The chaos of Libya


The end of the chaos in Libya is nowhere in sight, with major powers siding with one side or the other in the ongoing armed conflict in the country and preventing the UN Security Council from imposing at least a ceasefire.

The situation in Libya deteriorated further in the wake of the attack launched by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar against the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez Al Sarraj in the capital city Tripoli, where the legitimate government is established.

When the UK tried to stop the fighting and have the UN Security Council adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Russia and the US joined forces to oppose the resolution and blocked its adoption. Moscow has tilted towards Haftar from day one, but for the US to also take sides with Haftar was a big surprise, until it was disclosed that President Donald Trump is warming up towards Haftar, for oil reasons no doubt.

Since the toppling of the late Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi in 2011, major powers have been vying for influence in Libya; not out of love for its people or its better interests, but rather because they all covet the richness of the country’s oil reserves.

Against this backdrop, the endgame for the Libyan crisis remains open to conjecture. Yet, with Trump openly supporting the rebel forces of Haftar against the UN-recognised GNA’s forces, it is now within the realm of the probability that Haftar’s regime will eventually gain the upper hand in the conflict.

With the UN Security Council being unable to act on the crisis due to the joint objections of Moscow and Washington, it is the fighting on the ground that is going to determine the future of the country, and not the legitimacy of the combatants on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Arab world remains on the sidelines of the crisis, as the last Arab summit in Tunis was not able to pronounce itself on the conflict in a meaningful way. For the time being, the Libyan people will have to pay the price of the chaos in their country and remain its main victims.


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