Libya’s Al-Sarraj: GNA and CBL Have Reached an Impasse


On Wednesday, the Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Government of National Accord (GNA) said that his government and the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) are at an impasse, arguing that he tried to avoid confrontation with the CBL but that the Bank had “crossed all limits”.

In a televised speech that marked the one-year anniversary since the beginning of the war for Tripoli, Al-Sarraj said that the CBL had created many crises in Libya due to its reluctance to approve an emergency budget for the current period.

He pointed out that the CBL had suspended the issuance of Letters of Credit without prior coordination with the government and said that the CBL is also responsible for the unjustified delay in the payment of state-sector salaries over the past three months.

Al-Sarraj’s speech provides insight on the rising internal tensions within Libya’s government and the GNA’s inability to effectively exert control over Tripoli and its institutions.. The GNA and the CBL blame each other for the failure to reach a settlement, with each side accusing the other of corruption and mismanagement.

The Coronavirus Pandemic

With respect to the GNA’s efforts to deal with the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Al-Sarraj noted that the government has taken preemptive steps to address the virus, calling on citizens not to underestimate the government’s efforts and not to expect solutions that are beyond the government’s capability. He requested citizens to abide by the preventive measures taken to protect them from exposure to Covid-19.

The International Community

In an uncharacteristic criticism of the actors that ushered the GNA into being, Al-Sarraj argued that the international community does not exist, saying it was “just a number of countries who are looking out for their own personal interests.” The Prime Minister stated that his government had reached out to all parties — even those who support the Libyan National Army (LNA) — in an attempt to convince them but that those efforts were in vain.

Political Efforts

In his speech, Fayez Al-Sarraj also reviewed his government’s political efforts, saying: “We attended various conferences, the latest of which was the Berlin Conference that proposed the formation of the 5+5 Joint Military Committee.”