22 – 28 Feb: Eastern Libya Travel Ban on 18 – 45 Year Olds

Feb 28, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 22 February, Abdul Razzaq al-Nadhouri, the Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff and Military Governor of eastern Libya, suspended (but did not revoke) his controversial decision to ban women aged under 60 from travelling without a chaperone. He then introduced a new measure banning all 18-45 year olds (male and female) from travelling without a security permit. Al-Nadhouri said this was to prevent people joining terrorist groups abroad and is only a temporary measure. He said most people would get security clearance to travel and that it would only take a day or two to apply. The decision is apparently intended to cover all border control points in Libya, but will only be implementable at the Labraq airport.

On 23 February, fierce clashes erupted in the densely populated area of Abu-Salim in south-east Tripoli between the Abu Salim Central Security brigade, a local militia affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Abdulghani al-Kikli (aka Ghniwa), and the al-Burki brigade, another local militia affiliated with hard-line Misratan and anti-GNA factions. The clashes resulted in 12 dead and 28 injured from both sides.

Fighting subsided on 24 February following the implementation of a GNA-brokered ‘ceasefire agreement’ between the rival factions. The GNA brokered agreement led to the withdrawal of the al-Burki Brigade from its base in Abu Salim. On 25 February, the nominally pro-GNA al-Nawasi militia was deployed to the area as a peacekeeping force between both militias. On 25 February, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement welcoming the ceasefire agreement and reiterating support to the GNA.

On 26 February, clashes broke out in the Gasr Ben Ghashir area south of Tripoli between the pro-GNA 42 Brigade, which is affiliated with Haithem Tajouri’s First Division Security force, and a Misratan militia based in Tripoli. allied to anti-GNA forces under the umbrella of the Libyan National Guard (LNG). Tanks and heavy artillery were used during the clashes.