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CrisisWatch Libya

Unchanged Situation

Forces aligned with eastern-based strongman Gen Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) 2 June moved into strategic towns of Waddan, Hun and Sawkna in central desert region of Jufra, clashing with rival coalition Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) which includes members of jihadist group Ansar Sharia; twelve killed. LNA forces supported by Egyptian airstrikes 3 June took over Jufra air base, ousting Misratan forces and their allies including BDB. In Benghazi in east, after two days of heavy fighting LNA 24 June said it had gained control of central Souq Al Hout neighbourhood, one of last two districts where it still faced armed resistance; at least thirteen LNA fighters reportedly killed. Militia in al-Zawiya city in north west shot dead two members of rival militia 3 June sparking heavy clashes. Under amnesty law promulgated by eastern Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Brigade that controls town of Zintan in west said it had freed Seif al-Islam Qadhafi, son of former President Qadhafi, 9 June after over five years in captivity. Protesters in Bani Walid in west 24 June called for Seif al-Islam Qadhafi to lead country. UN Security Council 20 June approved appointment of former Lebanese Culture Minister Ghassan Salamé as new UN envoy for Libya, replacing German diplomat Martin Kobler. Unidentified gunmen 28 June opened fire on UN political mission (UNSMIL) convoy on coastal road west of Tripoli, no casualties reported. Eastern-based govt broke off ties with Qatar 5 June following Saudi Arabia and allies (see Qatar).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Jul 2017
We are already seeing signs that [attempts by ISIS remnants to influence and win over groups opposed to General Khalifa Haftar in Libya] may have already happened. AP

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
29 May 2017
The fact Egypt has a free hand to carry out these strikes [in Libya] is a cause of concern for those political and military forces on the ground that are opposing Haftar. Middle East Eye

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
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

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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New Libyan Militia’s Oil Strike Risks Wider Conflagration

Libyan factions are once again fighting for control of key oil installations in the Gulf of Sirte’s “oil crescent”. The latest offensive risks reducing Libya’s oil production and is undermining efforts to broker a peace deal. In this Q&A Claudia Gazzini, Senior Analyst for Libya, assesses the fallout.

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.

Oil Zone Fighting Threatens Libya with Economic Collapse

New clashes over Libya’s oilfields could wreck the fragile remains of the country’s economy. Beyond security help, international actors must support compromises on state financing between the opposing factions and help pull Libya back from the brink.

Also available in العربية

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Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya