The two rival Libyan central banks (CBL) apparently have ironed out their disagreements and agreed to circulate banknotes both from the bank in the east situated in Bayda and also from the west situated in Tripoli.
The UN, the Libyan Government of National Accord and the international community for the most part recognize the Tripoli-based central bank as the sole legitimate bank.
The bank is receiving bank notes printed in the UK. The rival bank in Bayda in the east set up by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) has already received notes printed in Russia and they are being distributed in the east.
A recent tweet said following a meeting between officials of the two banks: " Very short conclusion - agreement to share/distrubte newly printed banknotes jointly. 50m LYD on way to Tripoli, Libya".
The eastern banknotes had previously been declared "counterfeit' by the US Embassy in Tripoli and had also been rejected by the GNA, but after a meeting with the Bayda bank officials the government reversed position. This probably did not sit well with either the US or the UN.
The UN has specifically warned parties that they should only deal with officials from the GNA and not from parallel institutions. The HoR is a parallel government and its central bank a parallel institution. Pragmatism no doubt trumps principles in this case, as Libya faces a shortage of cash that has reached crisis proportions with demonstrations and huge queues at banks to withdraw cash.
The Libya Herald reports that the governors of the two banks agreed that they would work together as a team and design a "unity plan" for the whole economy. Governor of the Bayda CBL Ali Hebri, met with the governor of the Tripoli CBL Saddek Elkaber in Tunis.
The two agreed that their banks would accept imported currency from either side. Apparently, 50 million of the dinars printed in Russia have been sent to Tripoli from Bayda. The two agreed not to attack each other in the media. It is not clear whether Hebri's initiative was approved by the HoR. HoR tried to fire Elkaber back in September of 2014 but he did not step down and is recognized by the UN and GNA now.
In Tripoli at least the crisis is far from over. One tweet provides photos of queues and line ups:"Nadia Ramadan @NadiaR_LY 4h4 hours ago.This is how a bank in #Tripoli look like today. The Liquidity crises remains unsolved #Libya." Another tweet complained: "Son queued frm 10am until 4pm to withdraw money from bank . . . returned empty-handed #Tripoli #Libya". Perhaps the crisis will ease soon. Ramadan begins tomorrow.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.