- Despite the international calls for a humanitarian pause to the fighting to focus on Covid-19 pandemic and Haftar’s declaration of a ceasefire last Sunday; armed fighting intensified with the arrival of coronavirus to Libya. This week the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in Libya. As there is no one single authority within Libya, the government precautions against the spread of the virus is not applicable across Libya and precautions taken at local lever show divergence. The difficulties, however, are standard; disastrous health care system, ongoing civil war, poor nutrition and weak immune system, overcrowded residential areas due to extensive internal displacements, congested migrant detention centres. If the fighting does not stop to allow taking necessary precautions against the spread of Covid-19, the consequences of it could be much more disastrous than would be in Europe or other countries that have a way stronger health system to stand against the virus.
- Economically, there wouldn’t be a worse time for Libya for being caught to this pandemic crisis. In addition to oil blockade, knock-out of global oil prices is another setback for Libya. International organizations and significant donor states must consider helping Libya out to strengthen its health infrastructure against the pandemic. On the other hand, it seems that LNA accelerated its search for selling oil through Eastern NOC. While Haftar’s allies might be more compliant, as there is an oil abundancy at the market, oil companies might not be so willing to risk their credibility and facilitate such attempts.
- Finally, EU member states managed to find common ground to initiate new EU naval mission in the Mediterranean to monitor/enforce Libya arms embargo. The concerns of Austria and Hungary —related to the migrants rescued by EU naval assets— were addressed by the commitment of Greece to disembark those migrants to Greek ports. This agreement, however, seems quite fragile; because the current deal expects other EU member states to do their fair share of the work for those rescued irregular migrants. As seen in the case of Italy, reluctance to assist of the other member states —mainly central European countries— might lead to breaking of the agreement.
- Political Situation – 80%
- Humanitarian Situation – 60%
- Energy Security – 70%
- Armed Conflict – 85%