Libya crisis

  1. Head of Libya's Tripoli government offers to hand over power

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj
    Image caption: Fayez al-Serraj was appointed prime minister in 2015

    Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj says he intends to “hand over” power to the next executive authority by the end of October.

    He is currently the head of the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

    There has been a renewed drive by the international community for a new political solution for Libya, with talks taking place in several countries.

    In his televised address on Wednesday night, Mr Serraj called on the dialogue committee to work quickly on forming a new executive authority, in order to guarantee a peaceful transition of power.

    He says he “sincerely intends to hand over” his duties to the next executive authority by the end of October at the latest.

    Although he did not specify what he would do in the event of this deadline not being met.

    Mr Serraj said that hopefully the members of the dialogue committee will finish their work by then and select a new presidential council and prime minister.

    He was appointed as prime minister and chairman of Libya’s presidential council under the last UN-brokered agreement signed in December 2015.

  2. Libya's rival administrations meet in Morocco for talks

    BBC World Service

    Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourit leads a conference on Libya in Bouznika, Morocco, 06 September 2020.
    Image caption: Moroccan foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, is hosting the meeting

    Delegates of Libya's rival administrations have met for talks in Morocco two weeks after the two sides declared a ceasefire.

    Five delegates each met from the UN- recognised government in Tripoli and the rival parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

    Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, while opening the meeting in the town of Bouznika, said that Morocco had no specific agenda but wanted to give Libyans a chance to discuss the issues dividing them.

    Morocco hosted talks in 2015 that led to the creation of the UN- recognised government in Tripoli.

    Delegates from rivalling Libyan governments meet in Morocco for talks


  3. Video content

    Video caption: UAE implicated in lethal Libya drone strike

    The BBC uncovers evidence that a drone operated by the UAE killed 26 unarmed cadets at a military academy in Tripoli.

  4. What does Egypt's military move mean for Libya?


    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Egyptian parliament members attend a general session in the capital Cairo on July 20, 2020.
    Image caption: On Monday Egyptian lawmakers approved the deployment of troops

    There are mounting fears of a renewed escalation in military confrontations in Libya, after Egypt made moves indicating it may potentially be ready to intervene with ground troops there for the first time.

    Late on Monday, Egyptian lawmakers approved the deployment of its troops abroad, though they did not name Libya.

    The lawmakers' approval comes after a warning by Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi that Egypt would not remain idle if there is a threat to its national security or to neighbouring Libya.

    Lawmakers stopped short of providing a time frame for any intervention or naming the oil-rich North African state in their latest vote, but they said it was to defend their national security on the "strategic western front against the work of armed criminal militias…" and what they described as "foreign terrorist elements".

    Egypt is among three countries that have been overtly supporting Libya's renegade General Khalifa Haftar's military operations.

    This includes his 2019 year-long failed bid to overtake the capital Tripoli - which is the power-base of his rivals, the internationally recognised government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

    The Libyan government is militarily backed by Turkey.

    In the last two months, the front line has gradually shifted towards central Libya's City of Sirte - which is the gateway to the country's oil in the east.

    On the weekend, France, Germany and Italy warned that they were ready to consider possible sanctions against countries that continue to violate the UN arms embargo on Libya.

    France has previously been accused of supporting Gen Haftar as well - which it denies.

  5. Egyptian MPs approve military deployment to Libya

    BBC World Service

    Egyptian General Mamdoh Shahen speaks during a parliamentary debate session to discuss and vote whether Egypt should send troops to the neighboring Libya on 20 July 2020

    Parliament in Egypt has voted to authorise the deployment of its military abroad to defend national security and – in its words – fight criminals and foreign terrorists “on a western front”.

    It’s an apparent reference to neighbouring Libya, where Egypt has been supporting the renegade general Khalifa Haftar who has been forced back from positions around the capital, Tripoli.

    The resolution came despite a phone call between the Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and President Trump, who’s reported to have asked that nothing be done to escalate the situation in Libya.

    Last week the pro-Haftar parliament in eastern Libya moved towards inviting the intervention of Egyptian troops, which have not fought abroad in nearly 30 years.


  6. Macron accuses Turkey of 'criminal' actions in Libya

    BBC World Service

    Fighters loyal to Libya"s internationally recognised government celebrate after regaining control over the city, in Tripoli, Libya, 4 June 2020
    Image caption: Turkey has significantly armed the UN-backed government

    French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Turkey of having what he called “historic and criminal responsibility” for actions it has taken in the war in Libya.

    Mr Macron talked of Turkey having brought in massive numbers of jihadi fighters from Syria, while increasing its own presence in the country.

    The Turks have given Libya’s UN-backed government substantial military support that has enabled it to inflict a series of defeats on the renegade General Khalifa Haftar.

    France is widely seen as being among the General’s international backers - who include Russia, Egypt and the UAE.

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  7. Libya extends coronavirus curfew for 10 days

    BBC World Service

    A fishmonger in Tripoli, Libya - June 2020
    Image caption: Some traders in Tripoli are wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus

    The UN-recognised government in Libya is extending the curfew to combat the coronavirus for another 10 days in the areas it controls.

    The government based in the capital, Tripoli, has said that the curfew will run from 20:00 until 06:00 local time with a 24-hour curfew on Friday and Saturday.

    In the east of Libya, a rival administration in the city of Benghazi has been imposing similar lockdown measures.

    The latest official figures say there have been almost 500 cases in the country, with 10 deaths - but the real figure is likely to be higher.

  8. Libya conflict: Can outsiders bring reconciliation?

    Alan Johnston

    BBC Middle East analyst

    LNA fighters in Benghazi - archive shot
    Image caption: Gen Haftar's forces, who have been trying to capture Tripoli for the last year, have suffered recent defeats

    The foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia are expected to discuss efforts to end the fighting in Libya at talks in Istanbul on Sunday.

    Ankara and Moscow support opposing sides in the conflict, which has displaced tens of thousands of people since April last year.

    Neither has given details as to what exactly will be discussed at the gathering - but there is little doubt that high on the agenda will be the war in Libya, as both parties have significant influence in the conflict.

    The Turks support the government based in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

    Russia backs the other side, supporting renegade General Khalifa Haftar - who in recent weeks has suffered a series of major defeats.

    The government side has pushed his forces far back into eastern Libya and it may well want to carry on advancing and seizing ground.

    But earlier this week, Russia said it shared with Turkey a desire to create conditions for talks and reconciliation.

    Perhaps at their meeting in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov will come up with ways of reining in their allies on the ground in Libya, and persuading them to accept a ceasefire.

  9. Libya's warring rivals agree to ceasefire talks

    UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) forces attack the militias of renegade general Khalifa Haftar
    Image caption: UN-recognised government forces have been regaining control of the capital, Tripoli

    The two main sides of Libya's civil war have agreed to resume stalled ceasefire talks on how to end months of fighting, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has said.

    The UN mission in statement on Tuesday urged both parties to "commit to fully authorising their representatives in the negotiations to enable them to complete the ceasefire agreement".

    Libya's conflict pits the UN-backed government against forces loyal to Russian ally Gen Khalifar Haftar.

    Gen Haftar walked out of the initial talks held in Moscow in January without signing a deal.

    The UN has told backers of both sides to abide to agreements on "cessation of all forms of military support permanently".


  10. Hospital attacks 'threaten Libya's Covid-19 response'

    UN-recognized government forces operation against warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias
    Image caption: Conflict in Libya has hampered its coronavirus response

    The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has issued a warning about Libya’s ability to fight the Covid-19 pandemic after a number of recent attacks on hospitals.

    Tripoli Central Hospital was hit on Thursday morning, while 14 civilians were wounded in similar attacks in residential areas of the capital city.

    The hospital in Tripoli is one of the city’s largest - and is key to the country’s response to coronavirus.

    "Attacks on hospitals in Libya are becoming far too frequent. Although thankfully no-one was hurt today, Tripoli Central Hospital has 5,000 staff and 950 beds, so thousands of lives were at risk," said IRC Libya boss Tom Garofalo.

    Libya has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 uprising, which ousted long-time strongman Muammar Gaddafi.