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Libya

CrisisWatch Libya

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

Fighting intensified over oil installations in Gulf of Sirte and in capital Tripoli where violence risks escalating in April between local forces and factions from Misrata. Armed coalition Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB), comprising mostly fighters from Benghazi opposed to east-based strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar and including members of jihadist group Ansar Sharia, 3 March took over key oil terminals of Sidra and Ras Lanuf, ousting Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). LNA re-took terminals and pushed BDB back to Jufra by 13 March. Eastern Tobruk-based parliament House of Representatives (HoR) condemned attack by BDB, which it considers terrorist group and which enjoys informal backing by some members of rival internationally-recognised Presidency Council (PC) in Tripoli. Several dozen HoR members 7 March voted to withdraw from UN-backed dialogue intended to bridge rift between PC and HoR, however votes insufficient to pass withdrawal from dialogue. Sidra oil terminal 25 March prepared to resume exports. Haftar’s LNA 18 March made advances in Benghazi, reportedly taking over Ganfuda neighbourhood from Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shura Council coalition of Islamist militias. In several neighbourhoods in Tripoli rival armed groups clashed early March: fighting reported between pro- and anti-PC forces allied to rival Tripoli-based govt of Khalifa Ghwel; between Tripoli and Misratan militias, including pro-PC Misratan forces; and between pro- and anti-Haftar forces. Quartet (UN, EU, AU and Arab League) in Cairo 18 March underscored commitment to Dec 2015 Libyan Political Agreement.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
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

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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