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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Are Egypt and the UAE looking for a replacement for ailing Haftar?

On another slow news morning for Egypt in the international press, the most significant story of note regards our relations with our Western neighbor.

Are Egypt and the UAE looking for a replacement for ailing Haftar? Rumors of National Libyan Army leader Khalifa Haftar’s ill-health, and even death, are reportedly driving Egyptian and UAE officials to hold meetings in search of a possible replacement to hold down the fort that is Eastern Libya, according to the Libyan Express. These meetings had apparently taken place with eastern tribes, including Furjan and Abidat. Libyan media reported on Tuesday that the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Tobruk Aqilah Saleh arrived in Abu Dhabi to meet officials to potentially find a new commander in the place of Haftar. The spokesperson for Haftar had denied last week that the general was dead, saying that he had a minor bout of ill-health in France, saying he would return to Libya soon.

Also in Libya, the chief of staff of the eastern Libyan army Abdel Razeq Nathouri survived an assassination attempt on Wednesday after a car bomb hit his convoy outside Benghazi, Reuters reports. The attack killed one person and wounded at least two others.

Other stories worth noting in brief:

  • Social media managers beware: Grand Mufti Shawki Allam issued a fatwa banning buying Facebook likes for promotional purposes, the AP reports.
  • Women continue to be excluded from tech jobs in Egypt, leading to the continued loss of talent and potential for the burgeoning industry, Progrss reports.
  • Egypt and other African teams “will struggle” to make it past World Cup quarter finals, former Cameroon and Arsenal defender Lauren tells BBC Sport.
  • The UAE will help Egypt improve government services under an MoU signed in February, Gulf News reports. Yawn.

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