Flyers were circulated on Thursday, August 9, calling for the expulsion of Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Perrone and for street protests to take place in Tripoli on Friday, August 10. There have been several street protests across Libya in recent days targeting Italian interests in the country. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated around protest sites. Further demonstrations are expected in the near-future.
There have been several incidents of anti-Italian sentiment this month. Protests were held on Sunday, August 5, in several western Libyan cities. On August 6, 110 public figures signed a statement demanding the immediate removal of Perrone and a statement from a political coalition, the National Forces Alliance, gave support to peaceful street protests against "the intervention of outside parties." The following day, two Italians were also detained by police along Airport Road in Tripoli and their identification published online.
Recent incidents have been triggered by a local TV interview with Perrone, who said Italy does not advocate holding elections before the end of the year, preferring to "stabilize the country" before a vote. These comments were echoed by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at a press conference in Rome on Wednesday, August 8.
Individuals in Libya are advised to monitor the situation, avoid any public gatherings, and obey all instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.