Coronavirus: Mahmoud Jibril, Former Libyan PM, Dies from Virus

  • "He started . . . recovering the day before yesterday but then he began deteriorating again."
  • The Emirati Foreign Minister, Dr. Anwar Gargash, also tweeted his condolences.
  • Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, also extended her deepest condolences.

The former Libyan Prime Minister, Mahmoud Jibril, succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The death was officially announced on Sunday by his party, the National Forces Alliance. The leader is said to have suffered cardiac arrest. Three days later he tested positive for the virus. 

Mahmoud Jibril was a Libyan politician who served as the interim Prime Minister of Libya for seven and a half months during the Libyan Civil War, chairing the executive board of the National Transitional Council (NTC) from 5 March to 23 October 2011. Jibril was the head of one of the largest political parties in Libya, National Forces Alliance.

The former Prime Minister spent ten days in isolation in Ganzouri Specialized Hospital in Cairo. The hospital director said that “he started . . . recovering the day before yesterday but then he began deteriorating again.” While at the hospital, Jibril is said to have been in and out of consciousness.

Libya’s High Council of State issued a statement of condolence for the death of the leader, which was directed to his family and members of the National Forces Alliance party. Emirati Foreign Minister, Dr. Anwar Gargash, also tweeted his condolences. “We lost today a good friend, Dr Mahmoud Jibril, the ex-Libyan prime minister who passed away in Cairo,” he said. “The deceased loyally worked for his country and people. True condolences and comfort to the family of the deceased.”

The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Stephanie Williams, also extended her deepest condolences to the former premier’s family, and the people of Libya.

“Dr. Jibril was particularly dedicated to building civil society and promoting the inclusion of women and young Libyans in politics. Dr. Jibril was a friend and mentor to many and participated most recently in the UN-facilitated Political Dialogue Forum. He will be greatly missed.”

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), and novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was first detected during the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

The revolutionary premier had lived in Egypt in recent years after losing power. He ran for a second term as Prime Minister, winning the first round of voting, but was defeated by his opponent, Mutsafa Abushagar, in the second round of voting. Jibril was an economic advisor to Gaddafi’s government in the last years of its rule before he joined revolution in 2011. He served under Gadaffi as the head of National Planning Council of Libya and of the National Economic Development Board of Libya.

Jibril was the head of the National Forces Alliance, a coalition of Libyan liberal parties formed in 2012 that ousted the longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.  He was an interim leader until the country held its first free elections in decades. He served as the Interim Prime Minister for seven and a half months.

Libya has been split between two rival administrations— the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and House of Representatives. The GNA, which is based in the country’s capital, Tripoli, is led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. The House of Representatives, based in the country’s east, is allied to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA).

Libya has so far reported 18 coronavirus cases and one death. The country’s capacity to test the population and to diagnose the virus is extremely limited, and Libya’s health care system that is on the verge of collapsing. The United Nations Migration Agency had warned that an outbreak of the virus in Libya could be catastrophic for the internally displaced people, and around 700,000 refugees and migrants in the war-torn country.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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