Authorities in eastern Libya will circulate their own coins to ease shortages of money, a central bank official said. Another sign of dichotomy in the country that has two rival governments in east and west: following ancient Cyrenaica and Tripolitania division.
Reportedly the new coins, made in Russia, will join Russian-made paper currency that has already been issued in the eastern half of the country, which is outside the control of the United Nations backing government based in Tripoli in the west.
Libya, once upon a time one of the richest countries in Africa, has faced a sharp decline in living standards since a 2011 NATO supported revolt, ending in assassination of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The two rival governments and an array of armed groups are competing for control.
While the UN-backed government in Tripoli has struggled to control territory and make an impact, the east of the country has a separate cabinet with a prime minister, Tobruk parliament, and a local branch of the central bank.
The new coins worth one Libyan dinar – about 75 US cents at the official rate but less than 12 cents on the black market – would be valid from November 2, replacing banknotes that are mostly worn out, said Ramzi al-Agha, head of the liquidity committee at the eastern central bank branch.
The coins are copper coloured, weigh slightly more than a two-euro coin or a new British pound and feature a picture of a plant native to eastern Libya’s Green Mountains, with the words “Central Bank of Libya”.
The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, on accused the European Union and national governments of funding the criminal abuse of migrants in detention centers in Libya.
Libya’s EU-sponsored coast guard is picking up migrants trying to flee to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea and sending them back to Libya’s detention system, which is “a thriving enterprise of kidnapping, torture and extortion,” MSF International President Joanne said in an open letter to EU governments:
“European governments have chosen to contain people in this situation. People cannot be sent back to Libya, nor should they be contained there,” she wrote.
The EU’s executive Commission denied the allegations on cruel treatment of migrants in Libya and said that its priority is in fact to end the “vicious cycle” that sees people brought to the conflict-torn country by smugglers and then trapped in camps or detention centers.
EU representatives from the EU Delegation to Libya, Operation Sophia and EUBAM met with the President of the Presidency Council, Fayez Al Serraj, and other Libyan officials in Tripoli, notably Deputy Minister of Defence Colonel Ewhida Abdullah Ewhida, the Chief of the Libyan Navy and the Chief of the Libyan Coastguard.
Discussions focused on the overall EU support to Libya and the Libyan needs, notably on capacity building for security institutions and the rule of law, border control and managing migration.
The mission took place just days after EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, EUBAM Libya and the EU Liaison and Planning Cell supporting the peace and security process in Libya were renewed until December 2018. On Operation Sophia, discussions focused on the implementation of the renewed mandate and tasks, notably on how to set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure the long-term efficiency of the training of the Libyan Coastguard.
The visit also followed the adoption of a new programme of €46 million under the EU Trust Fund for Africa on Friday 28 July, to reinforce the integrated migration and border management capacities of the Libyan authorities. It aims at stepping up activities in support of the Libyan Border- and Coast Guards to enhance their capacity to effectively manage the country’s borders. It complements the €90 million package adopted in April 2017 focused on the country stabilization and protection of IDPs, migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya.
The visit underlined the EU determination to support Libya, a close neighbour, at this important moment. EU financial support to Libya targets a wide range of sectors, among them health and education institutions, private sector development and local communities.
“L’Assemblée des représentants du peuple tunisien a franchi un pas majeur dans le processus de transition démocratique en adoptant à l’unanimité des députés présents une ambitieuse loi contre les violences faites aux femmes. Ce texte très attendu est une nouvelle étape cruciale vers le plein respect des droits humains et l’égalité des chances entre hommes et femmes. Il traduit la mise en œuvre de la Constitution tunisienne et le respect des engagements pris par la Tunisie au niveau international pour le respect et la promotion des droits de l’Homme” – a dit le texte de déclaration du porte-parole sur l’adoption par le Parlement tunisien de la loi contre les violences faites aux femmes.
“L’Union européenne soutient pleinement ce processus et restera engagée aux côtés du peuple tunisien pour la mise en œuvre effective de cette loi.”
Les Ministres de l’Intérieur réunis à Tunis aujourd’hui ont convenu de renforcer davantage la coordination en matière de gestion de la migration en Méditerranée centrale.
A cette fin, les Ministres ont convenu de l’approche à suivre dans trois domaines clé: traitement des causes profondes des migrations irrégulières; renforcement de l’action et de la coopération contre le trafic et la traite des migrants; coopération en matière de retour.
Les Ministres de l’Intérieur de l’Algérie, Allemagne, Autriche, France, Italie, Libye, Mali, Malte, Niger, Slovénie, Suisse, Tchad, Tunisie, le Commissaire européen chargé de la migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, des affaires intérieures et de la citoyenneté, ainsi que le Ministre de l’Intérieur de l’Estonie assurant la Présidence du Conseil de l’Union Européenne ont participé à la réunion.
The Council adopted conclusions on Libya. The conclusions recognises that recent violence threatens Libya’s stability. The EU believes there is no solution to the Libyan crisis through the use of force. The Council reiterates its firm support to the Libyan Political Agreement and to the Presidency Council and Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj (pictured) established under it as the sole legitimate government authorities in the country. The EU calls on all armed groups to refrain from violence, to commit to demobilisation and to recognize the authorities entrusted by the Libyan Political Agreement as the only ones having the right to control Libya’s defence and security forces.
The EU warmly welcomes the appointment of Ghassan Salamé as new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, who will play a central mediation role based on the Libyan Political Agreement.