Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Mohamed Eljarh writes for Foreign Policy on whether Libya’s central bank will be able to survive the ongoing conflict in the country:
Coverage of Libya tends to focus these days on airstrikes, gun battles, and warring militias — correctly enough, since these are also the things that tend to loom large in the lives of Libyans. Yet even amid the current chaos it’s important to remember that the country still has institutions, and that their continued existence is crucial to the survival of the most basic mechanisms of modern life. One prime example is the central bank.
Like comparable institutions around the world, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is supposed to provide conditions for the smooth functioning of the national economy. Yet Libya today, with its two rival parliaments and two rival governments, is deeply divided. Now the CBL, which has been operating with an unclear mandate since the 2011 uprising that overthrew the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi, finds itself under corresponding stress. Will it fall a victim to the same conflict that is paralyzing the country’s political life?