Weekly Digest – Libya (29th September 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • Williams recommends sanctions against anyone hindering Libya’s upcoming dialogue 
  • Former Libya oil wealth handler arrested for fraud
  • More road closures with burning tyres in protest at continued acute power cuts
  • GECOL senior figure arrested over corruption charges
  • Migrants face ‘vicious cycle of cruelty’ in Libya
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3801
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 5.78

Williams recommends sanctions against anyone hindering Libya’s upcoming dialogue

The UN acting envoy to Libya Stephenie Williams has recommended sanctions for anyone trying to spoil next month’s crucial Libyan talks aimed at negotiating a unity government.  Williams told Bloomberg that the dysfunction has become so severe that there is an urgent need for change.  The acting UN envoy Stephanie Williams said in a phone interview with Bloomberg Friday: “Frankly, you need a unified executive if you want to move toward national elections, because you need a national government to prepare for elections.”  LIBYA OBSERVER

Former Libya oil wealth handler arrested for fraud

The former CEO of the bank responsible for handling Libya’s oil wealth has been arrested for fraud, according to Libyan security and judicial officials cited by Bloomberg and the bank shakeup could trickle down to the oil production level.  The move to arrest the former CEO of Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB), Libya’s central bank is just the latest in the years’ long saga for the entity responsible for handling the country’s oil money, such that it is.  Mohamed bin Youssef has been charged with “squandering funds and mismanaging the bank’s assets,” Bloomberg reported, citing an official at the Interior Ministry. OIL PRICE

More road closures with burning tyres in protest at continued acute power cuts

There were more road closures, mostly by youth, using burning tyres reported in Sug Juma, Tripoli and in Zliten, in protest at the continued and lengthy power cuts across Libya.  Some areas have had over 20 hours without electricity. A resident said that whereas previously power cuts, as lengthy as they were, had been the exception, it was now easier to count the hours with electricity supply. Moreover, when the power does return for 2-4 hours, it is usually in the middle of the night.  The new grievance, the Tripoli resident added, with many Libyans now is the unjust distribution of what little power exists. LIBYA HERALD

GECOL senior figure arrested over corruption charges

The Law Enforcement Department of the Interior Ministry arrested, on Sunday, the former General Director of Production Projects at the state’s electricity company (GECOL), currently a member of the Board of Directors, on charges of corruption in the company.  The Interior Ministry underscored it had taken all legal measures against the defendant and referred him to the competent authorities.  Last month, the head of the Audit Bureau, Khaled Shakshak, forwarded to the Public Prosecutor a report regarding the causes of the long hours of power cuts.   LIBYA OBSERVER

Migrants face ‘vicious cycle of cruelty’ in Libya

Thousands of Europe-bound migrants who were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya this year have been forcefully disappeared from unofficial detention centres run by militias allied with the Government of National Accord in the capital, Tripoli, Amnesty International said.  Most migrants attempt the perilous sea crossing to Europe in ill-equipped and unsafe rubber boats. In recent years, the EU has partnered with Libya’s coastguard and other Libyan forces to stop the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean, with thousands intercepted and turned back. THE NATIONAL

Gradual resumption of flights between Libya and Tunisia to resume gradually from October

Flights between Libya and Tunisia will resume in a gradual manner as of the beginning of October, the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC) announced today.  LAAHC is the holding company that owns both of Libya’s state air carriers Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Air.  Passengers travelling from Libya must have passed a Coronavirus PCR test no more than 120 hours (5 days) before flying.  LIBYA HERALD


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (27th 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.

Libyan oil output triples after blockade deal, with more growth to come

Libya’s oil industry, all but shut down since January because of civil war, is reopening in parts.  Oil output has almost tripled to 250,000 barrels a day since the partial lifting last week of a blockade on the OPEC member’s energy facilities.

The state National Oil Corp. allowed exports to resume at the ports of Hariga, Brega and Zueitina. Four other oil ports are still closed, including Es Sider and Ras Lanuf — the country’s largest and third largest and Zawiya, which ships crude from Libya’s biggest field, Sharara. The NOC said it’s evaluating security at export terminals that are still shut.

Production in Libya, home to Africa’s largest crude reserves, plummeted to less than 100,000 barrels a day in January from 1.2 million after Khalifa Haftar, a Russian-backed commander who controls the nation’s eastern region, blockaded energy infrastructure.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts that output will rebound to 550,000 barrels a day by the end of the year. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence see production hitting 1 million barrels a day in the fourth quarter, putting more pressure on oil prices already hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, if a truce holds between Haftar and the United Nations-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Russia, China block release of UN report criticizing Russia

Russia and China blocked the official release of a report by U.N. experts on Libya that accused its warring parties and their international backers, including Russia of violating a U.N. arms embargo on the conflict-wracked country, U.N. diplomats said Friday.

Germany’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Günter Sautter, said he brought the issue to the Security Council after the two countries blocked the report’s release by the committee monitoring sanctions on Libya, which Germany heads.

“Many delegations have asked for the publication of the panel of experts’ interim report,” he said. “This would create much needed transparency. It would contribute to naming and shaming those who continue to blatantly violate the arms embargo in spite of agreements that have been made.”  But diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because Friday’s council consultations were closed, said Russia and close ally China again blocked the report’s publication.  Sautter said before the meeting, when asked what Germany could do if Russia and China blocked the report’s release again: “Let me assure you I will continue to use every tool at hand in order to make sure that we have the necessary transparency.”


Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received on Sunday a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during which they discussed regional issues including the Libyan crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Shoukry and Pompeo discussed “the latest developments on the Libyan arena and the efforts made to stabilize the cease-fire” that was reached between Libyan rival parties, said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez.  Oil-rich Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments.  The Egyptian and U.S. top diplomats also tackled “the developments related to the Palestinian question.”  TELESUR

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The head of Libya’s UN-recognized government on Thursday urged armed militias to lay down their weapons, warning that they were risking a fragile ceasefire in the war-battered nation.  Addressing the UN General Assembly, Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, welcomed commitments by political leaders in eastern Libya to stop violence and resume oil production.  “However, we have not yet seen cooperation from armed groups and the aggressive militias,” he said in a video address to the annual UN summit.  “In fact, we have only seen hostile remarks from their spokesmen and violations by their forces,” he said.  “Therefore, we would hold them responsible for any military confrontations and any resulting casualties and destruction.”  DAILY MAIL

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Egypt has sought to bring the views of Parliament Speaker Agila Saleh and Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar closer through a meeting held in Cairo Wednesday.   Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Saleh and Haftar.   “During the talks, Sisi was briefed on developments in Libya and the efforts of all parties to implement a ceasefire on the one hand, and on the Libyan efforts to promote the peace process under the auspices of the United Nations on the other,” Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.  Saleh has not commented on a “surprise agreement” struck between Haftar and Ahmed Maiteeq, the vice-president of the Libyan Presidential Council, on the resumption of oil production after a nine-month hiatus.  AAWSAT

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Morocco’s coastal town of Bouznika, south of the capital Rabat, will host a second round of talks between parties to the Libyan conflict on Sunday.  The first round was held this month. According to Moroccan diplomatic sources who spoke to Sky News Arabia, the talks are meant to pinpoint the mechanism of hiring leaders in key posts in the war-torn country.  Head of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and President of the High Council of State (HCS) Khaled Al-Mashri will likely join the meetings, Sky New Arabia reported.  Talks will tackle preparations for October’s meetings in Geneva, which will include discussions on details of the post-conflict transitional period, including the restructuring of state institutions.  AHRAM ONLINE


The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Sunday 27th Sep reported 849 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total confirmed number in the country to 33,213.  The 847 new infections were confirmed after 3,598 suspected samples were tested, the Center said in a statement.  A total number of 18,518 patients have recovered from the disease, the number of active cases is 14,168 and a total of 527 have died.