Opinion: Europe’s mistakes in Libya

This report by Federica Saini Fasanotti from GIS Reports Online discusses the mistakes made by European countries in their approach to the Libyan crisis. It highlights Europe’s failure to form a united strategy, as individual nations pursued their interests, leading to an intensification of the conflict. The report argues that Europe’s disunity has allowed external players, such as Russia and Turkey, to increase their influence in Libya, further complicating the situation.

The report also mentions Europe’s inadequate response to the migration crisis originating from Libya. Instead of addressing the root causes, European countries have focused on stopping migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, which has led to human rights abuses and increased instability in Libya. Additionally, the report asserts that Europe’s arms embargo on Libya has been ineffective, as weapons continue to flow into the country, fueling the conflict.

In conclusion, the report suggests that European nations must work together to develop a cohesive strategy to address the Libyan crisis. This includes addressing the root causes of migration, implementing a more effective arms embargo, and fostering a political solution that takes into account the interests of all Libyan factions. By adopting a unified approach, Europe can play a more constructive role in stabilizing Libya and securing its own interests in the region.

UNDP and Tatweer Research Launch Tec+ Startup Business Accelerator in Tripoli

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Tatweer Research have recently launched the TEC (Tripoli Entrepreneurship Catalyst) Startup Business Accelerator in Tripoli, Libya. This initiative is designed to foster innovation, support the growth of new startups, and promote economic development in the country, which has been facing challenges due to ongoing political instability and conflict.

The TEC Startup Business Accelerator aims to empower local entrepreneurs by providing them with valuable resources such as mentorship, training, and networking opportunities. This support will help them scale their businesses more effectively, contributing to the creation of job opportunities for Libyan youth who are struggling with high unemployment rates.

Moreover, the accelerator will facilitate access to essential tools and knowledge that can boost the growth of startups in various sectors, including technology, healthcare, and education. By nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem, the initiative seeks to promote economic diversification and reduce the nation’s reliance on oil revenues.

In addition to the direct support offered to entrepreneurs, the TEC Startup Business Accelerator will work towards establishing strong connections with regional and international investors, thus increasing the visibility of Libyan startups in the global market. This increased exposure is expected to attract more investment, further fueling the growth of the Libyan startup scene.

Overall, the collaboration between UNDP and Tatweer Research in launching the TEC Startup Business Accelerator is a significant step towards revitalizing Libya’s economy and creating new opportunities for its citizens. By fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, this initiative has the potential to bring about lasting positive change in Libya’s economic landscape. Read more from the Libya Herald.

5+5 JMC Meeting with Military and Security Leaders in Benghazi

The 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) of Libya, which includes five senior military officers appointed by the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and five appointed by the Libyan National Army (LNA), held a meeting in Benghazi on 13 April 2023. The JMC agreed on a series of measures to strengthen the ceasefire agreement and to implement the security arrangements that were previously agreed upon. These measures include the establishment of a joint operations room to coordinate the activities of the JMC, the deployment of joint patrols in certain areas, and the formation of a joint committee to oversee the implementation of the ceasefire. The JMC also called on all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement and to refrain from any actions that could escalate tensions or threaten the stability of Libya. Read more from UNSMIL.

Libya Signs South Refinery Contract with Honeywell

A subsidiary of Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday it had signed a contract with U.S.-based Honeywell (HON.O) for engineering work on the planned South Refinery project, likely to cost between $500 million and $600 million. NOC subsidiary Zallaf For Oil And Gas Co said in a statement the project would be carried out in two phases but did not issue a schedule for works. NOC has previously said South Refinery will produce cooking gas, jet fuel, and other products, including 1.4 million liters a day of petrol and 1.1 million liters a day of diesel. Read more from Reuters.

U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability 10-Year Plan for Libya

As part of the Global Fragility Act, the US government has released to Congress a 10-year strategic plan to prevent conflict and promote stability in Libya. The plan focuses on four main pillars: political reconciliation, security sector reform, economic reform and the provision of essential services, and the promotion of human rights and the rule of law. The plan aims to support Libya’s efforts to achieve a durable and inclusive political solution to the ongoing conflict, which includes promoting human rights and accountability, addressing the root causes of the conflict, and supporting the building of resilient institutions. The US government also pledged to work with Libya’s neighbors and international partners to implement this strategy. Read more about the strategy here.

Libya Eyes First Oil and Gas Licensing Round in Two Decades

Libya will be ready to hold an oil and gas licensing round next year, Libya’s state-run oil company chief said at CERAWeek, according to Argus. If Libya does manage to hold a licensing round next year, it would be its first in nearly two decades and would help Libya reach its production goal of 2 million barrels per day within the next three years. Libya’s crude oil production in January fell to 1.148 million bpd, after averaging 1.153 million bpd in the fourth quarter of last year, OPEC data showed in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report. Libya has made some progress in paving the way for boosting gas production, including signing an $8 billion offshore gas deal with Eni, and Eni’s and BP’s exploration drilling plans in the Ghadames and Sirte basins—with offshore drilling planned for next year. Read more from Oil Price.

CBL – IMF Meetings on Article IV Consultations

The Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, Saddek Elkaber, has concluded the meetings of Article IV consultations with the IMF in the presence of the President of the Libyan Audit Bureau and the Ministers of the Government of National Unity. During the meetings, the attendees discussed economic and financial policies that will be implemented in the coming year, including the state budget, balance of payments, and exchange rate. The Governor emphasized the importance of developing a comprehensive and realistic budget that takes into account the challenges facing the country and the needs of its citizens. He also stressed the need for close cooperation and coordination between all government bodies to ensure the success of the economic reform program. The Governor expressed his gratitude to all participants for their valuable contributions to the discussions, and he pledged to continue working closely with all stakeholders to strengthen the country’s economy and promote sustainable development. Read more from the Central Bank.

Congressional Research Report to Congress on Libya and U.S. Policy

Successive U.S. Administrations have sought to prevent Libya from serving as a permissive environment for transnational terrorist groups and have taken different approaches to conflict and competition among Libyans. The Biden Administration supports the holding of new elections in Libya and has used U.S. influence to bolster U.N.-led mediation efforts to that end. Congress has appropriated funds to enable U.S. diplomacy and aid programs, and some Members have called for more assertive U.S. engagement. The postponement of planned elections in 2021, Libyans’ continuing lack of consensus over constitutional and legal arrangements, the potential fragility of a United Nations (U.N.)-backed ceasefire, and the re-emergence of institutional rivalry are prolonging Libya’s instability and pose challenges for U.S. decisionmakers. Read more from the US Naval Institute.

US Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Libya

Ambassador Robert Wood said that the status quo in Libya is not stable, with heightened risks of partition, energy disruptions, further political strife, and violence. The only viable path to a durable peace in Libya is enabling the Libyan people to choose their own leaders in national elections. Now is the time to restore momentum. The United States endorses action by Special Representative Bathily and UNSMIL to directly address the electoral process via an UN-facilitated elections-enabling mechanism that will secure the resolution of the issues that stand in the way of elections in Libya. The SRSG has outlined an inclusive process that keeps key institutions and leaders at the table – however, there is no room for spoilers seeking to thwart the will of the Libyan people. Read more from the US Mission to the UN.