Weekly Security Update

Political

Prime Minister Ali Zidan and the majority of his cabinet were sworn in during an official handover ceremony on 14 November.  The new cabinet was however sworn in without five of its proposed members, one having resigned and four others, including the proposed Minister of Interior, Ashour Shuwail who was ruled unfit for office by the integrity committee.  One of the first discussions by the new government was how to proceed with writingLibya’s new constitution. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the proposed 60-member body tasked with its drafting should be nominated by the assembly, or elected by the people. The body will have twenty members each from Libya’s three main provinces.

Zidan and his government met officially for the first time on 18 November, according to his office’s website. A handover ceremony was held earlier in the day in which the outgoing Prime Minister, Abdul Rahman Al Keeb symbolically handed over a plaque of Libya to Zidan.  The new Prime Minister has identified security, reconstruction, economic development and health as the main priorities of the new government. Zidan also made assurances that his government would quickly restore security and stability and strengthen the National Army.

The Libya Herald reported that the National Assembly has prohibited local council elections from taking place, until after the ratification of a constitution. The decision is meant to bring a semblance of unity and structure to Libyan governance, according to the report.  Separately, Human Rights Watch has called on Libya's new government to honour its legal obligations by setting free those people who are ‘detained illegally’ claiming that around four thousand prisoners are in government custody without charge, with another four thousand being held by paramilitary groups, under no legal authority.

On 19 November, Press Solidarity reported that the National Assembly officially condemned the ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Representative Hassan Sititeh said a delegation will visit Gaza to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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