Connect with us


‘Not like other years’: Coronavirus dampens Eid al-Adha in Libya | News



Misrata, Libya – The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way people in Libya, like all Muslims around the world, are celebrating the annual Eid al-Adha festival. 

Eid al-Adha, or the festival of sacrifice, marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. This year, the festival will be celebrated in most countries on Friday, July 31.

In Libya, the festival is usually spent with relatives and friends who gather to eat together. But lockdown restrictions in the North African nation, which reported its first case of coronavirus in March, has forced many to be alone in the holiday.

“This year isn’t like the others. We will have to take precautions and everyone is worried. Instead of extended family, we will be spending Eid with our immediate family,” Ashraf Alserati, a Misrata resident, told Al Jazeera.

Libya has so far reported 3,222 coronavirus cases and 71 related deaths, according to the National Centre for Disease Control. Almost 600 people in the country have recovered.

A vendor sells knives at a market in the run-up to the Eid al-Adha celebrations in Misrata [Ayman al-Sahili/Reuters]

The pandemic is testing Libya’s healthcare system, already fragmented and stretched from years of conflict since the overthrow and killing of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. 

The oil-rich country is split between the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, a renegade military commander who in April 2019 launched an ultimately unsuccessfully offensive to wrest control of the capital.

The World Health Organization considers Libya a high-risk country for COVID-19, while the United Nations has warned that the spread of coronavirus could be “truly catastrophic” for the internally displaced people (IDP) and close to 700,000 refugees and migrants in the country.

Even before the arrival of the new coronavirus, the Global Health Security Index report had warned that Libya was among the 27 countries “most vulnerable to emerging outbreaks”.

‘Difficult position’

The health crisis, along with rising prices, has drastically slowed down business activity in the lead-up to Eid al-Adha, a lucrative time for cattle herders.

“Before, buying a sheep was a family occasion. Now, the father comes by himself,” said Abdulhamid Alseid, a sheep farmer and seller. 

“Because of COVID-19, it’s harder to import wheat and food, so it’s more expensive. That’s also had an impact on the market.”

Small business owners, selling handmade traditional items are also feeling the virus’s effects, while the increase in prices of basic commodities has made matters worse for many struggling families.

“This year, residents are in a difficult position,” Sleiman Bayou, a Misrata resident, told Al Jazeera.

“Many fathers are going to be embarrassed in front of their families because they can’t afford a sheep,” he added.

“Many are displaced because of the fighting, we are dealing with coronavirus, and the prices are really expensive. For many, the sheep costs them three to four months of salary.”

Source –


Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



Continue Reading


Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

Continue Reading


Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

Continue Reading