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Libya

CrisisWatch Libya

Unchanged Situation

Algeria’s diplomatic initiative, launched mid-Jan to find common ground with Tunisia and Egypt on Libyan crisis, continued after FMs of three countries met in Tunis 19 Feb. Egypt was supposed to host meeting between UN-backed Tripoli-based PM Faez Serraj and east-based strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar mid-Feb, but instead Haftar and Serraj met separately with Gen Mahmoud Hegazy, Egyptian army chief of staff and Cairo’s point man on Libya. Serraj and Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni 2 Feb signed MoU aimed at stemming flow of migrants to Europe; Italy offered to train and equip security forces and coast guard, build migrant holding centres and help put in place technology to secure Libya’s southern border. Anti-Serraj factions in Tripoli said Serraj did not have authority to sign MoU and appealed against it in court. Military factions tied to Serraj’s rival Tripoli-based PM Khalifa Ghwel 9 Feb said they had created Libyan National Guard, umbrella force that explicitly challenges UN-backed Presidential Guard. Serraj-led Presidency Council 12 Feb declared Libyan National Guard illegal, but latter continued to patrol in Tripoli. Rival armed groups clashed in Tripoli 23-24 Feb after one accused other of kidnapping four members, nine people injured in eastern Abu Slim district; Govt of National Accord-brokered ceasefire went into force 25 Feb. Unidentified gunmen 20 Feb opened fire on convoy of Serraj and two allied high-level politicians in Tripoli, no casualty. Security chief of Benghazi in east Salah al-Hewidi, who refused to leave his post after being sacked, reportedly wounded in car bomb attack in Benghazi 22 Feb. Car bomb targeting military convoy 26 Feb exploded in Benghazi’s Al-Hawari district, reportedly killing two. Authorities in east 21 Feb temporarily froze their own 16 Feb directive barring women under 60 from travelling abroad without male guardian, 23 Feb imposed travel restrictions on all citizens under 45. UNICEF 28 Feb reported that women and children migrants trying to reach Europe had been abused and arbitrarily detained including in Libya.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Mar 2017
While the GNA's Minister of Defence in western Libya, Mahdi al-Barghati, supports the [Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB)] ... the Presidential Council has officially condemned the [recent oil] attack. AFP

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
28 Feb 2017
The fact that [abuse of women and children] has increased so much in this past year or two is also directly related to the deteriorating economic situation in Libya. RFI

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
15 Feb 2017
Whether or not this state of suspended animation marks the beginning of Libya as a 'failed state' depends primarily on its economic standing. AFP

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
27 Dec 2016
The negotiations [over Libyan oil fields] take multiple groups and multiple actors to move things. It’s still a very fragile oil and gas structure. Reuters

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
17 Dec 2016
Amid the uncertainty around the US presidential transition, both sides [in Libya's conflict] risk overestimating their strength and foreign backing. BBC News

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
7 Dec 2016
The retaking of Sirte is certainly a negative blow to Islamic State affiliates in Libya because they will no longer have a territorial stronghold in the country. The Washington Post

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya

Latest Updates

Statement / Africa

Twelve Points for the New African Union Commission Chairperson

Africa is experiencing the highest number of humanitarian crises since the 1990s. As the new chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, takes office, International Crisis Group suggests how he can strengthen the organisation’s response to threats to continental peace and security.

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Libya: Amid Political Limbo, Time to Rescue the Economy

As the UN-backed effort to form a unity government is yet to bear fruit, the conflict in Libya could face further escalation in 2017. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2017 annual early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to first focus on supporting a political settlement, which will contribute to solving the wider issues of uncontrolled migration flows and instability in the region.

After Libya’s Oil Grab, Compromise Could Lead to a Restart of Exports

The seizure of Libya’s main pre-2013 oil terminals by an opposition force is a blow to the authority of Libya’s fledgling UN-backed Presidency Council. But smart compromises might help restart the flow of oil, as Crisis Group’s Senior Libya analyst Claudia Gazzini explains in this Q&A.

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Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
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