Weekly Digest – Libya (22nd September 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • Libya to resume oil exports from secure fields, ports
  • Calls for More Protests in Tripoli, Benghazi to ‘Save Libya’ from Corruption
  • Health authorities in Central Tripoli sets up health points for detecting Covid-19
  • Volunteers rescue 114 migrants off coast of Libya
  • Protestors in Eastern Libya set government building on fire
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3724
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 6.29

Libya to resume oil exports from secure fields, ports

Libya is expected to resume production from fields and export crude from ports that are secure, said the country’s state oil company.  The National Oil Corporation said a force majeure in place will be eased across “oilfields and ports that are secure”. Force majeure refers to an unforeseen event outside of a party’s control that prevents it from fulfilling its obligations under a contract.  Libya tentatively lifted a six-month long force majeure in July to resume oil exports. However, the ports were closed a day later after forces allied to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar called for an equitable distribution of oil revenue across the country.  DAILY TIMES

Calls for More Protests in Tripoli, Benghazi to ‘Save Libya’ from Corruption

Residents of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and eastern city of Benghazi have called for peaceful protests on Monday against “all forms of corruption” and the “toppling of all political bodies.”  Activists in eastern Libya have been making these calls for days ahead of Monday’s rally that will be held in the afternoon in Benghazi.  The activists have been calling for “saving Libya” and “rejecting corruption”, which they blame on the spread of the coronavirus in the country, lack of basic services and unemployment.  The organizers urged the people to protest peacefully and shun weapons and violence as a means to resolve conflicts. They instead demanded peaceful solutions to problems.  AL AWSAT

Health authorities in Central Tripoli sets up health points for detecting Covid-19

The health support group for combating the Coronavirus in the Municipality of Central Tripoli has begun to set up posts at the entrance of health facilities to conduct initial examinations for detecting the Covid-19.  Those who have symptoms that could indicate the novel coronavirus such as fever or shortness of breath are usually banned from entering health centers unless they undergo a PCR testing to prove they are free from Covid-19.  The municipality said on Facebook that this step will enable people to attend public hospitals and health centers within the central Tripoli area and other municipalities without having to obtain the testing referred to.    LIBYA OBSERVER

Volunteers rescue 114 migrants off coast of Libya

The German Sea-Eye volunteer organization rescued 114 migrants from two ships stranded off the Libyan coast, according to the organization’s website.  The rescue boat first lifted 90 people from the “overloaded rubber boat” and then lifted another 24 people aboard from the fishing boat.  According to volunteers, eight of those rescued were children, and eight were women, one of whom was pregnant.  “For fear of being detained by the Libyan militia, these people did not send a distress signal, putting themselves at high risk, “said Sea-Eye President Gorden Isler.  112 UA

Protestors in Eastern Libya set government building on fire

Protestors in the Libyan city of Benghazi set a government building on fire after the third straight day of protests condemning the living conditions and continued corruption within the country.  The protests also began in Al-Bayda, where the government was previously based and in Sabha and for the first time in Al-Marj.  Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Eastern towns to protest against the political elite and the lengthy power cuts and a severe banking crisis.  Some of the demonstrators in Benghazi, were armed with guns and set fire to the government building leaving its white walls charred black but the burning flames were later brought under control.  TAMIL GUARDIAN


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (13th & 17th September 2020) the Libyan Dinar has the following exchange rates.

The exchange rate from your own bank or credit card company will differ somewhat from the exchange rates as mentioned above. Your bank or credit card company might also apply additional international charges.


Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)

If you decide to travel to Libya:

  • Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organisation or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.

Gradual restart of operations at Libyan oil facilities

Workers at Libya’s major Sharara field have restarted operations, engineers working there said, after National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced a partial lifting of force majeure.

They said flaring had restarted at the field and shared a video of it and added that engineers had been returning to the area since Wednesday.  It was unclear when production might restart and there was no immediate comment from the NOC.  Two other NOC companies said they had issued directives to staff to start working to prepare to recommence production as soon as possible.

Libya’s oil sector has stood almost entirely quiet since January, when eastern-based forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), imposed a blockade on energy exports to demand what they called a fair share of hydrocarbon revenues.  On Saturday the Libyan oil company lifted force majeure on what it described as “safe” fields and ports but not on anywhere fighters remain, though it did not name these. The NOC has said facilities were degraded during the shutdown and during years of conflict, which could slow any recovery.

Sharara has been plagued by security problems in recent years that have caused repeated full or partial shutdowns. The field is operated by the NOC in a joint venture with Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor.

EU foreign ministers agree to sanction some violators of UN arms embargo on Libya

EU foreign ministers have agreed to sanction certain violators of the U.N. embargo on arms flowing into Libya, EU sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) on Monday.

The measures target three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan, as well as two individuals from Libya that have provided ships, planes or other logistics for the transport of combat equipment to Libya, according to sources, who did not specify, however, if the sanctions would also target Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which have been supporting putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces against the U.N.-recognized government.

Stephanie Williams, the acting U.N. Libya envoy, earlier in September, denounced what she called “blatant” ongoing violations of the arms embargo in effect on the war-wracked country, while a new U.N. report brought to light enhanced Russian support. Some 70 resupply flights have landed in eastern airports in support of Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) since July 8, Stephanie Williams told the U.N. Security Council (UNSC).


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The EU has imposed sanctions on a Turkish company for breaching a UN arms embargo on Libya over its support for the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.  Avrasya Shipping operates a vessel called the Cirkin, which was linked to the transport of military material to Libya in May and June 2020, the EU said.  The Cirkin was at the centre of a dispute in June when a French ship wanted to check if the Turkish vessel was smuggling weapons into Libya.  France accused Turkish frigates of an aggressive intervention in response.  It said the Cirkin switched off its tracking system, hid its ID number and refused to say where it was going. Turkey denied the claims.  “The EU imposes restrictive measures on persons and entities whose actions threaten the peace and security of Libya or obstruct the successful completion of its political transition,” the bloc said.  THE NATIONAL

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The deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General Farhan Haq has confirmed that the UN and Germany are preparing for a Berlin II Conference to pick up from where the first conference of January 2020 has left.  Haq told the German news agency that the Berlin II Conference will be held on October 05 and it will be a virtual meeting (video conference).  The deputy spokesman said the Berlin II Conference will include representatives from the UN, European Union and Arab League, as well as US, UK, Germany, France, China, Turkey, Italy, UAE, Egypt and Algeria.  The UNSMIL said on September 12 that the dialogues in Switzerland and Morocco were positive enough to pave the way for a conclusive Libyan political process that would be announced in a later time.  LIBYA OBSERVER

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that Turkey regrets the decision of Head of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Al-Sarraj to resign from his position, stressing that he has no objection to holding meetings with the Egyptian authorities, Reuters reported.  Speaking to reporters after Friday prayer in Istanbul, Erdogan added: “The warlord Khalifa Haftar will be defeated sooner or later,” adding that Turkey “regrets the decision made by the internationally-recognised Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj to resign by the end of October.”  Erdogan continued: “We have no objection to holding meetings with the Egyptian authorities.”  He asserted that: “Holding intelligence meetings with Egypt is a different matter, and it is possible, but the agreement they made with Greece saddened us.”  MEMO

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The head of Libya’s unity government, Fayez al-Sarraj, who plans to resign as part of peace efforts, has held his post through five years of economic crisis and deadly infighting that has drawn in foreign powers.  A political novice when his Government of National Accord was established with UN support in 2015, Sarraj successfully faced down his rival Khalifa Haftar, an eastern-based military leader accused of seeking to re-establish a dictatorship.  In April 2019, Haftar launched a devastating offensive against Tripoli, seat of Sarraj’s government, saying he wanted to cleanse it of “terrorists and mercenaries”.  But in June this year, Sarraj’s troops forced Haftar’s fighters to fall back on the east, after driving them out of their last western toeholds.  The two sides have since met for peace talks in Morocco, after last month announcing a surprise ceasefire and pledging to hold national elections.  DAILY MAIL


The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 847 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total confirmed number in the country to 28,796.  The 847 new infections were confirmed after 3,598 suspected samples were tested, the Center said in a statement.  Meanwhile, 316 more patients have recovered from the disease and 19 died, raising the total number of recoveries and deaths to 15,384 and 450 respectively.