In early April 2019, General Khalifa Haftar instructed the Libyan National Army (LNA) to take Tripoli by force, initiating Libya’s Second War of Post-Qadhafi Succession. Drawing upon the Libya-Analysis proprietary real time militia mapping project, this paper examines the main armed groups involved in the war: ascertaining their strengths, weaknesses, command and control structures, motivations, alliances, military capacities, and financing. It illustrates how all armed groups in Libya exploit the country’s dysfunctional war economy.
Yes. Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, a high-ranking soldier with deep political ambitions, is in many ways representative of Libya and its conflicted character. He rose through the ranks initially under Ghaddafi's protection but fell out of favour during the war with Chad. In 1987, he became a prisoner of war and Gaddafi disowned him.
There are some good reasons, why the Libya Political Agreement (LPA) is in a dead-end road. Several things went wrong in negotiating and implementing the agreement from the very beginning. The delegates participating in the so-called “Libya Dialogue” in Geneva and Skhirat, Morocco, were not representative for the parties on the ground, in particular not for the powerful militias.
Today, Wednesday 25 June, Libyans go to the polls for the second time since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011. The atmosphere surrounding the polls is not one of enthusiasm and participation. Libya is slowly but steadily slipping into a period of protracted violence, if not a full blown civil war. Elections were seen by many as a panacea but they may turn out to be a missed opportunity if no meaningful reconciliation is started and if a low turnout affects legitimacy.
The political developments in Libya are heavily influenced by numerous armed groups. As this will remain unchanged after the upcoming elections it is useful to assess their capabilities, political affiliation, alliances and future intentions.