1 – 7 April: Highest number of aerial attacks since fighting broke out in April 2019

Apr 8, 2020 | Libyan actors

The first week of April has seen the highest number of aerial attacks over all the various battle fronts in Libya since the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched its assault on Tripoli in April 2019. There has been a total of 75 reported aerial incidents – 38 aerial attacks by the Government of National Accord (GNA) aligned forces and 37 from the LNA between 30 March and 5 April.

The LNA claimed to have hit targets in Misrata, as well as continuing its barrage of aerial attacks on Tripoli, while the GNA strikes targeted LNA supply lines in Bani Walid, Tarhouna and west of Sirte, as well as around al-Watiya airbase. Relatively senior anti-LNA field commanders have been killed in heavy clashes on the Tripoli frontlines. LNA forces gained territory on the Ain Zara and Abu Saleem Axes, while the GNA forces made advances on the Tripoli International Airport Axis.

On 2 April, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj issued an official Presidential Council statement calling for a “reshuffle of operating procedures” at the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and its immediate unification. CBL Governor Sadiq al-Kabir responded almost immediately, issuing his own English language statement attacking the GNA for not resolving the ongoing oil blockade. On 6 April, Kabir addressed yet another letter in English to Serraj, claiming that the GNA has failed to present adequate data of the required food and medicinal commodities and has failed to meet CBL requests to issue a decree to modify the value of the fee on foreign currency sales, forcing the CBL to suspend foreign currency purchases.

On 5 April, 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Libya – with one person having died from the disease. The same day, the Libyan National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released a statement saying it would no longer report on the geographic location of the coronavirus infected cases, due to political pressure from the competing national belligerents. On 6 April, the LNA was accused of undertaking heavy shelling of the al-Khadra General Hospital in Tripoli.