3 July – 9 July: Serraj visits Erdogan to secure military and financial support

Jul 9, 2019 | International actors

On 7 July, the UN’s Deputy Envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, met with members of the eastern-based House of Representatives (HoR) as part of a 3-day tour of eastern Libya where she visited Derna, Benghazi, Shahat and Tubruq. The meetings involved discussions on Libya’s current political, economic and humanitarian issues and efforts by the UN to address them. The tour coincided with reports that the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has setup and staffed an office in Benghazi.

On 5 July, the UN Security Council (UNSC) issued a statement condemning the attack on 2 July on a migrant detention centre in Tajoura (an eastern district of Tripoli), which resulted in 53 people killed and over 130 injured. The statement stressed the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation and to commit to a ceasefire, but did not attribute responsibility for the strike. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the UNSC had reportedly failed to agree on the wording of a statement condemning the incident and calling for a ceasefire.

On 5 July, Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj visited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul in an effort to secure military and financial support for the GNA. Serraj reportedly requested the provision of arms, financial backing, and several new drones from Turkey. Serraj reportedly requested that Turkish forces be sent to secure Tripoli, though this could not been confirmed by officials.

On 3 July, details emerged of the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Attorney General arresting two Russian men, Maxim Shugalei and Samer Hassan Seifan, accused of being a part of a Russian ‘troll farm’ attempting to influence future Libyan elections. The arrests took place in May. The individuals allegedly met with Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi on two occasions in order to facilitate his position as a potential presidential candidate. A third Russian, Alexander Prokofiev, is reported to have escaped arrest. The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated it hasn’t received any official notifications from the GNA but claimed it is aware of the reports and is working to confirm them. Three Libyans have also been arrested, though not charged, including the son of a former Libyan foreign minister.