2020 Libyan protests
The 2020 Libyan protests consisted of street protests over issues of poor provision of services in several cities in Libya, including cities controlled by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west (Tripoli, Misrata, Zawiya)[1] and by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east (Benghazi)[2] and south (Sabha)[3] of Libya.
2020 Libyan protests
Part of 2018–2021 Arab protests
DateAugust 23 2020 – October 20 2020
Caused by
MethodsDemonstrations, Riots
Resulted in
August 2020
On 23 and 24 August 2020,[4] protests took place in Tripoli, Misrata and Zawiya over issues of power and water cuts, lack of fuel and cooking gas, cash shortages, poor security, and the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]
Armed forces associated with the GNA shot at the demonstrators, causing injuries.[5] The Interior Ministry stated that demonstrators had the right to peacefully protest and that the ministry had opened criminal investigations into the shootings. The Tripoli Protection Force also declared its support for the right of citizens to carry out street protests.[1] The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) also called for an investigation.[5] Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha criticised the gunmen, stating that live ammunition was used "indiscriminately", and that the gunmen had kidnapped demonstrators and "[sowed] panic among the population and [threatened] security and public order".[6]
Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj responded to the protests with a long speech,[4] with the suspension of Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha,[6] and with a Cabinet reshuffle. Salah Eddine al-Namrush became Defence Minister and Mohammad Ali al-Haddad, from Misrata, became the head of the army.[7]
September 2020
Protests over "living conditions and power cuts" took place in Benghazi on 11 September 2020, including tyre burning and road blocks.[2] Protests continued in Benghazi on 12 and 13 September, and started in Bayda, Sabha and Marj. Benghazi protestors set fire to a building used as headquarters by the LNA-associated authorities. The de facto LNA-associated government led by Abdullah al-Thani offered its resignation on 13 September 2020 in response to the protests.[8]
On 13 September, two hundred protestors demonstrated in Tripoli in front of the Presidential Council against poor living conditions and calling for elections and political reform. Speakers at the protest objected to the appointment of Mohammed Bayou as head of a state-supported media organisation, claiming that he supported Khalifa Haftar.[9]
On 16 September, Fayez al-Sarraj, head and prime minister of the Government of National Accord, stated that he would resign from his position by the end of October 2020.[10][11]
Protests continued on 21 September in Benghazi by the Residents of the City of Benghazi calling for democracy and opposing corruption[12] and on 24 September in Sug Juma, Tripoli and Zliten against cuts in electric power.[13] The Benghazi protestors were attacked by Haftar supporters and one organiser went missing.[12] The 24 September protests included road blocks and tyre burning.[13]
A protest in Gharyan on 23 September called for the Gharyan municipal elections to be held.[14]
October 2020
A protest in Sabha on 16 October criticised Haftar for poor living conditions in Sabha and the southern region in general, citing control of fuel supplies, growth of the black market and the shutdown of Sabha Airport.[3]
Protests and strikes were seen as widespread and nationwide with riots being held and the country seen at risk of a revolution by unknown commentators.[who?] Between 19-20 October, protests and riots against the government and the shortages on the nation occurred with no police involved but then, riot police took control of the protests in Tobruk and clashing with protesters in Benghazi. Peaceful demonstrations occurred throughout Libya between 22-27 October and led to shootings and quelling. Anti-France and a 2-day anti-govt movement was held in Tripoli.[citation needed]
Strikes against power cuts saw hundreds attend on 29-30 October. It was met with tear gas and plastic bullets and riots was met with rubber bullets. Riots occurred on 29 October by workers and ended violently with clashes. The general strikes was the worse since August. Benghazi and Sirte was the areas that experienced the unrest, according to local Libyan media.[citation needed]
On 31 October 2020, Fayez al-Sarraj rescinded his decision to resign.[15]
Deaths and injuries
The riots and protests in Libya has made the United Nations[who?] and Amnesty International expressed "grave concern". The rival government to Khalifa Haftar resigned but on 31 October, refused and didn't accept the resignation. At least 4 deaths, according to CNN, were committed and blood was also seen by witnesses on the streets of Benghazi. 13 injuries were reported in October alone by Libyan media and the opposition.[citation needed]
Naming of revolt, slogans and fears of a Revolution
Revolution was being shouted on the streets of Misrata as police entered the critical stage of the protests. Amnesty international and the USA[who?] and the European Union[who?] has condemned the protests[dubious discuss] and has considered protesters to stay calm. Fears of a revolution was sparked by the slogan "Thawra Liban Libia" meaning revolution in Libya, Libya and "Allahu Akbar" was heard during gunfire in clashes in early September. The protests has been described numerously by international media and the western world as "uprising against president Haftar and Al Sarraj" or the "revolt of victory" after the resignation of the eastern-backed government.[citation needed] Another popular slogan throughout the south of Libya which was heard after poor living conditions protests was Ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam referring to the popular slogan of the Arab summer and Arab spring.[16]
See also
Libyan peace process
  1. ^ a b c Zaptia, Sami (24 September 2020). "Shooting at Tripoli demonstrations: MoI identifies shooters, will investigate and reveal results". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Anger in Libya's Benghazi over power cuts, living conditions". Al Jazeera English. 11 September 2020. Archived from the original on 11 September 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b Assad, Abdulkader (17 October 2020). "Protesters in Sabha blame Haftar for bad living conditions in south Libya". The Libya Observer. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b Zaptia, Sami (25 August 2020). "Serraj big speech post demonstrations: wont resign, would leave office through LPA reform, to reform Ministries and use emergency powers, thanked saviour Turkey". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b "UNSMIL statement on protests in Tripoli on 23 August 2020". United Nations Support Mission in Libya. 24 August 2020. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Libya interior minister suspended after gunmen fire on protesters". Al Jazeera English. 29 August 2020. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Libya: GNA's al-Sarraj appoints new defence minister, army chief". Al Jazeera English. 29 August 2020. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Libya's eastern-based government resigns amid protests". Al Jazeera English. 14 September 2020. Archived from the original on 14 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Protesters set government building on fire in eastern Libya". Al Jazeera English. 13 September 2020. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Libya's Tripoli-based PM Al-Sarraj to stand down". Arab News. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  11. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Libya's UN-backed PM al-Sarraj says he plans to quit | DW | 16.09.2020". DW.COM. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b Zaptia, Sami (24 September 2020). "Pro democracy, anti-corruption Benghazi demonstrations disrupted by LNA spoilers, one organizer reported missing". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  13. ^ a b Zaptia, Sami (24 September 2020). "More road closures with burning tyres in protest at continued acute power cuts". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  14. ^ al-Harathy, Safa (24 September 2020). "Protests in Gharyan calling for municipal elections". Libya Observer. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Libyan PM al-Serraj takes back resignation".
  16. ^​https://www.masrawy.com/news/news_publicaffairs/details/2020/8/25/1860743/-الشعب-يريد-إسقاط-النظام-تجدد-مظاهرات-ليبيا-ومهلة-٢٤-لاستقالة-الوفاق-فيديو-‎
Last edited on 25 March 2021, at 14:47
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