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LIBYA

Swiss to unlock $420 million for Libya rebels

Switzerland said on Thursday it wanted to unlock $420 million (€294 million) in frozen Libyan assets to assist the country's new interim government.

Speaking at the international Friends of Libya conference hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey said her country had asked the UN’s sanctions committee to unfreeze the funds.  

She pleaded for a “restitution of all frozen assets as part of the international sanctions, for the benefit of the Libyan people and as soon as possible.”  

Switzerland had frozen €570 million of Libyan assets since February.  

Sarkozy announced that $15 billion were unfrozen to help the rebel National Transitional Council rebuild the country after toppling Muammar Qaddafi’s regime.

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LIBYA

First Red Cross aid reaches Yemeni capital

An initial flight from the International Committee of the Red Cross transporting medical personnel has reached the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the Geneva-based organization said on Tuesday, as fighting in the Arabian Peninsula country led to warnings of a humanitarian crisis.

First Red Cross aid reaches Yemeni capital
Photo: The Local

"First @ICRC flight reached Sanaa," " Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the Red Cross, posted on his Twitter account.

"More to come by air and sea when clearances received to bring urgently needed medical supplies."

ICRC spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen said the first flight was a small passenger plane carrying medical staff and that it landed on Monday.

A cargo plane with medical supplies was waiting in Amman, she said.
   
"This plane will go to Sanaa tomorrow," said Jabeen.

The organization was also planning to send another aid shipment with a plane that would travel from Geneva to Sanaa.
   
Relief workers have warned of a dire situation in the impoverished country, where a Saudi-led coalition is waging an air war on the Iran-backed Huthi Shiite rebels.

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