18 – 24 March: First Covid-19 case reported in Libya

Mar 25, 2020 | Libyan actors

Over the last week, Libyan authorities have taken a number of preventative measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 and as of the evening of 24 March, the National Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the disease. Reports indicate that the patient was in a hospital in Tripoli.

On 22 March, the Tripoli Protection Force (TPF) – an umbrella group for several of the Tripoli-based armed groups – published through their social media pages a video accusing the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashaagha of “scandals, conspiracies, embezzlements and treacheries” and of being the “hand” of the USA and France in Libya. This coincides with media reports claiming that Bashaagha facilitated assassinations of his competitors, most notable Fener al-Zintani, through Syrian mercenaries and the Misratan-dominated 301 Battalion.

On 20 March, GNA-aligned forces captured Sudanese mercenaries embedded amongst Libyan National Army (LNA) forces on the Ain Zara axis in southern Tripoli. The GNA-aligned forces distributed images of those they had captured, as well as pictures of a large number of bodies. More than 20 Sudanese mercenaries were reportedly killed in the incident. It is unknown which Sudanese faction these forces belonged to.