Government and International Response Falls Short of Helping Internally Displaced Libyans

(Washington, D.C., 4/20/2022) – The Libyan American Alliance (LAA) applauds the relentless advocacy efforts of Eastern government representatives currently living in exile – including the elected mayor of Benghazi and other council members who fled the East – who advocate on behalf of the internally displaced in Libya, and welcomes the statement of interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh expressing interest in further engaging with leaders and addressing the situation faced by internally displaced people (IDP). However, LAA is deeply concerned by the Libyan government’s limited response to the dire humanitarian crisis faced by those displaced, and it is imperative that substantive action be taken by the Libyan government and the international community to address this protracted crisis which has persisted since 2011.

In a statement by leaders advocating for the protection of IDPs in Libya, representatives called on the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity (GNU) to fulfill their responsibility to ensure the protection of IDPs, and encouraged displaced families to advocate for their rights. Specifically, the leaders called on the GNU to “fulfill its obligations and pledges owed to the displaced people of the Eastern region since 2014, and to solve their accumulated problems, and especially the financial obligations.”

In response to these developments, LAA’s Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi stated: “Mr. Dbeibeh’s engagement with the protesters and acknowledgement of their urgent needs is a step in the right direction that should be followed by immediate action, especially during the Month of Ramadan and the upcoming Holiday season. It is time for these families to receive actual relief and not just empty promises.”

LAA encourages continued dialogue with IDPs, close collaboration with local and international non-governmental organizations, and the development of a robust response plan that reflects international humanitarian law and the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to address this crisis. Further, LAA calls on the United States to continue its work advancing democracy, peace, and human rights in Libya by facilitating discourse with IDP communities, directing resources to support IDP relief efforts on the ground, and advancing the Libya Stabilization Act of 2019. 

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