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Libya: Eastern Camp Rides the Anti-Qatar Wave with Glencore Crackdown

The latest smear tactic between Libya’s political camps involves Islamist extremism, which by no coincidence was the theme of President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. The “Trump effect” arguably triggered the Qatar blockade, Bahrain’s crackdown on civil society and perhaps even the timing of recent succession moves in Saudi Arabia. Recently, individuals in the

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Libya: Haftar Gains Ground as Opposition Alliances Weaken

The seizure by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) of the highly sought Jufra airbase on 3 June marks yet another turn of the conflict to his advantage. It is unclear why anti-LNA forces, including the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB), retreated, but contacts in the area said that deals may have been struck with locals. Egyptian

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Libya: Balance of Tripoli Militias Could Shift in Haftar’s Favor

Recent fighting in Tripoli has yet again caused the city’s militia dynamics to shift. Groups aligned with the self-declared “government” of Khalifa Ghwell have withdrawn from certain areas, and forces aligned with or ambivalent towards the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) have expanded their control. The GNA’s Presidential Guard, which had been struggling to

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Libya: The Manchester Bombing’s Libyan Connection: Effects on European Policy

A major investigation into the Manchester concert bombing this week that killed 22 people, including children, is continuing with the spotlight turned not just on the city’s large Libyan diaspora population, but also whether the plot can be traced back to Libya itself. A strong Libyan connection to the blast is a worrying prospect for

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Libya: The Growing Sanalla-Presidency Council Dispute

The months-long spat between NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla and the UN-backed Presidency Council took on an explosive turn this week, with Sanalla publicly accusing a European IOC of acting in cahoots with the council to push through the controversial Resolution 270. The resolution would take key oil sector decision-making away from the NOC, vesting more

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Libya: Haftar’s Route to Power: Armed Conflict or the Ballot Box?

Pro-Haftar media have tried to portray last week’s meeting in Abu Dhabi between GNA head Fayez Serraj and Khalifa Haftar, who has opposed the GNA until now, as a buzz-worthy breakthrough. They spun the meeting as having resulted in a power-sharing deal in which Haftar would serve as the head of the armed forces in

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Libya: The Great Man-Made River: A Background Risk to Watch

The GMR, which Muammar Qadhafi liked to describe as “the eighth wonder of the world,” comprises 1,750mi of pipes and remains vital for maintaining water supply to a majority of Libya’s population. At the beginning of the uprising against Qadhafi in February 2011, over 70% of the GMR project, which cost at least $25bn to

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Libya: Kidnappings Soar in Security Vacuum

As Libya’s UN-mediated peace process wavers and the country’s political and security vacuum continues, there are worrying indications of a deeper social unraveling taking place. Kidnappings, many of them politically motivated, have been on the rise across Libya in recent years. But of even greater concern, there has been a spike in abductions for ransom

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Libya: Haftar’s Intransigence: Prospects for Negotiations

Despite hopes by UN envoy Martin Kobler and others that renewed engagement by Russia could help push Khalifa Haftar to the negotiating table to hammer out a power-sharing deal, the Libyan National Army (LNA) leader is more intransigent than ever. As Horizon predicted, Haftar has turned his focus to the south, where he hopes to