Misrata truck drivers protest over ‘road fees’ imposed by militias at checkpoints

Jan 9, 2024 | Libyan actors

On 9 January, truck drivers from Misrata and Zliten started protests and road blockades against the imposition of ‘road tolls’ by members of ‘security forces’ at checkpoints. They asked the competent authorities to intervene immediately and stop this illegal behaviour.

On 10 January, Attorney General al-Sadiq al-Sour ordered an investigation by the Misrata Court of Appeal into the collection of illegal royalties at checkpoints in the greater Misrata region. He emphasized that private property is protected and taxes and fees are imposed only by law. Furthermore, al-Sour ordered the prosecution of members of the Government of National Unity (GNU) Ministry of Interior (MoI) who had collected these ‘road tolls’ without authorization.

On 13 January, the seaport of Misrata was blockaded by truck drivers protesting against the imposition of illegal fees by militias securing the port.

On 14 January, the truck drivers’ strike spread to several other cities in the east and west. Blockades and sit-ins are taking place in Tubruq, Sabratha, Surman, al-Hira, Souq al-Khamis and Bani Walid, among others. The demonstrations are not only against the illegal road tolls, but also for a better fuel supply and general improvements for truck drivers.

GNU Minister of Interior Emad Trabelsi has invited the representatives of the truck drivers’ associations to a meeting to discuss the underlying problems of the strike.