Weekly Digest – Libya (20th October 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • Eastern authorities allow resumption of air traffic
  • GNA Officials Arrested on Charge of ‘Looting Public Funds’
  • All eyes on Libya as the country resumes production at its biggest oil field
  • Libya detains alleged human trafficker sanctioned by U.N
  • Migrant evacuation flights resume from Libya, U.N. agency says
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3725
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 6.18

Eastern authorities allow resumption of air traffic

The High Committee to Combat Coronavirus of the parallel government in east Libya has allowed the resumption of air traffic for domestic and international flights at eastern airports, after seven months of pause.  The decision came during a meeting of the committee on Saturday with officials of airlines and handling companies operating at the airports.  The Committee urged the airports authorities to take all Coronavirus precautionary measures to ensure the safety of travellers.  An Afriqiyah Airways plane arrived at Benina Airport in Benghazi on Friday from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, on the first scheduled flight from the two cities within the last two years.  LIBYA OBSERVER

GNA Officials Arrested on Charge of ‘Looting Public Funds’

The public prosecutor in Libya has expanded investigation in crimes of ‘looting public funds’ to cover more officials and leaders from state institutions. He issued an order to refer several employees in the Ministry of Local Government and the General Electricity Company of Libya for trial on the charge of malfeasance in office.  The Mayor of Janzour Municipality, Faraj Aban, was among the officials to be questioned. However, several representatives of the civil community in the municipality expressed solidarity with Aban.  The municipal council defended itself saying that arresting the mayor is to clear his position on power cuts and load shedding.  AAWSAT

All eyes on Libya as the country resumes production at its biggest oil field

Libya has restarted oil production at the country’s biggest oil field, which was shut down due to a force majeure, a legal framework that allows a company to suspend its contracts due to extraordinary circumstances, a statement from the country’ state energy company, The National Oil Corp (NOC), said.  NOC in its statement noted that it had instructed its operator Acacus to start production arrangements at Sharara oilfield, taking into consideration public safety and process safety standards. The field will initially pump 40,000 barrels of crude a day before reaching its capacity of 300,000 barrels next week, according to Bloomberg. FACETOFACE AFRICA

Libya detains alleged human trafficker sanctioned by UN

Libya’s internationally recognized government says it has detained a former coast guard commander sanctioned by the United Nations for human trafficking and accused of sinking migrant boats. Libyan security forces Wednesday arrested Abd al-Rahman al-Milad for involvement in human trafficking and fuel smuggling, the Government of National Accord’s Interior Ministry said in a statement. In June 2018, the UN Security Council imposed a travel ban and froze the assets of Milad and five others accused of leading human trafficking networks in the North African country. Milad was then dismissed from his post at a coast guard unit in the city of Zawiya, west of Tripoli.  AL-MONITOR

Migrant evacuation flights resume from Libya, U.N. agency says

United Nations evacuation flights for migrants stuck in Libya have resumed after being suspended because of the global pandemic, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.  More than 150 people from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, including 15 children under 18 years old, flew to Niger later on Thursday where they are now in quarantine, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said.  Both UNHCR and the U.N. migration agency IOM have called for Libya, torn apart by years of war and chaos, to be classed as an unsafe port for migrants.  The country has long been a stepping-stone for migrants seeking to make the often-dangerous sea voyage to Europe.  REUTERS


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (18th October 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.

France, Egypt join forces to reach settlement in Libya

France’s Ambassador to Egypt Stephane Romatet announced in press statements Oct. 13 the launching of a new initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, in coordination with Egypt. The initiative will include neighbouring countries and all political actors in the crisis.

In an interview with Al-Shorouk newspaper Oct. 10, Romatet said, “France and Egypt share the same view regarding ways to settle the Libyan crisis, mainly by transforming the temporary truce into a permanent cease-fire and pushing all Libyan parties to reach a common political agenda. Despite the difficulty of that, this agenda must be reached as the only way to fill the political vacuum in the country, because there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis.”

On another note, he stressed the need to stop foreign influence and interference in Libya, especially by Turkey, and to abide by the United Nations arms embargo imposed on the country in 2011.  Romatet’s statements came as Egypt hosted a meeting Oct. 11-13 between members of Libya’s House of Representatives and the State Council, under UN auspices, to discuss the constitutional path. 

GNA arrests ex-coastguard head wanted by Interpol

Libya’s United Nations-recognised government has announced the arrest of a former coastguard head wanted by Interpol and under UN sanctions for alleged human trafficking.

Abd al-Rahman al-Milad, also known as al-Bidja, was arrested by senior security operatives in Tripoli on the back of an Interpol notice and an arrest warrant issued by the prosecutor general, a statement by the Government of National Accord’s interior ministry said on Wednesday.  He is suspected, among other offences, of involvement in “human trafficking” and is under UN sanctions that include a travel ban and the blocking of his bank accounts.  The statement did not give details of the arrest of al-Milad, 30, but Libyan media said he was intercepted at a police roadblock near the capital.

Libya has been plagued by corruption and turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. It is split into two administrations. The one in the west, including Tripoli, is ruled by the UN-supported government, while the east-based government is supported by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.


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The High Council of State’s (HCS) delegation to the Libyan dialogue as well as its Head Khalid Al-Mishri met Monday in Tripoli with senior leaders from the Volcano of Rage Operation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) to discuss dialogue tracks.  HCS media office said the meeting was attended by the commander of joint operations room Osama Juwiali, Tripoli military zone’s commander Abdelbasit Marwan and senior leaders of the Volcano of Rage forces.  LIBYA OBSERVER

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The eastern based and internationally recognized House of Representatives (HoR) met in Benghazi today in what its spokesperson, Abdalla Belheeg, referred to as an ‘‘official session’’.  Notably, he refrained from mentioning how many had attended, but photos and video clips give the impression that about 20 members attended. This is important as there are claims that HoR head Ageela Saleh no longer commands the majority (of the dwindling attendees) of the split eastern-based HoR. Equally, the breakaway Tripoli HoR now claims that it commands the support of a larger number than the eastern HoR.  LIBYA HERALD

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with conspiracy over claims he used cash from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 election campaign.  Prosecutors told AFP he was charged with “membership in a criminal conspiracy” on Monday, after they interviewed the conservative politician for more than 40 hours over four days.  The conspiracy charge comes in addition to charges lodged in 2018 of “passive corruption,” “benefitting from embezzled public funds” and “illegal campaign financing” for which Sarkozy already faces trial.  MIDDLE EAST EYE

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The Acting Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya, Stephanie Williams, said that she had agreed with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, on the necessity to coordinate efforts of the entire international community to support the Libyan dialogue tracks as set out by the Berlin Conference and the decisions of the Security Council.  During their talks in Moscow, both sides assessed the situation in Libya and other issues related to the present crisis.  The UN Mission in Libya reported that Williams had briefed Lavrov on the groundwork being prepared by the mission to resume the work of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, sometime early in November in Tunisia.  LIBYA OBSERVER

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The first ever Turkish–Libyan Economic Forum has been launched in Istanbul on Thursday, with participation by a group of institutions and businessmen from both countries, in which there were many activities and proposed packages for shared commercial networking.  The two-day forum has been organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Council and the Libyan General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, which witnessed meetings between businessmen and institutions for the purpose of exploring coordination opportunities.  LIBYA OBSERVER


The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Libya rose to 49,949 with 732 deaths and 27,262 recoveries as of Monday, 19 October. The National Center for Disease Control registered 1,159 new cases and 7 deaths in the past 24 hours.