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CrisisWatch Libya

Unchanged Situation

In south, forces loyal to eastern-based strongman General Haftar continued to clash with forces led by factions from Misrata in west, nominally loyal to UN-backed Presidency Council (PC). Forces aligned with Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) early April tried to seize Tamenhint air base on outskirts of Sabha town from Misratan-led militias. Unclaimed airstrike on prison in Sabha 25 April reportedly killed two guards and three prisoners. Crude oil production and exports fell again due to closures of oil and gas pipelines in west, causing value of Libyan dinar to fall and prices of consumer goods to rise. International Criminal Court 24 April unsealed arrest warrant issued in 2013 for former head of Internal Security Agency Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled for crimes against humanity and war crimes during crackdown on anti-govt protests in 2011. In eastern Tobruk-based parliament House of Representatives (HoR) some 30 MPs including those supportive of current Central Bank governor 25 April reportedly blocked vote to replace him. Representatives of southern tribes 2 April in Rome discussed stabilisation of south and possible border control. Rival presidents of HoR and State Council (advisory body loyal to PC and formed under Libyan Political Agreement) 21 April met in Rome. After offshore gun battle coastguard 27 April seized Congolese and Ukrainian-flagged tankers and detained crews for allegedly smuggling oil.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

23 May 2017
To stop the migrant flows to Libya, we [...] need to deal with the economic problems of the country, because people are [...] smuggling humans, because the country is falling into a deep economic crisis. RFI

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
14 Apr 2017
[The Libyan tribes know that] any attack against [the city of] Misrata could result in a freezing of trade between the north and the south, and people would suffer from that. AFP

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
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

Latest Updates

Terrorism and Counter-terrorism: New Challenges for the European Union

Despite suffering significant blows in Syria and Iraq, jihadist movements across the Middle East, North Africa and Lake Chad regions continue to pose significant challenges. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to prioritise conflict prevention at the heart of their counter-terrorism policy and continue investment in vulnerable states.

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