Weekly Digest – Libya (17th November 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • Talks on new Libyan government end without discussing candidates
  • Coronavirus: Tunisia-Libya border reopens after seven months
  • Armed group attacks Al-Ruwais power station
  • Head of Serraj Media Organization released by militias
  • Libya’s Oil Production Exceeds 1.2 Million Bpd
  • Migrants drown in Libya shipwreck, the fourth accident this week
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3631
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 6.36

Talks on new Libyan government end without discussing candidates

UN-led talks to form a Libyan transitional government have ended on Sunday without candidates being discussed but will resume next week time to decide on a selection mechanism, the UN’s interim Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said.  The week-long discussions in neighbouring Tunisia were latest stage in renewed efforts for peace in the North African country, bringing together 75 delegates selected by the UN to represent a broad range of constituencies.  They were charged with laying out a road map towards elections, setting the mandate of an interim executive and naming its members.   THE NATIONAL NEWS

Coronavirus: Tunisia-Libya border reopens after seven months

Travelers began to cross between Tunisia and Libya again on Saturday after a seven-month border closure due to novel coronavirus restrictions was lifted.  The closure at the end of March had a severe impact on trade between the two countries and left Libyans and Tunisians stranded on either side of the frontier.  A Tunisian diplomatic source said 20,000 Tunisians were currently in Libya.  Dozens of travellers began to cross when the frontier opened at midday Saturday, an AFP correspondent at the border said.  Many Tunisians travel to Libya for work, while Libyans go regularly to Tunisia for medical treatment.  AL ARABIYA

Armed group attacks Al-Ruwais power station

The General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) said on Saturday that an armed group attacked Al-Ruwais Ruwais power station and its staff.  GECOL explained that the gunmen beat the operators of the station and forced them to disconnect some of the main lines, adding that they threw a hail of bullets at the station, causing damage to it.  It also demanded all security authorities to take appropriate measures to solve these problems and protect the electrical grid.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Head of Serraj Media Organization released by militias

Mohamed Omar Baiyu, Head of the Tripoli-based Libyan Media Organization, was released 10 Nov 20.  In a social media post, he said his arrest was ‘‘a misunderstanding’’.  It will be recalled that Baiyu was kidnapped on 20 October by the Tripoli militia, the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB), a militia recognized by Libya’s internationally recognized Libyan government.  Mr Baiyu was arrested along with his two sons and the newly appointed head of programmes at the Libya al-Wataniya TV channel, Ms Hind Ammar. The two sons and Ms Ammar were later released.  LIBYA HERALD

Libya’s Oil Production Exceeds 1.2 Million Bpd

Oil production in Libya has already exceeded 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), a source in Libya’s oil industry told Reuters on Friday, while this faster-than-expected output resumption could give OPEC+ yet another reason to reconsider its current plan to ease the ongoing cuts by 2 million bpd from January.    Libya’s oil production has now reached 1.215 million bpd, the source told Reuters.     Production in Libya started to rise in the middle of September after the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of General Khalifa Haftar lifted the eight-month-long blockade on Libyan oil fields and terminals.  OIL PRICE

Migrants drown in Libya shipwreck, the fourth accident this week

Twenty African migrants are believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya when their boat sank as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, while more bodies washed ashore on Libyan beaches from a shipwreck earlier this week.  The latest shipwreck, a wooden boat that left from Surman in western Libya, is the fourth this week and brings the total death toll to more than 100 people, an International Organisation for Migration spokeswoman said.  WA TODAY


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (16th November 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 advice from the Libyan government, please visit the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) webpage at ncdc.org.ly/Ar/

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.

Clashing interests, geopolitical rivalries, loopholes in Libya cease-fire could derail peace

Libyans at U.N.-led talks agreed to hold national elections in December next year following a cease-fire agreement signed between the rival sides, raising hopes to achieve a lasting political settlement to the decade-old conflict. Yet the road to peace hinges on preventing both internal and external spoilers as well as a strong commitment and removing the shortcomings of the cease-fire text.

“Libyans have been promised elections five times in five years,” Emadeddin Muntasser, a Libyan political analyst and human rights advocate, told Daily Sabah. “The 2015 Skhirat agreement promised elections, the first Paris summit in July 2017 promised elections, the second Paris summit in May 2018 promised elections, the Abu Dhabi summit in March 2019 promised elections, and now the Tunis agreement promises elections,” Muntasser pointed out, saying that at each instance, world leaders including the U.N. secretary-general would hail the agreement and promise support. “However, there has been no attempt to actually hold elections or even prepare for elections.”

Since the civil war in Libya began in 2011 with the ouster and killing of long-time ruler Moammar Ghaddafi, there has been no shortage of western proposals to re-establish peace and stability in the country.  After years of chaos and violence, the internationally recognized government in the west and its eastern-based rival consisting of a House of Representatives (HoR) backed by the forces of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, have once again taken steps toward a political solution by engaging in U.N.-led talks in Tunis. Dubbed the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), the talks aimed at hammering out a deal for a new transitional government for the oil-rich North African country. However, the Libyan people are torn between hopes and doubts as several previous attempts for cease-fires and settlements have failed.

Turkey special forces arrive in Libya ahead of Erdogan’s visit

Two military aircrafts carrying Turkish special forces arrived in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Friday in preparation for the upcoming visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.  The paper quoted “informed” sources as saying that Erdogan will visit the Turkish forces in the city of Misrata, in western Libya, who support the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).

Erdogan recently described the ceasefire agreement between the GNA, and the forces led by Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar as “of weak credibility”.  Meanwhile, Turkey’s Albayrak group is reported to have recently submitted a proposal to develop and expand Misrata airport, the Libya Observer reported.


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Germany has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Libya to provide about two million euros to support the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), currently being held in Tunis, under the auspices of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).  The agreement was signed in Tunisia on Thursday between the German Ambassador to Libya, Oliver Owcza, and UNDP Resident Representative, Gerardo Noto, in the presence of the Acting Head of the UNSMIL, Stephani Williams.  “Germany committed Euro 2,020,000 to support the Political Dialogue Programme, which has organized the LPDF,” a statement by the UNDP said on Friday.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Elected Libyan officials called on Saturday for a constitution to be approved before national elections are held, without challenging the date of the polls which were announced a day earlier.  Libyan rival factions at UN-led talks in Tunis had agreed Friday to hold national elections on December 24, 2021, the United Nations said, raising hopes for an end to a brutal decade-old conflict.  Their decision came on the fifth day of political talks in Tunisia, involving 75 delegates from existing state bodies and groups from across Libya’s political and social spectrum.  But while the proposed election date is welcome “we must focus on the constitution”, said Bachir al-Haouch, a member of the High Council of State, the equivalent of Libya’s senate.  THE ARAB WEEKLY

The Libyan and Qatari Defense Ministries have signed a cooperation protocol for training and building capabilities as well as exchange of expertise to benefit from the experience of the Qatari ministry, the media office of the Libyan Defense Ministry said Thursday.  The media office added that the signing took place in a visit by the Libyan Defense Minister of the Government of National Accord Salah Al-Namroush to Doha, where he met with his Qatari counterpart Khalid Al-Attiya as part of joint cooperation between the two countries. The Libyan Defense Minister was given a tour inside the joint special forces and saw the training programs of Qatari special forces in anti-terrorism and other fields.  LIBYA OBSERVER

The two parties to the Libyan conflict have reached a preliminary agreement to hold elections in 18 months.  In Sirte, the warring parties are considering withdrawing their forces as part of the truce, according to Acting United Nations (UN) Envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams, who stated that the agreement was reached during the round of talks held in Tunisia.  On Thursday in Sirte, a Joint Military Commission formed by the two Libyan rivals will discuss the details of the truce and the process of withdrawing forces from the fighting fronts.  MEMO


As at 16 Nov 20, The National Disease Control Centre (NDCC) Communication Committee said the totals to 74,324 Corona Virus cases in Libya, of which 28,566 active cases, 44,733 recoveries and 1025 deaths.