The Central Bank of Libya has been reestablished as a single sovereign entity almost ten years after it was divided in two as a result of the civil war.
The governor of the central bank, Sadiq al-Kabir, delivered the statement on Sunday at the bank’s headquarters in Tripoli following a meeting with Deputy Governor Mari Muftah Rahil and department heads from both the Tripoli and Benghazi branches.
In addition to international reserves, the bank houses yearly oil revenues in the billions of millions. Along the country’s larger political fault lines, it split apart in 2014. The bank’s globally renowned headquarters are still in Tripoli, but an eastern branch has been established in Benghazi that is in alliance with the strong military leader Khalifa Haftar.
The oil-rich nation fell into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted by NATO-backed forces in 2011.
In a post on X, Prime minister Abdulhamid AlDabaiba said, “This is a crucial milestone in enhancing the performance of this vital sovereign institution, as we remain committed to integration and bolstering transparency and disclosure measures adopted by our government.”
The central bank signalled its intent to move toward reunification in January 2020 as part of a peace progress after a ceasefire, and instructed professional services firm Deloitte to help with the transition.
The reunification was hailed by the US embassy in Libya, which said that it is essential for the stability and growth of the nation’s economy. The embassy said, “This show of unity sets an important example for reconciliation across all state institutions to build the groundwork toward elections.”
They went on to say, “We encourage CBL leadership to follow today’s productive meeting with concrete measures toward full integration of financial and oversight systems, including by activating the CBL board, strengthening the AML/CFT regime, and addressing past counterfeit currency issuance and parallel spending.”