- Libya to purchase 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
- Egyptian officials hold talks with the Libyan government in Tripoli
- Libya’s Rivals Swap Prisoners
- WHO sceptical about the death rate from Coronavirus pandemic in Libya
- War of Words Escalates Between Two Conflicting Parties in Libya
- IOM: Over 11,000 migrants returned to Libya from the sea, 316 others drowned in 2020
- Currency Exchange:
- Bank exchange rate: USD 1 – LYD 1.342
- Black market exchange rate: USD 1 – LYD 5.46
Libya to purchase 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
Libya’s health authorities will purchase 2.8 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in statements to the Anadolu news agency on Friday. Badr Al-Din Al-Najjar confirmed that they signed a contract with the World Health Organization (WHO) in this regard, indicating that the deal had cost the Libyan state 42 million dinars, equivalent to 9.4 million US dollars. Al-Najjar pointed out that this will facilitate Libya’s access to a licensed vaccine approved by the WHO. LIBYA OBSERVER
Egyptian officials hold talks with Libyan government in Tripoli
An Egyptian security delegation held talks with representatives of Libya’s Government of National Accord in Tripoli on Sunday in the first such visit to the Libyan capital in nearly six years. Interior minister for the UN-recognised GNA, Fathi Bachagha, held “a high-level meeting” with the Egyptian delegation, which included the deputy intelligence services chief, his office said. Imed Trabelsi, head of the Libyan general security body, also attended the meeting. The talks covered “ways of strengthening security co-operation” and support for a ceasefire signed in October between rival Libyan sides under UN auspices, the ministry added. THE NATIONAL NEWS
Libya’s Rivals Swap Prisoners
Libya’s rivals kicked off an UN-brokered prisoner exchange, which was part of a ceasefire agreement they inked over two months ago in Geneva. The exchange of a first batch of prisoners, supervised by a joint military committee, took place Friday in the southwestern village of al-Shwayrif, according to the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The Libyan National Army and the Government of National Accord signed a nationwide, UN-brokered cease-fire deal in October that included an exchange of all war prisoners. AAWSAT
WHO sceptical about the death rate from Coronavirus pandemic in Libya
The World Health Organization (WHO) has questioned the death rate from the Coronavirus in Libya which reads as 1.4% compared to the regional level of 2.2%, suggesting that the low rates of detection may be due to problems in detection tests and poor death reporting in the country. A report issued by WHO showed that Libya in fact ranked tenth on the list of countries with the largest number of Coronavirus infections in the Middle East, whilst ranking sixth amongst the top ten countries which recorded the highest death rate in the entire region. LIBYA OBSERVER
War of Words Escalates Between Two Conflicting Parties in Libya
A war of words has escalated between Libya’s two conflicting parties, threatening the recent United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)-sponsored ceasefire agreement. Regional and international parties have contacted Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Marshal Khalifa Haftar and Head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj to urge them to halt this escalation that threatens the collapse of a truce concluded in October, according to Libyan sources. AAWSAT
IOM: Over 11,000 migrants returned to Libya from sea, 316 others drowned in 2020
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has confirmed that 11891 illegal immigrants who tried to flee Libya were intercepted or rescued and returned so far this year, compared to 9,225 in 2019. The IOM said, on Wednesday, that among the returned migrants this year, 811 women and 711 children. It also explained that 316 migrants have died while 417 others went missing on their journey through the sea in 2020, compared to the death of 270 migrants and the missing of 992 last year. LIBYA OBSERVER
List of holidays in Libya 2021
Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar
According to our most recent information (27th December 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.
LIBYA SECURITY & RISK LEVELS
Do not travel to Libya due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.
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 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 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.
LIBYA INCIDENT MAPPING: 22 – 29 DECEMBER 20
LIBYA – SIGNIFICANT INCIDENTS IN DETAIL
Cairo opens up to western Libya in bid to counter Turkish influence
Egypt has decided to be more open to the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, a move that carries a message of support to the current led by Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha and which rejects Turkish military escalation. Bashagha, who is close to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Construction Party, visited Cairo last November.
Following the withdrawal of the Libyan National Army (LNA) from Tripoli to Sirte, a split emerged in western Libya between supporters of the political settlement process ending Turkey’s military role and those calling for continued fighting and seizing Sirte and the oil ports. Bashagha’s ambition to head the new government has strained his relationship with his former Turkish allies, who were reportedly upset by the two visits he made to Egypt and France.
However, the influence of Bashagha, who is described as the strongman in western Libya, is beginning to wane, while that of Salah al-Din al-Namroush, the new defence minister appointed a few months ago who is known for his pro-Turkey stances, is on the rise. On Sunday, an Egyptian delegation that included Deputy Head of the General Intelligence Service and Head of the Security Committee on Libya, Major General Ayman Badie, the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and the political official in charge of the Egypt file, Ambassador Muhammad Abu Bakr, and other Egyptian officials, visited Tripoli.
Turkish Minister of Defence pays unexpected visit to Libya
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar arrived in Tripoli on 26 December to inspect Turkish units deployed the country. The visit is seen as a response to the threats made by Khalifa Haftar on Libya’s 69th Independence Day that if Turkish forces don’t withdraw on their own, is fighters will drive them out by force.
Haftar also added that so long as there was a Turkish military presence in Libya, there would be no peace or reason for celebrating the country’s independence. “We will therefore take up arms again to fashion our peace with our own hands … and, since Turkey rejects peace and opts for war, prepare to drive out the occupier by faith, will and weapons,” He said in an address to mark Libya’s Independence Day.
Turkish support for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) is seen as a primary reason it was able to deter the offensive launched by Haftar’s forces from taking the capital. Earlier, the Turkish parliament approved the motion to extend troop deployment in Libya by 18 months.
REGIONAL REPORTED INCIDENT NUMBERS: 22 – 29 DECEMBER 20
An Egyptian security delegation held talks with representatives of Libya’s Government of National Accord in Tripoli on Sunday in the first such visit to the Libyan capital in nearly six years. Interior Minister for the UN-recognised GNA, Fathi Bachagha, held “a high-level meeting” with the Egyptian delegation, which included the deputy intelligence services chief, his office said. Imed Trabelsi, head of the Libyan general security body, also attended the meeting. The talks covered “ways of strengthening security co-operation” and support for a ceasefire signed in October between rival Libyan sides under UN auspices, the ministry added. NATIONAL NEWS
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar warned that any attempt by Khalifa Haftar and his personnel to attack Turkish forces in Libya would be met with force. “A war criminal, murderer Haftar and his supporters must know that they will be seen as a legitimate target in case of an attack on Turkish forces,” Hulisi said in remarks to Turkish troops in Tripoli late Saturday that was made available to media on Sunday. “If they take such a step, they will be unable to find any place to flee to,” he added, referring to Haftar’s forces. “Everyone should come to their senses.” DW
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar made a surprise trip to Libya on Saturday, two days after strongman Khalifa Haftar urged his fighters to drive out Turkish forces from the oil-rich country. The Turkish defence ministry said Akar would inspect Turkish forces in Libya during the visit, while Libyan officials said talks would focus on military cooperation between Tripoli and Ankara. Turkey has backed the Tripoli-based, United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) with military advisers, material and mercenaries against an offensive last year by the eastern-based Haftar. DAILY MAIL
Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar called on his fighters to “drive out” Turkish forces backing the UN-recognised government, calling Ankara a “coloniser” as talks drag on to end a long-running war in the north African country. “There will be no peace in the presence of a coloniser on our land,” Haftar said in a speech on Thursday to mark Libya’s 69th anniversary of its independence from Britain and France. “We will therefore take up arms again to fashion our peace with our own hands and, since Turkey rejects peace and opts for war, prepare to drive out the occupier by faith, will and weapons. MIDDLE EAST EYE
Outgoing US President Donald Trump offered his congratulations to the head of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj and reiterated his country’s support for Libya in restoring its sovereignty and national unity. The US president also called for all Libyans to continue on the path to progress and political dialogue as it is the way to establishing peace and a civil state. According to the spokesperson for the Government of National Accord Mohammed al-Qiblawi, Trump congratulated the Libyan people on Libya’s 69th Independence Day. LIBYAN EXPRESS
AIRPORTS & BORDERS STATUS
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya has reached 98,913 on Sunday, with 27,710 currently active.