Keyword: Libya

Five dead as French surveillance plane crashes

Three French defence ministry officials and two pilots, also French, were killed in crash as plane heading for Libya took off from Malta airport.

Death of Libyan minister linked to Sarkozy election funding 'highly suspicious'

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Shukri Ghanem in December 2007 when he was Libya's oil minister. © Reuters Shukri Ghanem in December 2007 when he was Libya's oil minister. © Reuters

Officially Shukri Ghanem died after suffering a heart attack and falling into the River Danube where he drowned. But few people have ever believed this official version of the former Libyan oil minister's death in Vienna in April 2012. Hillary Clinton's leaked emails show that her entourage and American diplomats considered at the time that Ghanem's death was “highly suspicious”. Mediapart has also contacted an acquaintance of the former oil minister in Vienna who has raised several potential theories behind the Libyan's death, including one involving “bribes” to politicians in France, Italy – and Britain. Agathe Duparc reports from Geneva.

The mystery of what really fuelled the French-led intervention in Libya

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Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron visiting Benghazi. © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron visiting Benghazi. © Reuters

A report published this week by the UK parliament’s foreign affairs committee made public its highly critical conclusions after a one-year inquiry into Britain's involvement in the 2011 military intervention in Libya which led to the overthrow of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. The committee described the operation, which was led by France, as ill-prepared, ill-informed and without a cohesive strategy. No parliamentary inquiry into the military campaign has ever been held in France, and what exactly fuelled then-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s eagerness to remove Gaddafi remains uncertain, although a number of clues point to a motive ignored by the UK committee of MPs. Fabrice Arfi reports.

French soldiers' deaths in Libya spark diplomatic row

Libya's UN-recognised government demands explanation from Paris after deaths of three French troops near Benghazi showed a 'violation' of its sovereignty.

French and German foreign ministers in surprise visit to Libya

Western nations hope UN-backed government of prime minister-designate Fayez Serraj can unite Libyans to fight an increasingly strong Islamic State affiliate.

France urges EU travel bans, asset freezes to break Libya logjam

French FM slammed Libyan politicians blocking formation of a government of national untity needed for planned Western intervention against IS.  

French special forces 'waging secret war' against IS in Libya

Report that President Hollande has authorised 'unofficial' military action by elite army unit plus intelligence services in conflict-torn state.

France warns of Islamic State attempt to grab Libyan oil fields

French defence minister said the jihadist group, which controls a stretch of the Libyan coast, were 'starting to penetrate' inland for oil wells and reserves.

France envisages attacks on Islamic State group in Libya

French PM Manuel Valls called on Friday for international efforts to crush the jihadist group to extend beyond Iraq and Syria to Libya.

France reveals flights over Islamic State positions in Libya

French air force planes carried out two reconnaissance flights around the towns of Sirte and Tobruk late November, presidential office reports.

Two French nationals stopped on way to Islamic State in Libya

Official at the Paris prosecutor's office said the two men, aged 19 and 20, were arrested near Tunisia's southern border with Libya.

Judicial expert study confirms Gaddafi-Sarkozy funding document as genuine

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En 2007, la lune de miel.  © Reuters En 2007, la lune de miel. © Reuters

A document published by Mediapart detailing how the Gaddafi regime in Libya agreed to secretly fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign is genuine, according to the conclusions of an expert analysis ordered by a French judge. The evaluation, involving highly sophisticated technology, was carried out as part of a judicial investigation into a complaint lodged against Mediapart by the former president for for ‘forgery and use of forgery’. The emphatic conclusion follows on a graphologists’s report that found the signature on the document was indeed that of Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief, Moussa Koussa. Fabrice Arfi reports.

France and Libya drop furthest in internet freedom rankings

Restrictions on online activities imposed after January's Charlie Hebdo attacks have contributed to France's decline in rankings, says report.

How Sarkozy helped key figure in election funding scandal flee Libya

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Nicolas Sarkozy, Bachir Saleh et Alexandre Djouhri © Reuters et DR Nicolas Sarkozy, Bachir Saleh et Alexandre Djouhri © Reuters et DR

Declassified reports from France's foreign intelligence service show how President Nicolas Sarkozy helped a senior figure in the Gaddafi regime escape from war-torn Libya in 2011, Mediapart can reveal. They show that Muammar Gaddafi's ex-chief of staff Bashir Saleh was taken to France in November 2011 with the aid of the French presidency and businessman Alexandre Djouhri. However, Saleh later fled France after Mediapart published details of a letter addressed to him outlining the Gaddafi regime's agreement to fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

The Clinton emails that raise questions over France's Libyan war

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«Comment les Français ont créé le Conseil national de transition», mail du 22 mars 2011 © DR «Comment les Français ont créé le Conseil national de transition», mail du 22 mars 2011 © DR

Intriguing emails sent to then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton shed revealing new light on the true motivations behind French president Nicolas Sarkozy's military intervention against the Libyan regime during the so-called Arab Spring of 2011. The messages, revealed as part of an ongoing US Congress probe into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi in September 2012, show that France's head of state went to war for both military and economic reasons. They also show that the French intelligence services were active on the ground in the North African country to assist in the creation of a transitional government, while media-friendly French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy played the role of Sarkozy's personal representative in Libya. Thomas Cantaloube reports.