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CIVIL WAR: After Nearly A Decade Of Division, Libya’s Central Bank Announces Reunification.

Libya’s central bank 

Libya’s central bank announced Sunday its reunification after being split for nearly a decade due to the country’s long-running civil war that resulted in two rival administrations, in the east and the west.

The bank said in a terse statement that it has become a “unified sovereign institution” following a meeting in the capital, Tripoli, between Central Bank Governor Sadiq Al-Kabir and his deputy in the country’s east, Marai Rahil.

The bank said the meeting crowned efforts by Libyan parties and marked the unification of the bank. Al-Kabir and Rahil said they would continue their efforts to address repercussions of the yearslong division, according to the statement. They didn’t provide further details.

The bank is the repository for billions of dollars annually in oil revenue as well as foreign reserves. In 2014, it splintered along the country’s broader political fault lines. The bank’s internationally recognized headquarters remains in Tripoli, while an eastern branch allied with powerful military commander Khalifa Haftar was set up in the city of Benghazi.

The US embassy in Libya welcomed the reunification, saying the step is critical to the country’s economic stability and development.

“This show of unity sets an important example for reconciliation across all state institutions to build the groundwork toward elections,” the embassy said.

It added: “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.”

Libya was plunged into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. The oil-rich North African country has been split between a UN-supported government in Tripoli, and rival authorities based in Sirte. Each side has been backed by armed groups and foreign governments.

Sunday’s announcement, which was welcomed by rival administrations in Libya, came 19 months after the bank started a unification process, commissioning the London-based accounting firm Deloitte to oversee the process.

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