Update June 2022

From Atrocities Watch Monitor N° 5, June 2022
Read full newsletter here.

The security situation remains fragile.[1] Tensions escalated mid-May when Bashagha entered Tripoli accompanied by armed groups, after a two month stand-off between his administration and that of Dbeibah. He withdrew hours later after clashes broke out between fighters allied to both representatives.[2] Bashaga’s government officially started working from the city of Sirte in order to “avoid bloodshed.”[3] The House of Representatives (HoR) held its first meeting in Sirte on 31 May.[4] Dbeibah, who has consistently stated that he will only hand over power to a newly elected government, has suggested holding parliamentary polls at the end of 2022.[5]

The 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission met on 23 and 24 May for the first time since February and expressed their interest in resuming the implementation of the October 2020 ceasefire agreement.[6]

Oil production has not returned to normal, revenue has dropped by at least 35% since several production facilities across the country were forced to halt production in mid-April.[7]


In March 2021, the transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) began preparing the nation for presidential elections in December 2021, these did not take place and have been postponed with no clear date in sight.

In early March 2022, parliament appointed a new premier, Fathi Bashaga, to replace Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. Parliament argues that it has the authority to name Bashaga because Dbeibah’s mandate officially ended December 24, 2021. However, Dbeibah says that he will only hand over power to a government emanating from a newly elected parliament.[8] Dbeibah had proposed elections in June,[9] but is now suggesting the end of 2022.[10]

International response:

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged parties to resume the electoral process and ensure free, fair, inclusive, and credible presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible.[11]

Led by the UN Special Advisor Stephanie Williams, the second round of consultations between the Joint Committee of the House of Representatives and High State Council took place in Cairo. Agreements were made in several areas, including the structure and powers of a two-tier new parliament as well as the prerogatives of the President and Prime Minister. The next round will take place on 11 June when they expect to finalise the arrangements to hold national elections.[12]

The UNSC held a meeting on the situation in Libya on 26 May, where Under-Secretary General, Rosemary DiCarlo, briefed the Council. She indicated that due to the fragility of the situation it’s of great importance the ceasefire is respected and the continuation of the Cairo talks to ensure national elections. She also expressed concern over the grave human rights violations that continue to occur: there are currently 1,717 persons detained in centres run by the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration, plus 5,000 migrants and refugees kept in inhumane conditions in both regular and unofficial detention centres.[13]

The Libya mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) declared on 24 May that there has been “no progress in years” complaining that not enough is being done to stop smuggling and trafficking of migrants or to stop detention of migrants or improve conditions of detention.[14]

According to Associated Press, a UN report indicates Libya faces a serious security threat from foreign fighters and private military companies, including the Wagner Group, which have violated international law.[15] Information shows the Russian Wagner group backed by Khalifa Hiftar’s Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF)used banned landmines and booby traps in the country during the 2019 and 2020 conflict.[16]

The G7 called for the complete resumption of oil production in the country and requested the 2020 ceasefire be respected and to refrain from using it as a tool for political confrontation.[17]

[1] UN News, “‘Protracted political impasse’ further polarizing Libya,” 26 May 2022, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/05/1119152

[2] Reuters, “Clashes force Libya’s Bashagha from Tripoli after brief attempt to enter,” 17 May 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/libyas-bashagha-arrives-tripoli-al-arabiya-2022-05-17/

[3] Andolou Agency, “Libyan Parliament-appointed government starts working from Sirte,” 31 May 2022, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/libyan-parliament-appointed-government-starts-working-from-sirte/2602372

[4] The Libya Update, “HoR Spox: Sirte meeting discussed draft budget and its amendment,” 31 May 2022, https://libyaupdate.com/hor-spox-sirte-meeting-discussed-draft-budget-and-its-amendment/

[5] Daily Sabah, “Libya’s PM Dbeibah proposes holding polls at end of 2022,” 26 May 2022, https://www.dailysabah.com/world/africa/libyas-pm-dbeibah-proposes-holding-polls-at-end-of-2022

[6] UN News, “UN salutes new Libya ceasefire agreement that points to ‘a better, safer, and more peaceful future’,” 23 October 2020, https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/10/1076012

[7] The New Arab. “Libyan oil production drops by 35% during month-long blockade,” 21 May 2022, https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/libyan-oil-production-drops-35-during-blockade

[8] The Arab Weekly, “Dbeibah said to reject Turkish mediation bid in Libya,” 8 March 2022, https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-libya/dbeibah-said-reject-turkish-mediation-bid-libya

[9] Daily Sabah, “PM Dbeibah pushes summer election in Libya amid bid to oust him,” 22 February 2022, https://www.dailysabah.com/world/africa/pm-dbeibah-pushes-summer-election-in-libya-amid-bid-to-oust- him

[10] Daily Sabah, “Libya’s PM Dbeibah proposes holding polls at end of 2022,” 26 May 2022, https://www.dailysabah.com/world/africa/libyas-pm-dbeibah-proposes-holding-polls-at-end-of-2022

[11] The Libya Observer, “Guterres urges Libyans to resume electoral process as soon as possible,” 24 May 2022, https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/guterres-urges-libyans-resume-electoral-process-soon-possible

[12] UN News, “‘Protracted political impasse’ further polarizing Libya,” 26 May 2022, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/05/1119152

[13] UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Statement by USG Rosemary DiCarlo – Security Council meeting on the situation in Libya, 26 May 2022, https://dppa.un.org/en/statement-usg-rosemary-dicarlo-security-council-meeting-situation-libya-26-may-2022

[14] Libya Tribune, “‘No progress in years’ in Libya, says UN migration body,” 27 May 2022, https://en.minbarlibya.org/2022/05/27/no-progress-in-years-in-libya-says-un-migration-body/

[15] Associated Press, “UN experts: Libya’s security threatened by foreign fighters,” 28 May 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-politics-africa-middle-east-13eeca3f53926040275ae406edece88f

[16] Human Rights Watch, “Libya: Russia’s Wagner Group Set Landmines Near Tripoli,” 31 May 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/05/31/libya-russias-wagner-group-set-landmines-near-tripoli

[17] Libyan News Agency, “The G7 calls for the complete resumption of oil production and the establishment of a constitutional basis for elections in Libya,” 14 May 2022,https://lana.gov.ly/post.php?id=242269&lang=en