Since its opening in late 2013, LIAS operated primarily from premises located in Tripoli – both in Ben Ashour and in Tajoura. In light of the hostilities that commenced in July of 2014 in Tripoli, it was decided that LIAS should broaden its base of operations and so established facilities in the eastern Libyan cities of Tobruk and Bayda.
Tobruk is a on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt with a population of approximately 120,000. From September 2014, the internationally recognised government of Libya – the House of Representatives – has convened its sessions in Tobruk.
Tobruk was the ancient site of Greek and Roman colonies and more recently, was a strategically important town in the fight for North Africa during WWII. Famously, the Australian 9th Division (known as the “Rats of Tobruk”) endured a massive offensive by Rommel, only to be ultimately overwhelmed by the Axis forces in June 1942.
Modern-day Tobruk includes an oil port terminal linked to the Sarir oil field.
Bayda is a commercial and industrial city in eastern Libya, located in the region of Cyrenaica on the slopes of Jabal al Akhdar. It is the fourth-largest city in Libya, with a population of approximately 250,000. The extraordinary archaeological site of Shahat is located nearby – the Shahat site has the 2,000 year old ruins of the ancient Greek colony of Cyrene.
The decision by LIAS to move to these two locations was in part motivated by the fact that the House of Representatives and its nominated Government had chosen to use these two cities as their bases. Since October, LIAS has had premises in both locations from which it has been able to offer consultancy and logistical support to the government. LIAS further plans to providing training from these locations and is preparing to establish a community library.