March 2023 | Authorities impose severe restrictions on civil society
The Office of the Prime Minister for the Government of National Unity (GNU) and other Libyan authorities issued a series of decrees in March 2023 revoking the legal status of all local and international NGOs in the country established after 2011. The GNU is now requiring civil society organizations to establish their legal status under Law 19 of 2001, adopted during the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. That law requires all NGOs to have government approval and only permits groups that work with charity, sports, humanitarian and social issues.
The decrees follow months of intensified crackdown on civil society with incidents of intimidation, detention and withholding entry visas for aid organizations. With potential Libyan elections in 2023, concerns have been raised that the decree effectively criminalizes independent election monitoring. Several national and international rights groups have condemned the move, calling on authorities to guarantee freedom for civic groups to operate. The GNU has granted temporary legality to local and international NGOs to continue working until they comply with Law 19.
September 2022 | Fear of intensified war grows amid continued power struggle in Libya
Divisions among the political institutions in Libya were deepened in September when the Tobruk-based House of Representatives replaced the President of the Supreme Court, Mohamed al-Hafi, with Abdullah Burazizah. The vote was unanimous but may have lacked a quorum. Until now, the Supreme Court had been viewed as relatively above the political rivalries that have dominated Libyan politics for the past decade. Observers have suggested that this new appointment is likely to politicize this institution and bring it under the control of the legislature, a development that risks an intensification of the conflict.
August 2022 | Deadly fights between militias broke out in Tripoli
Violence erupted between armed groups in Libya on 26 and 27 August as forces affiliated with Bashagha attempted to take control of Tripoli and oust the Dbeibah-led government, shattering hope for a peaceful solution. Continued delays in holding elections and growing tensions between rival Libyan forces pose a security threat that has raised increasing concerns. The United Nations (UN) voiced “deep concern” over growing tensions between rival Libyan forces, calling for “immediate” moves to calm the situation.