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Libya

CrisisWatch Libya

Unchanged Situation

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) kept up its offensive to take capital Tripoli from UN-backed Govt of National Accord (GNA) as UN-led efforts to promote ceasefire faltered. LNA deployed more military personnel, reportedly including Russian military aides, to Tripoli front lines from rear bases in east. LNA airstrike 3 Nov hit Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, closed since Sept; LNA early Nov upped airstrikes in southern Salaheddin neighbourhood, forcing GNA to retreat toward city centre; LNA 19 Nov shelled areas in city centre near oil and gas storage tanks; LNA 18 Nov hit factory in southern Wadi Rabia neighbourhood, killing at least ten including foreign workers. LNA also targeted GNA bases and ammunition depots in other regions: LNA hit Misrata airport and weapons storage depot in residential area in Misrata 19 Nov; 14 Nov hit Sirte airport; 28 Nov LNA struck Tebu armed groups loyal to GNA after latter previous day tried to take over al-Feel oil site in south. GNA tried to drum up international support: following interior and foreign ministers’ visit to Washington DC mid-Nov, U.S. State Department issued its strongest statement yet against LNA offensive, also condemning “Russia’s attempts to exploit the conflict”. GNA and Turkey 26 Nov signed security deal and agreement on reciprocal jurisdiction over Mediterranean waters that inflamed tensions with Greece and Egypt. As a result, UN-backed initiative aimed at pushing two sides’ foreign backers to support ceasefire and commit to stop funnelling weapons to Libyan allies faltered. Libyan parties continued to disagree on ceasefire conditions.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

10 Jul 2019
The French need to clarify in greater detail. The open question is whether or not they are actively supporting Haftar’s forces in their offensive on Tripoli. The Guardian

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya
4 Jun 2019
With the GNA and the LNA refusing to halt hostilities and amid diplomatic paralysis, the war in and around Tripoli is likely to drag on. AFP

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya
9 Apr 2019
Haftar is deeply unpopular in many places and given the fragmented state of Libya and the proliferation of armed groups it’s going to be very hard to impose his rule throughout the country. TIME

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
17 Feb 2019
Any effort to unite Libya requires an integrated strategy with a political, security and economic component complementing each other and working together towards a common objective. Al Jazeera

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya
10 Jan 2019
In Libya, there is a view that outsiders are meddling and hence Libyans can’t reach solutions. The Financial Times

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya
5 Sep 2018
In terms of dynamics and movement of armed groups on the ground [in Libya], I would say it’s even worse than 2011 after the fall of Gaddafi. At least in 2011 they had a sense of optimism and respect for one another. Now they are all trying to carve out territory but with deep distrust and animosity with each other. The Independent

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya

Latest Updates

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2019 – Second Update

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The second update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Colombia, Ethiopia, Iran and Libya.

Averting a Full-blown War in Libya

Fighting between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and allies of the UN-backed government in Tripoli threatens a bloodbath and a regional proxy war. Libya’s international partners should urgently take steps to avoid a major battle and get both sides back to the negotiating table under a new format.

Also available in العربية
EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia's uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria's upcoming elections. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short

While Libya’s first reform package since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 has had positive initial effects, more must be done to improve the deteriorating economic situation in the country. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018 annual early-warning update for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to address some of the packages’ core issues and press the government to create more thorough economic reforms.

Also available in Italiano

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions.

Also available in العربية

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Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya