Libya’s Rival Central Banks Reunify After Split of Almost Decade

Libya’s central bank said it reunited with its breakaway rival after nine years of division, a rare step toward consolidating state institutions in the North African OPEC member battered by long-running conflict, Bloomberg News reported. The announcement followed a meeting between Tripoli-based Governor Sadiq Al-Kabir and officials from the rival regulator in the eastern city of Benghazi. Representatives are now working to address the impact of the split, according to a statement Sunday from the central bank in the capital. The divergence dates back to a 2014 power struggle that saw Libya divided between a United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli and a challenger in the east. Over the following years, which saw a failed attempt by eastern fighters to seize the capital and an eventual 2020 cease-fire, Kabir’s bank remained the one that was internationally accepted. The division impacted issues including the foreign-exchange rate and allocation of oil wealth in a country that’s home to Africa’s largest proven reserves. Kabir has previously said that reunification would finally allow the bank to consolidate monetary policy and eliminate parallel spending. The announcement marks a rare success in bridging one of Libya’s divides and contrasts with faltering UN-backed efforts to end a political impasse. Nationwide elections slated for December 2021 were canceled and the leadership of the country is once again split between a Tripoli-based prime minister and an eastern parliament intent on replacing him. Read more.