Weekly Digest – Libya (24th November 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • Turkey stops Germany checking ship suspected of running arms to Libya
  • NCDC registers 1015 new cases of COVID-19
  • Williams: Libya is on the way to peace and stability
  • NOC: Oil revenues will not be transferred to the CBL
  • Tunisian Airlines preparing for resumption of flights to Tripoli and Benghazi
  • Bodies of 5 migrants heading to Europe wash up in Misrata
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3631
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 6.41

Turkey stops Germany checking ship suspected of running arms to Libya

Turkey prevented German forces belonging to an EU military mission carrying out a full search of a Turkish cargo ship that they suspected of taking weapons to Libya, both countries confirmed on Monday.  Soldiers from the frigate Hamburg boarded the Turkish freighter, the Rosaline A, on Sunday, but had to abandon checks and withdraw after Turkey protested to the EU mission, the German defence ministry said.  The frigate was operating in the Mediterranean as part of the EU’s Irini mission, which aims to stop arms reaching warring factions in Libya.  THE NATIONAL NEWS

NCDC registers 1015 new cases of COVID-19

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 1015 new cases of COVID-19, the recovery of 1327 cases and death of 21 people during the past 24 hours (21-22 Nov).  In a statement on Sunday, NCDC explained that it received 7698 swabs from across the country, of which 1015 proved positive using PCR Real Time Technique.  The total number of COVID-19 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic totalled 77,823 cases of which 27,820 are active cases, the number of recoveries were 48,914, and 1089 died of the virus.  LANA

Williams: Libya is on the way to peace and stability

The UN Acting Envoy to Libya Stephanie Williams expressed on Thursday her optimism about the progress made in the Tunisian-based Libyan dialogue, saying that the country “is now on its way to achieving stability, peace and preserving its unity.”  In her online briefing before the UN Security Council on the Libyan developments, Williams said that she was pleased to report that tangible progress has been made from the confidence-building measures package that was formulated in Geneva.   LIBYA OBSERVER

NOC: Oil revenues will not be transferred to the CBL

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) reiterated on Sunday that it would not transfer the oil revenues to the Central Bank account, explaining they would be kept in its accounts at the Libyan Foreign Bank.  “The revenues will not be transferred to the account of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) until the bank has a clear transparency in front of the Libyan people regarding the mechanism of spending the oil revenues during the last years and the entities that benefited from such revenues in the foreign currency which exceeded the total of 186 billion US dollars during the last nine years”.   LIBYA OBSERVER

Tunisian Airlines preparing for resumption of flights to Tripoli and Benghazi

Tunisia’s national airliner, Tunis Air, intends to resume flights between Tunisian and Libyan airports, the Libyan Airports Authority (LAA) announced.  The announcement came after a meeting was held between the Tripoli-based Libyan Transport Minister, the LAA and the Tunisian Consul General at the Ministry’s Tripoli headquarters.  The meeting discussed the necessary arrangements for the resumption of Tunisian Airlines flights to Libyan airports.  LIBYA HERALD

Bodies of 5 migrants heading to Europe wash up in Misrata

The Libyan Red Crescent on Sunday 22 Nov recovered 5 migrants’ bodies from the sea near the city of Misrata, some 250km east of the capital Tripoli.  “We recovered five bodies after receiving a notification from local authorities in Misrata”, a senior source familiar told Libyan Express.  Migrant departures from Libya’s coast increased by nearly 300 percent this year between January and the end of April, compared to the same period in 2019, according to the UN.  More than 100,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean last year with more than 1,200 dying in the attempt, according to the IOM.  LIBYAN EXPRESS


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (16th & 22nd 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.

Germany ‘concerned’ after Turkey orders halt to ship search off Libyan coast

The German government voiced concern after Turkey stopped the inspection of a suspicious vessel off the Libyan coast, which German forces had boarded as part of an EU-led arms control mission.

On Sunday, the German frigate “Hamburg,” which is in the Mediterranean as part of the EU’s Operation Irini to enforce the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, stopped the Turkish vessel “Rosaline A” about 200 kilometers off the coast because of suspicions that arms were being transported, German Defense Ministry spokesperson Christian Thiels said Monday at a press conference in Berlin.  German marines boarded the ship via helicopter but had to abort their mission after Turkey intervened diplomatically, Thiels added.

“We take the incident very seriously,” Andrea Sasse, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, said at the same briefing.  “We are concerned that there are incidents of this kind, that various countries are suspected of smuggling weapons into Libya,” Sasse said. “We have made it clear several times in connection with the Berlin Libya Conference that we expect all participants of this conference to comply with the arms embargo, which still exists with regard to Libya. This of course also applies to Turkey.”

Williams Urges Libyans Not to Allow Anyone to Jeopardize Opportunity to Restore Peace

United Nations acting Libya envoy Stephanie Williams called on Libyans to prevent obstructionists from jeopardizing the current “rare opportunity” to restore peace.  In an interview with the UN News, Williams outlined the recent developments, including the nationwide ceasefire agreed on last month. 

“After many years of oppression, division, chaos, misery, and conflict, Libyans are coming together for the sake of Libya, for the sake of their children and grandchildren, to chart a Libyan vision for the way forward that has the opportunity to preserve the country’s unity and reassert its sovereignty,” she said.   Williams also said that Libya is now back to producing oil, stressing the impact of this development on the country’s economy. She also highlighted the “foreign intervention” in the country, and the importance of adhering to the arms’ embargo.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defense of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Salah El-Din Al-Namroush said cooperation with Turkey helps thwart any attempt to undermine the country’s sovereignty, security, and safety.


Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) chief Fayez al-Sarraj recently made a secret trip to Egypt, revealed GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.  Last week’s trip, which lasted only a few hours, saw him meet various Egyptian officials before he departed for Bahrain where he offered his condolences over the death of its prime minister, said Bashagha.  The minister, who had returned from France on an official visit, revealed that he had requested from Egyptian authorities that his recent trip to their country be open.  Bashagha is seeking to present himself as a successor to Sarraj. He has claimed that all police and security departments in western, eastern and southern Libya are affiliated with him administratively and financially.  AAWSAT

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A statement released by United Nations Development program showed that Italy provided a contribution of 450,000 Euros (About 526,000 dollars) to the Libyan Political Dialogue forum that was held in Tunisia between the 9th and 15th of November.  Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative of the UN, supported Italy’s contribution to the stabilization of Libya by saying “I strongly welcome Italy’s steadfast and longstanding support to the UN efforts in Libya.”  The agreement raises Italy’s total fund to UNDP programmes to 14,500,500 Euros (Nearly 17,000,000 dollars) and was signed by the Central Director for the Mediterranean and Middle East countries of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luca Gori, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Gerardo Noto.  LIBYAN EXPRESS

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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.  Prosecutors suspect that Sarkozy and his associates received tens of millions of euros from Gaddafi, who was overthrown in a Nato-backed uprising in 2011.  Sarkozy said on his Facebook page on Friday that his “innocence has been tarnished” and has denied any wrongdoing.  MIDDLE EAST EYE

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US Congress passed a law on Wednesday to support Libya’s stability and impose sanctions on parties fuelling the conflict in the country. Currently, talks are being held between the warring parties to agree on new terms to rule the state in preparation for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.  Ted Deutch, head of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted on Wednesday that the Libyan Stabilisation Act aims to: “Support diplomacy, provide assistance and support the elections. Deutch also confirmed that the law intends to: “Punish those who are fuelling the conflict and confirms the interest of Congress in achieving stability in Libya and bringing peace to all Libyans.”  MEMO


The total number of Covid-19 cases in Libya rose to 78,473 including 49,592 recoveries and 1,102 fatalities on Monday. The National Center for Disease Control announced 650 new cases, 678 recoveries and 13 deaths in the past 24 hours.