Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers on the continent. A temporary cease-fire brokered by Turkey and Russia last week appeared to be largely holding as of Thursday despite minor clashes. In November 2019, the two countries reached a maritime delineation agreement which would impact Mediterranean Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and provide Turkey the opportunity to explore and drill for gas and also construct pipelines. In April last year, a Haftar-led push to take Tripoli led to another escalation. The rival administrations are also fighting for control of the country’s oil reserves, the largest in Africa and the backbone of Libya’s economy. Latest news, analysis and comment on defense in Europe and beyond. For Ankara, the survival of government in Tripoli is important for various reasons. This development has further intricated the conflict where multiple powers are involved for various dimensions of interests. Since all opposition groups were oppressed for decades, the power shift presented an opportunity for both moderate and extremist factions to vie for power. Ahead of Sunday’s conference, here’s a brief guide to the Libyan crisis and the conflict’s international dimensions. The UAE has significantly aided Haftar with air support and advanced weapons, according to the U.N. Saudi Arabia has reportedly supported Haftar with generous funds, and Egypt has provided his forces with weapons and support through its porous border with Libya. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Demonstrators picked up arms from government arms depots, and a number of military officials defected. It has now become easier to see Russia’s position as power-broker in Libya with geopolitical lens, beyond its economic and security interests. In the European Union, France and Italy have been deviating from the official line that supports the GNA in Tripoli. The Islamic State briefly gained a foothold but was defeated. The Libyan civil war took place in 2011 as forces loyal to longstanding Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi battled rebels seeking to remove his regime from power. It bet on the al-Sarraj government to secure its interests, including access to oil reserves. Libya is in a state of civil war, with rival militias battling for control of different parts of the country. According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, since April 2019, over 2,600 Libyans including hundreds of civilians have been killed. This month has seen a flurry of diplomacy on Libya. If you do not have a login you can register here. Where Turkey and Egypt are locking horns against each other by supporting GNA and LNA respectively along with their allies, it is imperative to understand the prominence of Russian role which has been a hot debate since Moscow’s deployment of at least 200 mercenaries of Wagner Group which has ties with Kremlin. Change ), Enter your email address to receive our latest pieces in your inbox. ... "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer explained NBC's position at the beginning of a broadcast of the morning show, saying news executives had concluded that the current fighting met the definition of a civil war. Ever since the killing of Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has not seen peace as a bloody civil war has been ensuing between two of the factions for control of the country’s capital. Al-Sarraj’s administration is backed by the U.N. and Western powers including the U.S., but mainly relies on Turkey, Qatar and Italy. Along with skilled snipers, Russia has poured financial support valuing at least $3 Billion for Haftar’s LNA. Despite such significant support, the fact that Moscow is acting as a powerbroker is evident from the fact that it welcomed GNA’s Fayez Al-Sarraj in Sochi in October. Turkey and Qatar, on the other hand, are backers of the Muslim Brotherhood. He officially stepped down from power in 1977, and subsequently claimed to be merely a "symbolic figurehead" until 2011, with the Libyan governmentup unt… Latest news, analysis and comment on security in Europe and beyond. Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi obtained the role of the official ruler of Libya in 1969 by a bloodless coup d’etat against King Idris. Italy, the former colonial power in Libya, sees stabilizing the country as a matter of national security. This paper will describe the Greed versus Grievance Theory and why it is a useful theoretical framework to address the incentives for the outbreak of the 2011 Libyan Civil War. U.N. resolutions name Libya’s state oil company, the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), as the only entity permitted to manage and sell the country’s oil, though there have been attempts by Haftar to break its monopoly. However, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited powers with a stake in the Libyan war to attend a peace conference in Berlin on Sunday, the latest attempt to resolve the nine-year conflict. The Haftar controlled region borders with Egypt and therefore it has been an easy task for Egypt to channel weapons for Haftar’s LNA. Although, the conflict has been going on for the past nine years, the current hostilities are referred to as the second Libyan Civil war which began in 2014. The U.S. officially backs al-Sarraj, but has largely stayed out of the conflict under Donald Trump, though the president stunned allies last year when he praised Haftar in a phone call. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, is recognized by the United Nations and backed by a host of militias. Haftar enjoys the support of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and France. But government forces responded with rubber bullets and water cannons, and after protests only grew, authorities turned to lethal force. Notwithstanding the fact that the regional and extra-regional powers are exploiting the situation for their own interests, the solution lies within Libya. About The AuthorAbubakar Farooqui is the brains behind Rationale 47. In recent years, Libya’s conflict has turned into a proxy war, with a number of foreign powers joining in to defend ideological and economic interests. The French government officially denies supporting Haftar, but views the warlord as the best option to clamp down on extremism. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE see in Haftar an ally against the spread of political Islam and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, which they list as a terrorist organization. The current bout of civil war began a year ago when eastern-based Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar attacked the capital, Tripoli, one of the last remaining strongholds of … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Nevertheless, with so many actors involved, a compromise that balances out interests of various stakeholders can prepare ground for peace which has been absent in the state for the past nine years. POLITICO’s weekly newsletter on campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the U.K. Log in to access content and manage your profile. Several international companies work with the NOC. Notwithstanding the fact that the regional and extra-regional powers are exploiting the situation for their own interests, the solution lies within Libya. They violently protested against the government. By logging in, you confirm acceptance of our POLITICO Privacy Policy. The rival administration in the country’s east is allied with warlord General Khalifa Haftar, who commands the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA). The Libyan Civil War is a direct consequence of the power vacuum created following the death of the long-time strong man of Africa, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011. The conference is a way forward but peace is still a long shot, given the intricacy of the conflict and diverging interests of various stakeholders involved. The Turkish justification offered by president Erdogan stated that the country had an agreement of military cooperation with the legitimate government of Libya and since the UAE and Egypt were pouring in military support against it, Turkey had the right to balance if the Libyan government requested and payed for arms. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, is recognized by the United Nations and backed by a host of militias. Its inaction has increasingly left Turkey and Russia to call the shots in the oil-rich North African state — though their attempt to broker a long-term cease-fire stalled earlier this week. The European Union has struggled to find a unified approach to the crisis in Libya, despite the country’s proximity to its shores. 1980 - Libyan troops intervene in civil war in northern Chad. In 1975 he published his manifesto The Green Book. Migration is another concern; Rome last year renewed a controversial migration agreement with the GNA. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. On the other hand, The GNA has the support of Turkey, Qatar and European Union. Yet with France and Italy backing opposing sides, the EU has struggled to respond to the chaos unfolding in Libya; the French government last year blocked an EU statement calling on Haftar to stop his Tripoli offensive. France’s oil giant ‘Total’ has access to oil fields in the Eastern Libya which are under the control of Haftar’s LNA. He stepped down as expected the same da y and was . Here is What Joe Biden's Victory means for US-Pakistan Relations, Pakistan Ideology: A pillar of National Integration, Pakistan-Bangladesh Rapprochement and the China Factor, Service Road North, I-10/2, Islamabad, Pakistan. To sort out the Libyan civil war, the European Union first needs to sort out another vicious, internecine struggle: the one back home. In April, the Libyan civil war evolved into another violent phase as the country’s strongman, Khalifa Haftar — who some say wants to be the next Gaddafi — attacked the capital Tripoli in an attempt to unseat the UN-recognised Government of the National Accord (GNA). Adding to the mix, Russia’s Taftnet resumed exploration activities late last year. Russia has been accused of deploying mercenaries in the country. In a recent move, Turkish parliament approved deployment of its troops to support GNA against Haftar’s offensive to capture Tripoli. From 1969 until 1975 standards of living, life expectancy and literacy grew rapidly. Learn more abut the Libya Revolt of 2011. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers on French politics. France also has oil interests in Libya. First, the GNA is assisted by Islamist factions, including the Muslim Brotherhood which has been actively supported by Turkey and Qatar in the Middle East, much to the anguish of Egypt and UAE which are bitterly hostile to political Islam in general and Muslim Brotherhood in particular. It began in the middle of February 2011. Libya is a complex theatre of civil war which has been caused by collapse of institutions and generation of power vacuum. Merkel went to Moscow to talk Libya, among other issues, and both al-Sarraj and Haftar traveled to Rome, though they did not meet. He Studies International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Libyan Revolution of 2011 initiated with nonviolent political protests modeled after the events in Tunisia and Egypt, and quickly escalated to a full fledge civil war. Two governments are vying for control of Libya. Confrontation with the US 1981 - US shoots down two Libyan aircraft which challenged its … France is sceptical of radicals Islamists in Tripoli assisting the GNA as counter-terrorism forms the major agenda of French National Security after 2015 Paris attack. succeeded by Ali Tarhouni (Paula, 2011). ( Log Out /  T he last time Libya’s war had the world’s full attention, it was being fought mainly by Libyans. Muammar Gaddafi was the head of the Free Officers, a group of Arab nationalists that deposed King Idris I in 1969 in a "bloodless coup." Explore the live extension of our journalism, The wonk's survival guide to the EU Green Deal, February 4-5 — POLITICO's 2021 EU Studies & Career Fair, Haftar agrees to Libya ceasefire, German foreign minister says, Time to put the European Green Deal into action, Too much even for Merkel: Europe’s 2020 pile-up, 5 things to know about France’s bill to combat Islamist radicalism, EU leaders to line up new sanctions on Turkey at summit. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Rationale 47. The conflict is complex, given the involvement of regional and extra-regional powers which are backing either of the two in the light of their own national interests. Latest news, analysis and comment on migration in Europe and beyond. Stabilizing Libya is a vital security matter for the EU and its member countries. On Feb. 15, 2011, the first civil war in Libya, also known as the Libyan Revolution, began.The Libyan Revolution was fought between Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and opposing rebel forces who wanted to overthrow Gaddafi’s oppressive government. By gaining stakes in the Libyan conflict through mercenaries and diplomatically standing for peace initiatives, Moscow may utilise the conflict for gaining leverage over Ankara in Idilib, Syria and can also pressure European Union for waving off sanctions. Russia, meanwhile, has taken advantage to expand its influence in the region in the absence of unified Western engagement. Al-Sarraj also announced on Thursday that he will attend the talks. There have also been reports of Syrian fighters allied to Turkey joining the fight in support of al-Sarraj. Italy, on the other hand is critical of France’s role in Libya as the North African state was an Italian colony and Rome wants to keep its influence there. An alliance of Islamist militias and their allies from Misrata, Libyan Dawn, took control of the capital, Tripoli, in late August after seizing the airport from its nationalist defenders. Campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the U.K. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers in Europe. Fayez Al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar were also present but did not meet face to face. Nine months on, the offensive has resulted in a volatile stalemate. The GNA, meanwhile, has struggled to assert its authority and is plagued by infighting. General Khalifa Haftar | Abdullah Doma/AFP via Getty Images. elections to be held within a year after that. Haftar left Russia without signing an agreement for a permanent cease-fire, but according to Germany, he backs the existing temporary truce. Since 2016, the conflict has continued to be power struggle between the UN-recgonised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli led by Fayez Al-Sarraj and a retired Libyan general Khalifa Haftar who heads House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk. The Libyan Civil War was a civil war in Libya during the year 2011. He abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951, considering it a neocolonial document. The Turkish government has already provided Tripoli with equipment such as drones. Russian mercenaries, a CIA-linked general and lots of oil: Explaining Libya's war Published Wed, Jan 29 2020 2:11 AM EST Updated Thu, Jan 30 2020 1:12 AM EST Natasha Turak @NatashaTurak Egypt has also been essentially deploying Sudanese militia in support for Haftar’s offensives. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday traveled to Benghazi to meet Haftar, and said the general had agreed to travel to Berlin. As per the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker, the civil war in Libya has created over 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers, while more than 268,000 people have been displaced. The operation, codenamed "Operation Dignity" by Haftar, began when Libyan National Army forces attacked units of the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, the Libya Shield No. Second, Turkey’s renewed resolve in Libya is both a geopolitical and economic adventure aimed at securing its share in Mediterranean energy. The rival administration in the country's east is allied with warlord General Khalifa Haftar, who commands the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA). A peace conference is underway in Berlin aimed at ending years of conflict in Libya. Talks on Libya are set to be held in the German capital on Sunday as part of the so-called Berlin process, a German-led mediation effort launched last year in support of the U.N. peace process. Haftar has captured Libya’s so-called oil crescent, where most of the hydrocarbon reserves are located. ighters loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) patrol an area south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on January 12, 2020, Campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the EU. ( Log Out /  In a recent development, Germany invited all stakeholders in the Libyan crisis including Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Algeria and Morocco alongside five permanent members of the UN security council. Drafts can be proposed but are of little significance in practice when a state has no mechanism to implement them. Given its successful intervention in Syria, its stake in the conflict cannot be neglected. Weapons proliferated in the rebellion’s aftermath despite an embargo. Libya is a complex theatre of civil war which has been caused by collapse of institutions and generation of power vacuum. The war-riven country currently serves as a major departure point for irregular migration from northern Africa to Europe, in particular Italy. Fighting was largely confined to the south western Benghazi districts of Hawari and Sidi Ferej. Fighting forced Eni to suspend production at one oil field several times over the past months, and the precarious situation also delayed a deal between the Italian company and BP to boost production. Moscow may utilise the conflict for gaining leverage over Ankara in Idilib, Syria and can also pressure European Union for waving off sanctions. The Libyan conflict refers to the ongoing conflicts in Libya, beginning with the Arab Spring protests of 2011, which led to a civil war, foreign military intervention, and the ousting and death of … However, USA’s role has been dubious with officially supporting the GNA but also voicing support for Haftar’s offensive. Besides ideological reasons, Turkey has another reason to support the GNA: Ankara and the al-Sarraj government recently signed a contentious maritime boundary agreement that would see Turkey claim parts of the eastern Mediterranean, an area thought to contain vast gas reserves, as its own. Rome considers Haftar’s role critical in stemming immigration to Italy which has been one of its major concerns. The prominence of Russian role has been a hot debate since Moscow’s deployment of at least 200 mercenaries of Wagner Group which has ties with Kremlin. The regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi, however, violently resisted the uprising, leading to civil war and international military intervention. Many Libyans were inspired by the uprisings in neighbouring countries, such as Tunisia and Egypt. The war has taken a heavy toll on Libyan civilians, who have been subjected to shelling near the front lines, injuries from explosive devices, and kidnappings for ransom. Mr. Haftar, who controls most of the Libyan Territory and is commanding Libyan National Army (LNA), a belligerent of the civil war against Sarraj’s government in Tripoli is backed by Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. The war lasted over eight months until Gaddafi was captured and assassinated in October of that same year. The GNA is … Fayez Al-sarraj, prime minister, Government of National Accord of Libya | Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit. In-depth reporting, data and actionable intelligence for policy professionals – all in one place. The GNA government not only hosts a large number of Turkish workers operating its oil refineries but guarantees  oil supplies to Ankara worth $20 Billion. Two governments are vying for control of Libya. In 2018, Total acquired 16% shares in Libya’s Waha Concessions by purchasing Marathon Oil Libya Limited. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. That day, they were hit by airstrikes launched The more active role Moscow assumes in Libya, the more pressure regarding possible severe ramifications will be felt in European capitals. Talks to de-escalate the hostilities are set to be held in Berlin on Sunday. It is, therefore, not hard to imagine, what Haftar’s capture of Tripoli would mean for Turkey. Therefore, we now are justified in referring to the Libyan conflict, flat out, as a civil war. Turkey’s renewed resolve in Libya is both a geopolitical and economic adventure aimed at securing its share in Mediterranean energy. Libya Revolt of 2011, popular uprising in Libya inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Both sides enjoy the support of foreign powers. It was reported that the UN-recognised GNA led by Sarraj was being militarily supported by Turkey and in June 2019, Turkey officially confirmed the reports. Violence escalated in 2014, and after disputed elections that year the country became split between two administrations, with al-Sarraj taking the helm of the GNA in 2016. Libya is also awash in weapons, and though the Islamic State affiliate there was defeated, extremism remains a concern. ( Log Out /  Sunday’s conference brings together many countries with stakes in Libya. LIBYAN CIVIL WAR 6 . The reports by UN panel in the past revealed that the arms embargo imposed on Libya in February 2011 by the United Nations, was repeatedly and bluntly violated by foreign states. The Libyan conflict is the result of a complex and controversial series of developments, where local political events have been strongly influenced and driven by exogenous factors. Putin’s Russia is on the resurgence in the International Politics particularly after the events of 2014. Latest news, analysis and comment on elections in Europe and beyond. Libyan Army General attacks Islamist groups in Benghazi. 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