Tensions rise in Tripoli after GNMTC CEO kidnapped

Jan 31, 2024 | Libyan actors

On 31 January, the CEO of the General National Maritime Transport Company (GNMTC) Khaled al-Tawati was kidnapped in Ghout al-Shaal in western Tripoli. Al-Tawati and his escort were attacked just outside his house and forcibly taken away. The escort was released after two hours near the Iron Bridge. Al-Tawati remained missing.

The following day, the GNMTC issued a statement protesting the kidnapping of its CEO and demanding his immediate release. It said such incidents show how bad the security situation is in the capital, stressing that citizens and institutions are unable to live their daily lives normally.

On 2 February, the National Institution for Human Rights in Libya (NIHRL) sharply criticized the abduction of Khaled al-Tawati. According to the Institution, the Ministry of Interior is responsible for such incidents because it is not fulfilling its duties in maintaining security.

On 4 February, the GNMTC confirmed that al-Tawati was still in the hands of the kidnappers. They said that the office of the Attorney General, the Presidency of the Government of National Unity (GNU) and relevant authorities had been contacted to find out the reason for the abduction, but no satisfactory answers were received. The GNMTC warned that the company’s staff could go on an indefinite strike to force the release of its CEO.