Weekly Digest – Libya (09th February 2021)

Weekly Highlights

  • Libya secures 2.8 million doses of Coronavirus vaccines
  • New unified Libyan government selected by LPDF in Geneva
  • Oil loading at Libyan export terminal disrupted again
  • Seizure of large quantity of narcotics at Libyan, Tunisian, and Algerian borders
  • France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA welcome election of new Libyan Government of National Unity
  • 422 refugees make it to safety in Italy after a weekend of mass escape attempts from Libya

Currency Exchange:

  • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 4.4875
  • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 5.14

Libya secures 2.8 million doses of Coronavirus vaccines

The Vice President of the Scientific Advisory Committee to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic confirmed that Libya had secured the provision of 2.8 million doses of vaccine to immunize 1.4 million Libyan citizens.

The official noted that the expected date for providing the vaccine should be near the end of the first quarter of this year, indicating that the categories of the target groups to receive the vaccine in Libya will be the most vulnerable to infection by the virus.  Those categories will include those citizens over the age of 60 who suffer from chronic diseases, along with essential workers and medical staff.   LIBYA OBSERVER

New unified Libyan government selected by LPDF in Geneva

The second round of voting by the LPDF gathered in Geneva has resulted in a new unified Libyan government.  List number one, headed by Mohamed Menfi as Presidency Council head, and Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, as prime minister, won by 39 votes. It beat what was thought to be the favourite list headed by Ageela Saleh as Presidency Council head and Fathi Bashagha as prime minister.  73 participants voted, with one abstention and zero spoiled votes.  LIBYAN HERALD

Oil loading at Libyan export terminal disrupted again

A tanker had to leave Libya’s Hariga export terminal without oil after members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard stopped the vessel from loading crude amid an ongoing strike over delayed salary payments, a source with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg on Monday.  In just a few months, Libya has managed to restore its oil production back to 1.25 million bpd, the level the OPEC member exempted from the OPEC+ cuts were pumping before the eighth month-long oil port blockade in Jan 20.  OIL PRICE

Seizure of large quantity of narcotics at Libyan, Tunisian, and Algerian borders

In cooperation with the Land Borders Department at the Customs Authority, the General Administration for Narcotics Control Branch, Nalut, managed to seize a large quantity of narcotics at the Libyan, Tunisian, and Algerian borders.    The Ministry of Interior stated in a post on its official Facebook page that the security services in Nalut managed to seize a brown Toyota Chrysler vehicle with a large number of narcotics, estimated at about one million and eighty thousand tablets, intended for smuggling driven by smugglers of Algerian nationality.  LANA NEWS

France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA welcome election of new Libyan Government of National Unity

The Governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America welcomed yesterday the agreement reached by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Geneva yesterday on a unified interim Libyan executive authority (Government of National Unity – GNU) charged with leading the country to national elections on December 24, 2021.  In their joint statement, they stated that ‘‘this critical step towards reaching a negotiated, inclusive political solution is the result of a genuinely Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process, the mediation of the United Nations, and the support of the Libyan people.  LIBYA HERALD

422 refugees make it to safety in Italy after a weekend of mass escape attempts from Libya

After a weekend in which the EU-supported Libyan Coastguard intercepted close to 1,500 refugees as they tried to flee the country, over 400 others made it to safety on the opposite side of the Mediterranean today thanks to an NGO rescue ship.   In just 48 hours from last Thursday morning, the crew of the Ocean Viking saved the lives of 424 people in rubber boats adrift in the central Mediterranean.  A pregnant woman in a critical medical condition and her partner were evacuated from the ship on Saturday by the Armed Forces of Malta. The two later tested positive for Covid-19.  MORNING STAR ONLINE


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 (08th February 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.

A strong blow to terrorist organizations in Africa – A dangerous terrorist was killed in Libya

On Saturday evening, Libyan military sources announced the killing of terrorist Omar Abdeen Al-Mahmoudi, who is linked to Al-Qaeda, while trying to infiltrate the Libyan city of Sabha, along with 4 of his companions during the clash with the Libyan army, after an attempt to infiltrate them in a car towards the south of the city.

This news carries a number of indications, including “that there have been attempts to restore the Al-Qaeda network in Libya. In this context, it is also possible to understand the continuation of smuggling operations carried out by Chadian militias, and others, associated with Al-Qaeda, as they exploit the state of security liquidity and the geographical terrain in the region. Southern Libya to regroup and rebuild the organization again. 

The Libyan researcher, who specializes in the affairs of terrorist groups and organizations, Saeed Amgheeb, told Sky News Arabia, “The terrorist mercenary, Omar Abdeen Al Mahmoudi, was one of the participants in the massacre of the Barak al-Shati base, south of Libya, in 2017, which killed more than 140 people between Military and civilian.

The Libyan researcher added that Al-Mahmoudi has direct links and links to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and one of its collaborators, to provide weapons and mercenaries, and everything that the terrorist organization needs in the areas in which it can move freely within the Libyan, Nigerian and Algerian borders, and therefore, his presence reflects movements not far away. About the activities that Al-Qaeda may seek to achieve in the region, where the southern city of Sabha was killed in a controlled ambush by the Libyan army forces led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Libya’s Saleh says withdrawal of foreign forces expected in “near future”

Speaker of Libya’s Tobruk-based House of Representatives (parliament) Aguila Saleh Issa says foreign military presence in Libya will end soon.  According to a Sunday release on the parliament’s website, “all that he [Saleh] ever wanted is the withdrawal of foreign forces, which will happen in the near future, and the distribution of sovereign positions among all parts of Libya.”  Saleh returned to Libya from Cairo on Sunday and was met by fellow parliamentarians, members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) at the airport. According to the release on the parliament’s website, Saleh said upon his arrival that the new Libyan government should be given a chance.

On Saturday, Yassin Aktai, advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Sputnik that Turkey’s agreements with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Turkish military presence in Libya will not be affected by the election of a new transitional government.  On Friday, the Swiss-hosted Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) elected an interim unity government that will be in charge until a national general election scheduled for 24 December.   The LPDF elected Mohammad Younes Menfi, former GNA ambassador in Greece, as the new head of the Presidency Council.


The United States ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, has encouraged the new Prime Minister in Libya, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah to identify a small, competent, technocratic cabinet team that can quickly be granted confidence by the House of Representatives (HoR) in accordance with the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) roadmap.  The US embassy said Norland spoke Sunday with the Prime Minister of the new Libyan executive authority, Dbeibah, to congratulate him on the outcomes of the LPDF process.  Norland also urged Dbeibah to begin, after receiving HoR’s vote of confidence, work on addressing the pressing needs of Libyans throughout the country on key issues such as electricity, COVID-19 response, and preparing for elections in December.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has given his support to a transitional government that would lead neighbouring Libya through elections late this year.  In televised comments late Saturday, Sisi said the appointment of the interim government Friday, which includes a three-member Presidential Council and a prime minister, was “a step in the right direction.”  The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which includes 75 UN-picked delegates from across the country, appointed Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat from the country’s east, as chairman of the Presidential Council. The forum also chose Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah, a powerful businessman from the western city of Misrata, as prime minister.  AAWSAT

The outgoing Prime Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and the new UN envoy to Libya, Ján Kubiš have both stressed the need to advance the military and economic tracks, after reaching an agreement on the executive authority.  This came during a phone call made by Kubiš to al-Sarraj Sunday evening ahead of taking up his functions on Monday.  The media office of al-Saraaj said in a statement that the two sides emphasized the necessity to adhere to holding the general elections on the date set for December 24, expressing hope that this agreement would allow for the reunification of the state institutions.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Libya’s new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh has described Turkey as a “friend and ally”, saying his government will strive to achieve peace in his war-torn country and Ankara can help achieve those goals.   “We maintain great solidarity with the Turkish state and people,” Dbeibeh told Anadolu Agency in his first interview after being elected to lead an interim government.  “Turkey is an ally, friend, and a brotherly state, and it has huge capabilities to help the Libyans achieve their real goals. Turkey is considered a real partner in Libya,” he said.  TRT WORLD

The EU and Arab League on Sunday welcomed the election of Libya’s new temporary leadership to govern the country until elections in December.  In a declaration on behalf of the EU, Josep Borrell asserted that the bloc welcomed the agreement on the transitional unified executive authority that saw the election of an interim presidential council and prime minister.  EU foreign policy chief Borrel also underlined that this was an important milestone in the Berlin Process for a political resolution to the conflict in the North African country and on the way towards national elections due Dec. 24, 2021.   AA