geology and Water Resources at Cairo University, has highlighted that Ethiopia’s retention of water has led to a significant reduction in Egypt’s water share, resulting in the absence of Nile flooding this year. In an interview with the al-Hadath al-Youm channel, Sharaky noted that Ethiopia’s actions had withheld approximately 45 percent of Egypt’s allocated water share.
  2. Egypt Announces Plans for ‘Logistic Area’ at Al-Salloum Border Crossing with Libya (Libya Herald). The logistical area, covering approximately 250-300 acres (about one million square meters), will be adjacent to the Salloum port. Its primary objective is to enhance and streamline trade activities between Egypt and Libya. The broader plan encompasses several key features, including expanding and modernizing the port’s infrastructure to facilitate transportation. Additionally, the initiative will involve the creation of a dedicated emergency border crossing route for ambulances, incorporating advanced security screening equipment, and introducing an express train service connecting to the city of Salloum.

August 23, 2023

  1. Algeria Denies Passage for French Military Aircraft to Niger (New Arab). Algeria has reportedly denied passage to the French military aircraft heading to Niger, as the North African state stands by its rejection of military intervention in the conflict-torn region. in line with the Algerian position that strictly rejects any military intervention in Niger as an option to force the putschists to give up power and return President Mohamed Bazoum to office,” the official Algerian radio quoted reliable sources. Niger’s President, Mohamed Bazoum, was elected two years ago in the first peaceful, democratic power transfer since independence in 1960.
  2. Russian Army Officials Visit Libya at Haftar’s Invitation (France 24). Russian military officials, including the Deputy Minister of Defense, arrived in Libya on Tuesday, after receiving an invitation from the pro-Moscow strongman, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Haftar, who supports the government in eastern Libya, is close to the private Russian Wagner Group, whose forces guard the military and oil infrastructure in the country.
  3. Egypt Announces New Oil Discovery in Gulf of Suez (Annahar). The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced a new oil discovery in the Jessum and Tawila West concession area in the Gulf of Suez today, Tuesday. From 2,500 barrels per day, she added, “The well is the fourth well to be completed through early production facilities…Three more wells can be drilled” in the current exploration phase.

August 24, 2023

  1. UN Special Rep Confirms the Presence of Wagner in Libya and Warns of the Consequences of Destabilizing Niger (Al-Wasat). The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Abdullah Batelli, warned of the consequences of destabilization in Niger for Libya, confirming the presence of the Russian “Wagner” group in Libya, despite the absence of documented data on their numbers and equipment. Batelli said in a press briefing on…Tuesday: “We are concerned about the situation in Niger.”
  2. Egyptian Official Says Restoration of Egypt-Iran Relations Depends on Syrian and Lebanese Files (Syria TV). The head of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Muhammad al-Orabi, said that the return of relations between Cairo and Tehran is linked to many files, including Syria and Yemen. Al-Orabi indicated in an interview with the Arab World News Agency (AWP) that diplomatic relations between Egypt and Iran exist and have not been interrupted, but the determinants of the return of full relations between them have a special nature. He pointed out that Iran is an active state in the region, and sometimes it is harmful, and the return of relations is linked to other files such as Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.
  3. Majority Party in Egyptian Parliament Supports Sisi’s Candidacy for a New Term (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat). The “National Future” party, which holds the parliamentary majority in the Egyptian Parliament (316 seats out of a total of 596), announced today (Wednesday) its support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s candidacy for a new term in the upcoming presidential elections, so that “Nation’s Future” will join the “Free Egyptians” and “Hamat Al-Watan”, which announced the same position last month. This coincided with intensive preparations by the National Elections Authority in Egypt to announce the timetable for the next presidential elections.
  4. Kuwait’s KUFPEC Announces an Oil Discovery in Egypt that Increases Production (Sputnik Arabic). The Kuwaiti company “KUFPEC” announced that it had made a new oil discovery in the Egyptian Suez Canal area through its subsidiary “KUFPEC Egypt.” The Kuwaiti Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company stated that the new oil discovery is in the Egyptian concession area, “Jesum and West Tawila”, according to the Saudi “Argaam” portal, today, Wednesday.

August 25, 2023

  1. Egypt signed a significant deal with Swiss MEDLOG to build a new dry port & logistics center (Ahram Online). The General Authority for Land and Dry Ports (GALDP) has signed a 30-year agreement with Swiss MEDLOG Transport & Logistics company to develop a dry port and a logistics center in the 10th of Ramadan City…According to a Cabinet statement on Thursday, the deal comprises the maintenance and operations of the port and the center, which will be built on 250 feddans – 130 feddans for the dry dock and 120 feddans for the logistics center.
  2. The Mysterious Fate of Prigozhin’s Legacy in Libya (Al Wasat). Many observers greeted the killing of the leader of the Wagner Company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a plane crash he was on board, with questions about the fate of the paramilitary group intertwined with the Kremlin after the death of its leader and the future of its presence in some hot spots around the world, including Libya. The day of his death coincided with the visit of a Russian military delegation to the city of Benghazi.
  3. Al-Burhan Conducts First Public Tour Since Outbreak of War (Al Arabiya). On Thursday, Sudanese cities are witnessing a new day of escalation and fighting. Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Army is conducting a comprehensive tour of military sites and vehicles in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri at dawn today…A Sudanese army statement said that the Sudanese army commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, appeared for the first time since the outbreak of the war outside the army command complex and the Ministry of Defense.

August 28, 2023

  1. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan Rekindle GERD Talks in Cairo (24). Tri-nation negotiations on GERD operations resume in Cairo, focusing on a binding agreement that reflects shared interests.
  2. Niger’s Military Junta Expels Ambassadors, Citing National Interests (Kapitalis). Niger’s military junta expels ambassadors from France, Germany, and Nigeria, citing actions against national interests.
  3. AL-Burhan’s Diplomatic Tour Gains Party Support, Easing War (Al Sumaria). Sudan’s General Al-Burhan’s foreign tour includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, aiming to foster diplomatic relations amidst regional conflicts. Meanwhile, Sudan’s National Umma Party’s endorsement of the army commander’s exit reflects progress towards ending internal strife and reinstating democracy. Diplomatic tensions arose as the US Ambassador’s comments on Sudan’s fighting groups prompted criticism from the Foreign Ministry.

August 29, 2023

  1. BP Announces $3.5 Billion Investment Plan in Egypt’s Energy Sector (Al Sharq Al Awsat). British Petroleum (BP) plans to invest $3.5 billion in Egypt’s oil and gas sector over the next three years. BP’s CEO Bernard Looney emphasized the longstanding strategic partnership with Egypt, applauding Egypt’s development, particularly in infrastructure. 
  2. UAE’s Actions Strain Morocco-Algeria Relations (Al Chorouk Online). Despite ostensibly friendly relations, the UAE continues to antagonize Algeria, raising concerns of a potential diplomatic crisis. Credible foreign diplomatic sources revealed suspicious movements at the UAE Embassy in Algeria, further straining relations.

August 30, 2023

  1. Sudan Army Chief Returns from Egypt Amid Ongoing Violence in Darfur (Al Monitor). Sudanese Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan returns from his first international trip to Egypt, where he met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The visit coincides with ongoing violence in Darfur, claiming 39 civilian lives. Both the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces face war crime accusations. The conflict continues to displace millions.
  2. Algeria Proposes Six-Axis Political Initiative to Resolve Niger Crisis (Al Jazeera). Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ataf announces a six-axis initiative to address the Niger crisis, focusing on upholding constitutional legitimacy and rejecting military intervention. The plan calls for a summit, political arrangements under national supervision, and an international development conference for the Sahel. This comes amid warnings from France of a security collapse in West Africa.

August 31, 2023

  1. Bipartisan U.S. Delegation Discusses Foreign Policy in Egypt (Anadolu Agency). A delegation of bipartisan U.S. Congress members, led by Senators Lindsey Graham and Robert Menendez, held discussions on foreign policy matters with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The talks covered various regional developments, including the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, conflicts in Sudan, Libya, and Syria, as well as progress on the Palestinian cause. The delegation emphasized the importance of swift political resolutions and addressed ongoing negotiations involving Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam.
  2. Fluctuating Egyptian Stock Market Seen as a Hedging Opportunity Amid Rising Inflation (SNA Business). Recent comments from financial experts indicate an upward trend in Egypt’s stock market, potentially attractive for foreign investors amid a declining exchange rate. Undervaluation of stocks despite rising inflation suggests investment opportunities, say Mohamed Maher and Dr. Hossam El-Ghaish.
  3. Libyans Protest to Demand Expulsion of Syrian Mercenaries (Al Hadath). Libyan protesters stormed a Tripoli police academy to expel Syrian mercenaries, alleging resource drain and security risks. The youth movement called for military action to remove them, warning of escalation if demands aren’t met. Concerns arise over the mercenaries’ potential integration into official security forces, as deployed by Turkiye.
  4. UN Approves Additional $20 Million for Humanitarian Needs in Sudan (Anadolu Agency). The United Nations has approved an additional $20 million to address growing humanitarian needs in Sudan. Martin Griffiths, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, announced the funding approval on social media, highlighting the urgent necessity for financial support given the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

 

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