Weekly Digest – Libya (26th January 2021)

Weekly Highlights

  • Cost of living continues to rise, liquidity problem persists – Libya market report
  • Libya lost 92% of Oil & Gas Revenues in 2020
  • GECOL to construct new power plant in Zliten
  • Libyan Tribes hold GNA responsible for violence in Tarhuna
  • Fresh blow for Libya’s oil revival, as militia threatens to stop crude exports at three ports
  • 120 migrants rescued off Libya by Ocean Viking
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 4.467
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 5.47

Cost of living continues to rise, liquidity problem persists – Libya market report

The cost of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) across Libya rose by 1.3% (LD 9.54) to LD 729 from October to November 2020 or 16% more expensive in November, when comparing to preCOVID-19 levels in March 2020. The findings come in the latest report published yesterday by Swiss-based international NGO, REACH.  The Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) represents the minimum culturally adjusted group of items required to support a five-person Libyan household (HH) for one month. The cost of the MEB can be used as a proxy for the financial burdens facing households in different locations.  LIBYA HERALD

Libya lost 92% of Oil & Gas Revenues in 2020

Official statistics have shown that Libya’s oil and gas revenues decreased by 92 per cent last year, as the blockade imposed for months on oil facilities caused the suspension of most export operations.  The Central Bank of Libya announced that the revenues of the year 2020 were estimated at 2.9 billion Libyan dinars ($652 million), compared to 31.4 billion Libyan dinars in 2019.  In the oil-rich country, crude oil production and exports are the responsibility of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), which disagrees with the central bank’s revenue estimations.  LIBYA BUSINESS NEWS

GECOL to construct new power plant in Zliten

The General Electricity Company of Libya has laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new gas-fired power plant with a capacity of 164 megawatts in the city of Zliten.  The company said in a statement that the number of turbines of the new plant will be ‘four’, each with a capacity of 41 megawatts, to be constructed at the cost of $134 million.  It added that the timeframe for completion is expected to be five months.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Libyan Tribes hold GNA responsible for violence in Tarhuna

The Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes has issued a statement holding the Government of National Accord responsible for the violence in Tarhuna.  In the statement, the council said that the Government of National Accord was legally responsible for what they called a “deliberate failure” to protect civilians from the chaos, arson, displacement and killings spreading through the city of the Tarhuna.  They also held the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya accountable for the suffering of the Libyan people.  The statement denounced all international interference including the ongoing political process with the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, claiming that foreign interventions have turned Libya into a country filled with, chaos, murder, displacement and poverty.  LIBYAN EXPRESS

Fresh blow for Libya’s oil revival, as militia threatens to stop crude exports at three ports

Libya’s resurgent crude exports could face a massive blow, as a militia controlling three key eastern terminals is threatening to shut down shipments in a long-festering salary dispute.  The Petroleum Facilities Guard militia group has begun a strike at the Ras Lanuf, Marsa el-Hariga and Es Sider terminals, demanding the immediate “disbursement of all salaries, health insurance payments, and other oilfield-related payments,” it said in a Jan. 24 statement.  SP GLOBAL

120 migrants rescued off Libya by Ocean Viking

Roughly 120 migrants were rescued by the crew of NGO ship Ocean Viking on Thursday off the coast of Libya. Four small children were reportedly among those rescued.   The humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranee said on Twitter that its ship rescued roughly 120 people from an overcrowded rubber boat 36 nautical miles (67 kilometres) from the Libyan coast. They said that four small children were among the migrants, including a one-month-old baby.  INFOMIGRANTS


List of holidays in Libya 2021

17 FebWednesdayLibyan Revolution DayPublic Holiday
1 MaySaturdayMay DayPublic Holiday
13 MayThursdayEid al-FitrPublic Holiday
14 MayFridayEid al-Fitr HolidayPublic Holiday
15 MaySaturdayEid al-Fitr HolidayPublic Holiday
19 JulMondayDay of ArafahPublic Holiday
20 JulTuesdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
21 JulWednesdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
22 JulThursdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
10 AugTuesdayMuharramPublic Holiday
16 SepThursdayMartyrs’ DayPublic Holiday
19 OctTuesdayThe Prophet’s BirthdayPublic Holiday
23 OctSaturdayLiberation DayPublic Holiday
24 DecFridayIndependence DayPublic Holiday

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (24th & 25th January 2021) 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.


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.

Satellite images reveal enormous trench built by Russian Wagner in and around Sirte

The American network CNN published satellite images showing an enormous trench between the cities of Sirte and Al-Jufra dug by the Russian mercenary Wagner Group.

The photos show trenches extending from the city of Sirte as far as the Al-Jufra airbase, with a length of 70 kilometres, which are supported by a network of complex fortifications of more than 30 defensive positions around the Al-Jufra base.  CNN also indicated that the presence of these newly photographed trenches raises concerns and doubts regarding Moscow’s solemnity regarding its withdrawal of Wagner mercenaries on time, as stated in the peace agreement negotiated by the United Nations.

CNN quoted a United States intelligence official as saying that the presence of the trenches in Libya is a sign that Wagner intends to settle in Libya in the long term, indicating that the forces currently in Libya are the largest recorded of Wagner forces throughout the world.

Foreign forces ignore Libya exit deadline under fragile truce

Foreign forces ignored a deadline to pull out of Libya as scheduled Saturday under an UN-backed ceasefire deal, highlighting the fragility of peace efforts after a decade of conflict.

Satellite images broadcast by CNN show a trench running tens of kilometres (miles) dug by “Russian mercenaries” near the frontline coastal city of Sirte, as main foreign protagonists Ankara and Moscow appear intent on defending their interests under any final settlement.  An unidentified US intelligence official, quoted by the American news network, said there was “no intent or movement by either Turkish or Russian forces to abide by the UN-brokered agreement”.

“This has the potential to derail an already fragile peace process and ceasefire. It will be a really difficult year ahead,” he said.  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged all “regional and international actors to respect the provisions” of the October 23 ceasefire accord that set out a withdrawal within three months of all foreign troops and mercenaries.  That deadline passed on Saturday, with no movement announced or observed on the ground.


The US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland has reiterated the US support to members of the 5 + 5 Military Committee as they stand up for the Libyan people’s demands regarding the evacuation of foreign forces and the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement.  “Libya has an opportunity to make real progress, culminating in elections in December of this year,” the US ambassador tweeted.  He expressed his satisfaction with setting a one-week deadline for the submission of candidacies for the positions of a three-member PC and Prime Minister, urging Libyans to support the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum to complete its work.  LIBYA OBSERVER

In a joint statement, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States welcomed the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum’s (LPDF) vote in favour of the selection mechanism for a new interim executive authority, which will guide Libya toward national elections on December 24, 2021.  They emphasised that the 2021 general elections are a vital step towards achieving Libyan unity and LPDF’s decision affirms the clear demands of the Libyan people that it is time for a change of the status.  As participants of the Berlin Conference, the western governments pledged their full support for the LPDF’s efforts and urged all Libyan parties to act urgently and in good faith to finalize the adoption through the LPDF of a unified and inclusive government.  LIBYAN EXPRESS

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has announced the commencement of the submission of candidacies for membership of the executive authority. The preparatory phase will occur between 22-28 January and will end with the elections scheduled for 24 December 2021.  UNSMIL published a statement on Thursday explaining that the nomination and selection of candidates will take place according to the mechanism approved by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) on 19 January.  The UN body explained that it will form a committee of three members from the LPDF, with the support of the United Nations (UN), to approve the nominations by reviewing all applications for candidacy in accordance with the conditions. UNSMIL will then prepare a final list of presidential council candidates for each region (Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Fezzan) and nominees for the position of prime minister.  MEMO

The Minister of Defence Salah El-Din Al-Namroush and Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Al-Haddad, discussed with Chadian President Idriss Déby mechanisms for protecting, securing and monitoring the Libyan-Chadian borders.  This came during the two top military commanders’ visit to Chad Saturday, in which they met the Chadian President and his Defence Minister Mohamed Ibali Saleh.  A statement by Libya’s Defence Ministry said the talks in Chad were part of efforts to strengthen and develop cooperative relations with various friendly and brotherly countries.  The meeting discussed the promotion of cooperation between the Libyan and Chadian ministries of defence, mechanisms for protecting, securing and controlling the Libyan-Chadian borders, and joint work on the issues of illegal immigration, terrorism and organized crime.  LIBYA OBSERVER