The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Challenges: Libya continues to face several challenges in its post-2011 revolution transition to democratic rule. For Libya to progress along the path of sustained peace and increased prosperity, it is necessary to overcome the lack of political, social and economic inclusion, which has become more pronounced in the transition period. Libya also faces a host of challenges in establishing credible justice and security institutions. In the absence of a state monopoly on security throughout the country, armed groups have varying levels of responsiveness to civilian authorities. Attempts have been made to integrate armed groups into national security forces, but in many cases, militias or semi-official forces that are highly factionalized provide local security. In this environment, Libya has emerged as both a transit hub for foreign fighters and a permissive environment for terrorist organizations and transnational criminal networks.
Goals: Since 2012, the U.S. Department of State has focused on developing the Libyan civilian security sector’s strategic planning capacity. On April 27, 2018, INL signed a Letter of Agreement with the Government of Libya defining mutual priorities for INL support to the Ministries of Interior and Justice. The near-term development priorities are to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice by rehabilitating and refurbishing the existing training facilities, providing basic training equipment, and developing training curricula and training police and judicial police officers. Future programming will continue efforts to support the modernization and development of legitimate criminal justice institutions in Libya.
Accomplishments: INL is a key supporter of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Joint Program on Policing and Security. This project is laying the groundwork to reactivate policing, and criminal justice services in Tripoli. Through this project, the Libyan Police finalized a specialized curriculum for foot patrol officers, and a Training of Trainers in support of this curriculum for 40 police officers. In December 2018, INL supported the first group of corrections officials from Libya to attend training seminars at the International Corrections Management Training Center in Canyon City, Colorado. INL also supported a United States Institute of Peace (USIP) assessment of 17 of the 20 Ministry of Justice (MOJ) prisons in Libya, as well as several non-MOJ controlled facilities. Based on the assessment’s recommendations, the MOJ closed several sub-standard prison facilities and began implementing other recommendations to improve policies and process of existing prisons. Through INL support, USIP also conducted 12 workshops throughout Libya to bring together government, civil society, and legal actors to promote common understanding of the rule of law. With INL’s support, USIP also conducted the following assessments in Libya: 1) Analysis on Illicit Trafficking and Organized Crime; 2) Analysis of Tribes as Security and Justice Actors in Libya; and 3) Analysis of Local Civilian Policing in Two Libyan Cities. These assessments have helped INL and the Department to identify additional program interventions for the Libyan criminal justice sector.