Libyan actors

Our archive of incidents relating to Libyan actors in Libya’s security space, including armed group activity, state security operations and political developments.

LNA helicopter crash

On 19 September, two Libyan National Army (LNA) helicopters collided during a military mission, causing one of the helicopters to crash near Zawiyat...

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31 March – 7 April: Haftar hosts meeting for armed forces officers

On 31 March, 120 LNA prisoners who were captured in April 2019, were released from prison in Zawiyya. On 31 March, the GNU Prime Minister held his first meeting in his capacity as interim Minister of Defence with the directors of the Ministry of Defence. On 5 April, Haftar hosted the first meeting of a new forum for ‘armed forces officers’ at the LNA HQ in Rajma. On 5 April, the Vice-President of Libya’s Presidential Council announced the creation of a High National Reconciliation Commission.

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11-16 March: Armed groups exchange fire in Tripoli

On 9 March, the TPF militia called on the HoR to pass a vote of confidence in the cabinet list presented by Dabaiba. On 11-12 March, armed groups exchanged fire in Tripoli. On 14 March, clashes occurred at a checkpoint in Bani Walid between the 444 Brigade and armed civilians. On 15–16 March, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) met to discuss progress on the military track of the peace process.

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18 February – 3 March: UN report details LPDF bribery allegations

On 28 February, AFP stated that a report submitted to the UNSC Sanctions Committee contains details of the alleged attempts at bribery that shook the LPDF. On 27 February, the GNA issued arrest warrants against those accused of mass killings in Tarhouna. On 1 March, the Tripoli Primary Prosecution Office declared that the incident in Janzour involving Fathi Bashaagha, was a ‘traffic accident’. On 2 March, fighters led by Mahmoud al-Werfalli reportedly attacked a Toyota car dealership in Benghazi and threatened to kill the company’s director.

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16 – 23 February: alleged assassination attempt on the GNA Minister of Interior Fathi Bashaagha

Violence occurred at celebrations to mark the 17 February 2011 uprisings in Sebha and Sirte. On 16 February, during patrols near Ghadduwah a mass grave was uncovered of individuals believed to have been killed by ISIS. On 17 February, the LNA 166 Brigade reportedly killed a member of the Sirte Criminal Investigations Department. On 21 February, there was an alleged assassination attempt on GNA MoI Fathi Bashaagha.

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10 – 17 February: Mohammed Menfi embarks on a tour of eastern Libya

On 11 February, the new President of the PC embarked on a tour of eastern Libya. On 13 February, reports circulated about the arrest of Khalid Bu Lugaib, a prominent militia leader. On 13 February, the Misrata Third Force closed the Dafniyya gate. On 15 February, the new Prime Minister designate, confirmed that his cabinet will be ready before the 21-day deadline for forming the government.

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27 January- 02 February: Tripoli firefight between Emad Trabelsi forces and Rada

On 28 January, tensions boiled over between Emad Trabelsi’s General Security Force (GSF) and the Special Deterrence Force (Rada). On 26 January, clashes occurred between the 55 Battalion, aligned with the GNA Ministry of Defence, and the 3 Unit, aligned with the GNA Ministry of Interior. On 29 January, reports in local Libyan media claimed that the UN-mediated 5+5 Joint Military Committee (JMC) would hold its second meeting in Sirte on 4 February.

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20-26 January: HoR and HCS meet in Egypt and Morocco

On 19-20 January, representatives from the HoR and the HCS met in Egypt and agreed to hold a referendum on a constitutional proposal before the national elections scheduled for 24 December 2021. On 23 January, delegations from the HoR and HCS also met in Morocco, to discuss the implementation of some sort of “power sharing” agreement between Libya’s regions. On 23 January, a senior GNA military delegation met with the Chadian president to discuss organised crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration. On 24 January, the GNA Ministry of Interior deployed forces to Tarhouna following riots and destruction of property.

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12-19 January : GNA leaders and military officials sign so-called ‘code of honour’ agreement

On 12 January, the GNA’s Defence Minister reportedly sign so-called ‘code of honour’ agreement with the GNA’s Chief of Staff, and the commanders of the GNA’s western, central and Tripoli military zones. This step is meant to quiet otherwise rising intra-Tripolitanian militia tensions. On 18 January, the Head of the GNA appointed the leaders of the ‘Stability Support Apparatus’, a new entity to undertake operations related to national security issues.

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6-13 January: Senior figures in western Libya reiterate support for 24 December 2021 elections

On 8 January, the GNA Minister of Interior announced the launch of Operation ‘Snake Hunting’ to target militants and human smugglers in Libya’s western region. On 9 January, senior figures in western Libya issued a joint statement reiterating their support for a new transitional National Unity Government to prepare the national elections planned for 24 December 2021.

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30 December- 5 January: Minor clashes occur between GNA-aligned and LNA forces in Sebha

On 29 December, the HoR-aligned government in eastern Libya temporarily appointed a new chief for the Internal Security Department, Brigadier General Muhammed Hassan Kamil al-Tarhouni. On 31 December, the GNA issued a decree allocating 1 billion LYD to its Ministry of Defence. On 3 January, armed skirmishes occurred in Sebha between the LNA and GNA-aligned forces. On 3 January, a Madkhali armed group attacked a cemetery in Surman.

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1-8 December: LNA mobilized to capture military camp in Ubari

Over the last week, the LNA strengthened its defenses and mobilized troops, particularly on the Sirte-Jufra axis. On 5 December, the Libyan Revolutionaries Leadership Gathering held a conference in Zawiyya where it ‘urged all Libyan authorities to work toward activating the role of the Libyan National Guard’. On 6 December, the LNA issued a decree calling on its troops on the Sirte-Jufra frontlines to assume ‘a state of readiness.’. On the same day, the LNA mobilised in preparation to capture a military camp in Ubari. On 8 December, LNA forces detained a Turkish ship, which was apparently transporting medical products to Misrata port.

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25 November – 1 December: Third round of LPDF continues

On 25 November, Acting Head of UNSMIL, Stephanie Williams convened the third round of virtual meetings of the LPDF. From 23 – 28 November, more than 120 deputies from the HoR, HCS, and the boycotting Tripoli-based HoR met in Tangier, Morocco. On 26 November, a European tracking system recorded that military aircraft from Turkey landing at the al-Watiya Air Base.

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18 – 24 November: HoR members travel to Tangier

On 23 November, a new virtual round of the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) began. On 22 November, representatives from both the Tripoli-based and Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR) travelled to Tangier, Morocco. On 18 November, head of the Audit Bureau, Shakshak, referred the head of the GNA al-Serraj to the Public Prosecutor. On 18 November, the GNA’s Volcano of Rage said that Wagner mercenaries and Sudanese Janjaweed forces were still ‘flooding into’ Sirte.

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11 – 17 November: Female human rights lawyer assassinated in Benghazi

On 10 November, female lawyer and human rights activist Hanan al-Baraasi was shot dead in Benghazi. On 11 November, the GNA’s MFA announced that Libya’s borders with Tunisia would be reopening on 14 November. On 12 November, the participants of the 5+5 JMC dialogues, announced that they would ‘immediately’ reopen the main coastal road. On 14 November, the Libyan Airports Authority held a meeting with Turkey’s al-Bayrak Group to discuss plans for the development of a Misrata International Airport. On 15 November, LNA commander Haftar issued a decree appointing Major General Abdussalam al-Hassi as commander of the Benghazi-based LNA Special Forces.

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4 – 10 November: Several passengers from Benghazi arrested at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport

On 4 November, LNA Commander Haftar reportedly launched an operation in Benghazi to expand joint security cooperation. Also, on 4 November, clashes erupted in Tarhouna. On 5 November, the military spokesman of the GNA, Dara, claimed the presence of Russian Wagner mercenaries in Sirte. The same day, it was reported that Turkish troops would remain in Libya for as long as the GNA wishes. On 6 November, several citizens arriving at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport from Benina Airport in Benghazi were arrested on charges of taking part in the 2019 attack on Tripoli.

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28 October – 3 November: JMC talks in Ghadames

On 2 November, delegations from the GNA and LNA met in Ghadames to conduct the fifth round of talks within the framework of the 5+5 JMC. On 30 October, a spokesperson for the GNA, al-Zaklai, announced that GNA Prime Minister al-Serraj had taken back his decision to resign.

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21 – 27 October: Libyan parties agree to ceasefire

On 23 October, delegations from the GNA and LNA signed a ceasefire agreement. On the same day, the first commercial passenger flight from Tripoli landed at Benghazi’s Benina airport. On 20 October, GNA Commander of the Sirte-Jufra Operations Room, Beit al-Mal, called upon the head of the GNA, al-Serraj, to remove Libyan Media Foundation chief Bayou from his office. On 21 October, Sabratha armed forces clashed with the al-Shalfouh militia from Ajalat. On 24 October, spokesperson for the GNA Volcano of Rage Operation, Qananou, urged UNSMIL to send monitoring teams to Sirte, Jufra and Brak al-Shati airbase.

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14 –20 October: Notorious commander al-Bija detained

On 14 October, Rada reportedly detained the commander of the Zawiyyan Coastguard. On 15 October, GNA and LNA traded accusations of provoking altercations at the Sirte-Jufra frontline. On 16 October, the first flight from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport arrived at Benghazi’s Benina Airport after more than a year. On 17 October, the LNA sent reinforcements belonging to the 128 Brigade. On 18 October, 12 unidentified bodies were found in mass graves in Tarhouna. On 19 October, military leaders met in Geneva for dialogues within the 5+5 JMC framework.

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7 –13 October: GNA warns of LNA attacks in preparation

On 8 October, the GNA Defence Minister, al-Namroush, warned that LNA Commander Haftar was preparing to launch an attack in the Bani Walid, Ghariyan and Tarhouna regions. Claims by the LNA have also emerged that the GNA is planning to launch an attack on the western oil fields and facilities of Sharara and al-Feel.

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30 September – 6 October: HoR Speaker Saleh prepares trial conference

On 3 October, HoR Speaker Saleh met with the eastern-based interim government’s MFA al-Huweij. On 30 September, the Attorney General’s Office announced that several top Libyan officials had been arrested or charged with corruption. On 29 September, the GNA’s MoD announced that it had opened enrolment. On 29 September, a district court judge in Virginia ruled that lawsuits against LNA head Haftar should go forward.

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23 – 29 September: Mi-24 helicopter crashes at Sawknah

On 28 September, military and police delegations from western and eastern Libya met in Egypt. On 24 September, violent clashes reportedly occurred between GNA-aligned forces in Tajoura. On 23 September, LNA Commander Haftar and Speaker of the HoR Saleh met in Cairo with Egyptian President al-Sisi. On 23 September, a Mi-24 helicopter crashed at Sawknah. On 21 September, renewed protests against corruption occurred in Benghazi.

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16 – 22 September: GNA head Serraj announces plans to resign

On 16 September, GNA/PC head al-Serraj announced on live television that he would ‘hand over’ his duties. On 18 September, Kufra residents staged mass protests in front of the town’s municipality headquarters. On 14 September, the GNA’s MoI allegedly issued a decree to create a committee for the purpose of integrating fighters and armed groups.

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9 – 15 September: PM Serraj allegedly to resign

On 15 September, new reports emerged stating that head of the GNA, al-Serraj, was planning to resign. From 11-13 September, protests occurred throughout eastern Libya. On 13 September, the eastern-based Interim Government submitted its resignation to the Speaker of the Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR), Aqeela Saleh. On 11 September, participants in the so-called Libya Dialogue held in Bouznika, Morocco stated that they had agreed upon ‘criteria, transparent mechanisms and objectives’ for the appointments of new individuals to key posts.

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2 September – 8 September: MoI Bashaagha is reinstated

On 3 September, the PC of the GNA announced that the GNA’s Minister of Interior (MoI), Bashaagha, had been re-instated. On 7 September, the GNA’s VoR spokesperson, Gununu, announced hat it had taken down a helicopter belonging to the LNA near the Sirte-Jufra frontlines. On 2 September, Gununu accused LNA forces of violating a declared ceasefire for the second time in 3 days. On 4 September, the spokesperson for the GNA Sirte-Jufra Operations Room, Drah, denied that mercenaries from the Russian PMC Wagner had pulled out of Sirte and Jufra.

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19 – 25 August: Ceasefire announcements by GNA and HoR

On 21 August, the GNA announced a nationwide ceasefire. The speaker of the HoR, Saleh, reiterated the call for a ceasefire along similar terms. On 23 August, the LNA spokesperson, al-Mismari, labelled the GNA’s effort as a ‘marketing stunt’ while not commenting on the HoR statement. Also on 23 August, multiple protests occurred throughout the western region, specifically in Tripoli and in Zawiyya.

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12 – 18 August: Haftar promotes 448 LNA officers

On 12 August, head the LNA, Haftar, promoted 448 LNA officers. On 13 August, photographs outside of Khoms Port purportedly showed a Turkish G-class frigate. The same day, Turkey and the GNA signed a MoU outlining enhanced economic cooperation. On 11 August, a security breach in Jalu prompted the formation of a joint-security room.

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5 – 11 August: GNA and LNA continue to build up forces near Sirte and Jufra

Over the last week, both the GNA and LNA have continued to build up forces near Sirte and Jufra. On 5 August, the GNA officials met with the Italian Defence Minister, Lorenzo Guerini. On 6 August, Haftar, met with the LNA Operation Room and Military Region Commanders in Benghazi. On 7 August, the TPF released a statement condemning the Muslim Brotherhood. On 8 August, al-Serraj, met with the Audit Bureau, Anti-Corruption Commission and Administrative Control Authority.

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29 July – 4 August: LNA leader Haftar tours LNA units

Over last week, the head of the LNA, Haftar, toured LNA units. LNA spokesman al-Mismari stated that a ceasefire could be implemented only after Turkey leaves Libya ‘completely’. Over the last week, tensions in Sirte still remained high and clashes broke out in Zawiyya. On 29 July, Libya’s PC said that it had formed a committee to investigate the visit of French writer Bernard-Henri Lévy to Libya. On 28 July, Libyan Ambassador to the UN al-Sunni criticised the ‘selective’ approach of the UN sanctions committee. On 27 July, the Speaker of the HoR, Saleh, met with his Moroccan counterpart and the following day, the head of the HCS, al-Mishri, spoke at a press conference in Rabat and said that the HCS and the Tubruq-based HoR have the potential to reach a political solution.

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22 – 28 July: Africom accuses Russia of heavy weapons delivery

On 24 July, AFRICOM said it had mounting evidence for heavy weapons delivery from Russia to the Wagner Group in Libya. On 28 July, Head of UNSMIL, Stephanie Williams, announced the start of the international audit of the two branches of the CBL. Both the GNA and LNA forces continued to build up forces around Sirte last week

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15 – 21 July: Libyan tribal chiefs authorise Egyptian intervention

On 16 July, Egyptian President Sisi met with a delegation of Libyan tribal chiefs; followingly, they authorised Egyptian intervention in Libya. Throughout the week, forces build up and posturing continued on Sirte frontlines. On 15 July, Libyan judicial officials said that the international audit of the Tripoli-based CBL and the parallel eastern-based CBL would begin. The same day, the GNA’s Joint Operations Room issued letters to armed groups in 12 civilian locations around Tripoli, demanding that they evacuate their headquarters within 24 hours.

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8-14 July: HOR approves Egyptian intervention in Libya

On 13 July, the HoR said that the Egyptian armed forces have the right to interfere in Libya should they see an imminent threat. On 13 July, Juwaili issued an official decree to create a new joint force to secure the western region. On 11 July, UNSMIL held a virtual meeting with the GNA MoI to discuss SSR and DDR efforts. On 12 July, Serraj met with the GNA military region commanders while LNA forces continued to mobilise to Sirte. On 8 and 9 July, clashes occurred between militias in Janzour that resulted in at least 10 people being killed.

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1 July – 7 July: Attack on Watiya airbase

On 5 July, Watiya airbase was attacked, but no one has claimed responsibility. Over the last week, both the GNA and LNA forces have maintained their positions in Sirte, but there has been little active fighting. On 2 July, the GNA MoI Bashaagha announced that the new INTERPOL office in Tripoli had been opened.

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24 June – 30 June: NOC confirms ongoing negotiations to resume oil production

On 29 June, the NOC confirmed that there have been ongoing negotiations to resume oil production between the GNA, NOC and regional countries, under the supervision of the UN and the US. The same day, the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of Libyan Sheikhs & Elders announced their demands for ending the oil shutdown. On 29 June, the head of the Libyan Council of Elders called for demonstrations against Turkey’s interference. Over the last week there has been a continued build up by both the GNA and LNA forces west and east of Sirte respectively. Also last week, the head of the LNA, Haftar, had a meeting with the eastern-based parallel government to discuss the monitoring of HR violations by groups in western Libya.

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17 June – 23 June: LNA declares no-fly zone

On 21 June, the LNA spokesperson al-Mismari declared a no-fly zone in an area from east of Sirte until the al-Heesa village in the west. On 20 June, Egyptian President al-Sisi warned not to push beyond the current Sirte-Jufra frontlines. The same day, Turkish presidential spokesman, Kalin, stated that the LNA must withdraw from Sirte in order for a ceasefire to be facilitated.

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10 June – 16 June: Reinforcement of positions in Sirte

Over the last week, forces aligned to the GNA have reinforced positions to the west of Sirte, while LNA forces have reinforced positions inside Sirte. On 9 June, the LNA restructured its command of operations near Sirte. On 12 June, the GNA Western Military Region Commander, Usama al-Juwaili, expanded his control over large areas of Zintan.

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3 June – 9 June: GNA announces liberation of Tripoli

On 3 June, GNA Prime Minister al-Serraj announced the complete liberation of Tripoli. On 5 June, GNA forces entered Tarhouna and Bani Walid. On 6 June, the GNA Sirte-Jufra Operations Room declared Operation “Paths of Victory” to capture Sirte and Jufra. On 9 June, the NOC proclaimed that LNA affiliated forces had entered the Sharara field and interrupted operations.

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13 May – 19 May: GNA takes over Watiya airbase

On 18 May, LNA forces stationed at Watiya left the airbase and GNA forces took over. The same day GNA-aligned Turkish drones targeted suspected LNA fuel trucks north of the LNA-controlled Jufra airbase. On 19 May, the LNA spokesperson, Mesmari, indicated that LNA forces would be withdrawing from the southern Tripoli frontlines as the month of Ramadan comes closer to the Eid al-Fitr celebration.

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6 May – 12 May: LNA spokesperson indicates deal between Haftar and Saleh

On 11 May, the LNA spokesperson, indicated that a deal had been brokered between Haftar, and the chairman of the HoR, Saleh. On 9 May, the LNA launched as many as 150 artillery shells on Tripoli. On 6 May, the LNA announced a new aerial operation against the GNA dubbed “Operation Ababil Birds”. Throughout the week GNA-aligned Turkish drones launched aerial attacks on the LNA controlled Watiya airbase.

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29 April – 5 May: LNA accepts Ramadan ceasefire

On 29 April, the LNA spokesperson, al-Mismari, announced that the LNA had agreed to a humanitarian truce for Ramadan. The GNA responded that it does not trust any ‘truce’ agreement made by the LNA. On 5 May, GNA-aligned forces began a ground assault on the LNA-controlled Watiya airbase south of Zuwara. On 30 April, a video was released showing the head of the HoR, Saleh, meeting with his fellow Obeidat tribal members to discuss his recent political initiative.

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22 – 28 April: Haftar declares military rule

On 27 April, LNA head Khalifa Haftar claimed that the LNA had a “popular mandate” to rule Libya. Over the last week, there was a significant social response in the eastern region expressing support for the LNA and military rule. On 26 April, GNA-aligned forces allegedly launched aerial attacks on Watiya airbase, with several number of deaths reported. Throughout the last week, GNA-aligned forces have targeted the town of Tarhouna, as well as supply routes into the town near Bani Walid, with multiple airstrikes.

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15 – 21 April: GNA launches assault to capture Tarhouna

On 18 April, the GNA Volcano of Rage Operation began an assault to capture the town of Tarhouna, which acts as the LNA’s forward base for its Tripoli operations. The same day, the GNA-aligned forces from the GNA’s Western Military Region made advances on the Tripoli International Airport axis. On 14 April, GNA-aligned forces and LNA forces engaged in intensive fighting at the Zareer checkpoint, located 13km north of Watiya airbase.

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8 – 14 April: GNA captures Sabratha

On 13 April, armed groups aligned to the GNA claimed to have captured pro-LNA towns, including Sabratha. The same day, reports emerged on social media claiming that the GNA has been attempting to bribe the city of Bani Walid. On 12 April, the LNA undertook an assault on the Abu Grein axis. In a counter-attack on the same locations, all territory was re-captured. On 6 April, an armed group stormed the MMRA station at al-Shuwayrif and shut off the pipeline, effectively cutting off the water supply to Tripoli, Bani Walid, Tarhouna and Misrata.

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25 – 31 March: GNA launches “Operation Peace Storm”

On 25 March, GNA-aligned forces launched multiple coordinated assaults on LNA forces at Watiya airbase, in Abu Grein and in the south of Tripoli, in what has been dubbed as “Operation Peace Storm.” On 29 March, Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control confirmed eight cases of COVID-19 in Libya. Both the GNA in Tripoli and the eastern-based parallel government have imposed additional measures.

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

Over the last week, Libyan authorities have taken preventative measures to tackle Covid-19 and as of the evening of 24 March, the National Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first case. On 22 March, the TPF published a video accusing the GNA’s Minister of Interior, Bashaagha of being the “hand” of the USA and France. On 20 March, GNA-aligned forces captured Sudanese mercenaries embedded amongst LAN forces in southern Tripoli.

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