Women celebrate the liberation of Libya at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli
Women celebrate the liberation of Libya at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli - File photo Reuters

Women in eastern Libya below 60 years of age have been banned from travelling abroad alone by the ruling military. The ban imposed by the military ruler Chief of Staff Abdel-Razek al-Nadhouri was issued due national security reasons, according to reports.

In a televised interview Al-Nadhouri said that women who travel abroad for work are being used by foreign intelligence agencies. The ban was not voted for in parliament, but was first implemented at the Labraq international airport and will affect all passengers transiting through the east.

It will be implemented on travel by land, air and sea.

Activist Imam Bugaighis said in tweet, "It is ridiculous that in 2017 we discuss if it is ok for women under 60 years to travel without a guardian male who might be 20."

Following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, Libya has been divided between two authorities – one that is recognised internationally and based in Tripoli, while the other in the east in al-Beyda.

The eastern authority, under the command of General Khalifa Haftar now has control over areas that stretch from Ajdabiya to Tobruk. The country has two parliaments, each with its own government.

In Libya's current state of political paralysis, Haftar is opposed by Fayyez Serraj's government of national accord, but supported by the internationally recognised House of Representatives in the east.

The UN and the Tripoli government led by Serraj have made efforts to marginalise Haftar, who has been fighting a ground war in Benghazi against an array of Islamic State and al-Qaeda aligned militias since 2014.