The Changing Trends in Libyan Civil War
Hirak Jyoti Das, Research Associate, VIF

The civil war in Libya has its roots in the 2011 Arab Spring protests against the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The protests began after Day of Rage was announced in Benghazi on 17 February 2011 and quickly spread to other parts of the state. The uprising at the nascent stage witnessed a heavy inflow of weapons, the sudden formation of militias largely on tribal allegiances, coordinated action etc.1 This indicated a pre-planned effort backed by foreign actors, rather than a spontaneous movement, to utilize the momentum of the protests to topple the Gaddafi government. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces’ air cover was crucial for the militias to capture Tripoli on 24 August 2011.2

The post-Gaddafi political context is marked by intense civil war between General Khalifa Haftar led government in eastern Libya based in Tobruk and internationally recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj based in Tripoli. The conflict escalated after Haftar’s renewed campaign to take control of Tripoli in April 2019. The ongoing civil war is driven by political competition over state institutions, resources etc. among armed opposition or militia groups as well as conflicting strategic interests of foreign actors. The paper seeks to explore the changing trends in the Libyan civil war and unearth the role of foreign actors since April 2019.

Uneasy Transition Process

In the post-Gaddafi period, the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) government received prompt recognition by foreign actors and Organisations including the UN on16 September 2011.3 However, large swaths of Libyan territory were essentially under the control of numerous militia groups dividing the state into numerous fiefdoms. In the absence of central authority, the militias dissolved and regrouped into new formations to maximize their political and military gains.

On 8 August 2012, NTC handed over the political authority to the newly elected 200 seats General National Congress (GNC). The GNC reserved 120 seats for independent candidates and 80 seats for political parties. Among the 80 seats reserved for political parties, the National Forces Alliance secured 39 seats and Muslim Brotherhood associated Justice and Construction Party secured 17 seats. 4Consequently, the house was closely divided between the nationalist bloc and the Islamic bloc. The GNC on 23 December 2013, in an unpopular decision, agreed to extend its term by one more year to oversee the new election and the constitution drafting process. 5This decision led to a new political crisis bringing General Khalifa Haftar into the political limelight.

General Khalifa Belqasem Haftar re-entered Libyan politics during anti-Gaddafi protests with an anti-Islamist agenda. Haftar in May 2014 formed the Libyan National Army (LNA) by combining militias, irregular troops and army officials from the eastern region. On 16 May 2014, he launched Operation Karama (Dignity) to carry out assaults against the Islamist militias such as Ansar al-Sharia, Libya Shield 1, and February 17th Martyrs Brigade in Benghazi district.6 Several Islamist militias formed coalitions and Operation Libya Dawn was launched to counter Haftar and his allies. 7

Meanwhile, on 25 June 2014, the nationalist bloc close to Khalifa Haftar gained a majority in the House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Under the new circumstances, the former GNC members largely linked to the Islamist bloc and based in Tripoli refused to concede defeat and hand over power to HoR effectively leading to two rival governments and parallel administrative bodies. Both governments and their allied militias were supported by the Central Bank of Libya and National Oil Corporation revenues. While Haftar and his allies called GNC members as terrorists, the Islamists claimed Haftar as anti-revolutionary and a Gaddafi loyalist. 8 Therefore, the weak performance of the Islamist bloc in HoR; GNC’s refusal to hand over power to HoR and Haftar’s campaign against Islamist groups ignited the civil war.

The UN in order to bridge the difference between the two rival governments instituted the internationally recognised interim government called Government of National Accord (GNA) in late 2015. Fayez al-Sarraj was appointed as the Prime Minister of GNA and Chairperson of the Presidential Council (PA). The GNA shifted its base from Tunis to Tripoli on 30 March 2016.9 A large number of GNC members integrated into the GNA’s consultative High Council of State. The HoR and Haftar, however, refused to accept the GNA’s legitimacy claiming the new government as a mere rebranding of Islamist dominated GNC.10 Haftar also feared that the GNA would curb his political powers and limit LNA’s foothold.

The rival governments and its external backers were largely pre-occupied with containing the Islamic State (IS) as well as frequent internecine conflicts among rival factions between 2015 and 2018. On 4 April 2019, Haftar decided to re-orient its attention towards capturing Tripoli from the internationally recognised GNA. The foreign actors in this light have supported and funded rival governments leading to further conflagration of the conflict.

Map: Areas of control in Libya


Map by: Elora Chakraborty
Adapted from: The Economist; Link: https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/01/23/khalifa-haftar-the-libyan-warlord-is-not-interested-in-compromise

The Role of the Foreign Actors in Post-April 2019 Conflict

In terms of regional actors, the support for the rival governments is based on economic and strategic interests as well as ideological orientation i.e. the role of political Islam in post-Gaddafi Libya. Qatar and Turkey opined that the presence of moderate Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood is indispensable in democratized Libya. Haftar at the same time is seen as a bulwark against the entrenchment of Islamists in Libyan politics by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan. 1112 The rhetoric of terrorism has been regularly used to delegitimize the Islamist politicians in GNA.

France, Russia and the United States (US) have officially supported the UN mediation efforts; however, these states have indicated their support for Haftar and the government in Tobruk. France blocked a European Union (EU) statement on 10 April 2019 calling Haftar to halt military advance towards Tripoli.13 French missiles have been identified in pro-Haftar bases.14 Russia blocked a similar UNSC statement on 7 April 2019. 15 Russian mercenary organization, Wagner Group has sent snipers to augment Haftar’s ground forces. It has also sent Sukhoi jets, precision-guided artillery etc. during the 2019 conflict. Russia has indicated its preference for the strongman, Haftar in order to establish complete control and secure stability.16 However, support for Haftar has only aggravated the ground situation. Russia emerging from the Syrian battlefield is seeking to regain its strategic foothold as well as assume a preponderant role to influence the outcome of the conflict. The US’ disinclination to directly get involved in Libya has also encouraged Russia to play a more active role.

The US policy towards Libya is marked by contradictory and mixed messages. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo opposed Haftar’s military offensive on 7 April 2019. Pompeo during his speech, pushed for political solution rather than military action to ensure security, stability and prosperity. 17 The US, at the same time, dismissed UNSC Resolution Proposal to criticize Haftar and reach ceasefire on 18 April 2019. 18 After Haftar’s attack on a migrant centre in Tajoura, Tripoli that killed 53 people on 2 July 2019, the US called the incident as abhorrent. It however refused implement the ceasefire. 19 The US President Donald Trump noted that Haftar’s role is crucial in fighting against terrorism and regaining oil assets. 20 From Italy’s perspective, oil firm ENI’s operations in Libya has been affected by Haftar’s April 2019 expedition and employees were forced to leave. Haftar presently controls a large section of Libya’s oil network and he is seeking to capture the Greenstream pipeline that channels oil to Italy. Therefore, Haftar’s role in disrupting ENI’s presence as well as his attempt to take control of the key pipeline has nudged Italy towards supporting the GNA. 21 Italy has also favoured political stability under GNA to check the flow of refugees arriving at the Italian coastline.

Prior to Haftar’s military offensive against GNA on 4 April 2019, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Sudan intensified military support. It has been reported that Saudi Arabia offered millions of dollars to pay for the campaign. 22 Turkey has also increased its support to the GNA during the latest escalation. GNA has however, stressed that the arms purchases from Turkey are legal and necessary for defensive purposes. 23

Turkey and GNA’s interests have aligned due to ideological solidarity as well as vested strategic interests. On 28 November 2019, Turkey signed a controversial maritime agreement with GNA to demarcate the maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea between both states. The deal was aimed at gaining access to the gas reserves in the East Mediterranean region. 24 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj also signed an agreement on military and security cooperation and eventually in the first week of January 2020, Turkish soldiers landed in Tripoli to boost support for GNA to fight against Haftar’s LNA. 25

Several commentators have noted that Turkey’s intervention in Libya has its basis in Erdogan’s ambition to revive the Ottoman legacy. Erdogan, in order to justify the intervention, took recourse to history suggesting that Libya was one of the last Ottoman territories. He also evoked the contribution of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who served as an Ottoman soldier in Libya during the 1911-1912 Italo-Turkish war. Turkey is, therefore, seeking to restore its historic role in the region and the Muslim world. Erdogan’s assertive foreign policy is also motivated by electoral calculations. The ruling Justice and Development or AKP Party’s weak performance in March 2019 local election and the poor state of the economy have driven Erdogan to emphasize on nationalism and glorification of Turkey’s imperial past to appeal to his right-wing political base. 26

Turkey’s direct military entry has propelled international efforts to solve the crisis. Meanwhile, covert and overt weapons and logistical supplies from foreign actors have continued. On 8 January 2020, Turkey which backs GNA and Russia that backs Haftar launched 930 km TurkStream pipeline carrying gas from Russia to southern Europe through Turkey. 27 Both states despite their strategic differences in the Libyan as well as in the Syrian battleground have developed cordial relations and Turkey has emerged as a lucrative market for Russian armaments. During the meeting between Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both states urged the warring sides to accept a ceasefire scheduled for 12 January 2020.28

Haftar is, however, determined to neutralize the rival government in Tripoli and rejected Russian and Turkey’s overtures calling for a ceasefire. Khalifa Haftar’s spokesperson, Ahmad al-Mesmari argued that the continuing assault against GNA forces is necessary for Libya’s stability which could be achieved by “eradicating terrorist groups and the dissolution of the militia controlling the capital, Tripoli”.29 GNA, on one hand, agreed to a conditional ceasefire provided Haftar’s forces vacate from southern Tripoli. Haftar, on the other hand, has demanded the dissolution of militia groups allied to GNA; withdrawal of Turkish troops from Libya and cancellation of the security and maritime agreement between Turkey and GNA. 30 The ceasefire, therefore, could not be implemented and both sides blamed the other for violating the truce.

The latest conflict that broke since April 2019 has killed around 280 civilians and 2000 fighters and displaced 146,000 people. 31 Haftar’s forces in order to intensify pressure on GNA blocked the major oil terminals in eastern Libya and halted exports in Brega, Ras Lanouf, Al-Sidra, Al-Hariga and Zweitina ports on 18 January 2020. It led to a drop in oil flow from 1.2 million barrels per day to 320,000 barrels per day incurring a loss of US$ 256 million within a week on 25 January 2020. 32 The NOC on 17 February 2020 reported a loss of US$ 1.6 billion due to halt in oil supplies. 33

Table 1: Indicates States supporting GNA and states supporting
Khalifa Haftar

Berlin Conclusions

On 19 January 2020, Germany hosted the representatives of Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Congo, the UAE, the United Kingdom (UK) and the US and High Representatives of the UN, the African Union, the European Union, and the Arab League to discuss on reaching a peaceful outcome on Libya. The summit conclusions emphasized that only Libyan led and owned political process could end the conflict. The summit appealed to international actors to comply with the UN arms embargo and desist from interfering in Libya’s internal affairs as well as the armed conflict. 34 Earlier on 26 February 2011, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 1970 to prevent the supply of arms to and from Libya. The foreign actors have repeatedly flouted the UNSC Resolution and justified supplying arms to ‘actors’ to protect themselves from Gaddafi government’s actions. 35 The arms inflow continued in the post-Gaddafi period which has contributed to the present crisis. The Berlin Conclusions suggested punitive sanctions against those found guilty of breaching the 2011 UN arms embargo.

The Berlin summit also covered de-escalation and ceasefire efforts; dissolution of militias and integration into civilian, military and security institutions; safeguarding Central Bank of Libya and the National Oil Corporation (NOC), strengthening transnational justice institutions etc. Crucially, the Berlin Conclusions created an International Follow-Up Committee (IFC) comprising of participating states and Organisations as well as a Joint Military Commission (JMC) i.e. 5+5 committee nominated by the two parallel governments to conduct the dialogue.36 The summit emphasized on the role of foreign actors and suggested practical measures at the national level such as the JMC. GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Haftar did not directly participate in the discussions but they met with foreign leaders separately and agreed on the terms of the Berlin Conclusions. 37

The peace on the ground level, however, remained fragile and Haftar has continued assaults against GNA in western Libya. On 27 January 2020, Haftar’s forces advanced towards Misrata city and took control of Abugrein town. GNA succeeded in recapturing the town and during the clash, 3 GNA fighters were killed and 28 were injured.38 Haftar, therefore, is unwilling to accept political compromise and control over Tripoli remains his end goal. The recent escalation immediately after the Berlin Summit reflects the incapacity of the foreign actors to completely steer the course of events in Libya. Both France and Russia are permanent UNSC members who have sided with Haftar. Russia, however, failed to pressurize Haftar to accept the ceasefire.39 It indicates that despite the support of foreign powers, the internal actors have preserved substantial autonomy in political and strategic decision-making.

On 2 February 2020, the ten-member JMC nominated by GNA and Haftar held the first round of talks in Geneva, likely due to international pressure. 40 Both sides agreed to hasten the return of the internally displaced people, however, they could not agree on a common strategy. For Haftar, the success of the military campaign is incomplete without controlling Tripoli. Al-Serraf’s GNA government at the same time is determined to push Haftar’s forces out of western Libya and return to pre-April 2019 position. 41 The talks therefore, did not lead to a breakthrough. The two sides in effect agreed to the talks only to keep the diplomatic momentum rather than halting the fight. The talks have eventually collapsed after Haftar’s latest attack on Tripoli port on 18 February 2020. 42 Therefore, the fragile truce appears to be untenable at the present.

The lack of genuine political will and strategic calculations of the foreign actors that benefit from the power tussle between Tripoli and Tobruk governments paints a pessimistic picture in terms of resolution of the conflict. In this context, the subject of election and constitution-making could be utilized to reach a common ground and deliberate on a mutually benefitting power-sharing process. Earlier on 20 February 2014, the Constituent Drafting Assembly was elected under GNC’s supervision. In the 60 member assembly, 20 each were elected from three regions namely Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. On 29 July 2017, the constitution draft was approved by 43 out of 60 votes. However, nine members from Cyrenaica or eastern Libya and five members from Fezzan or southern Libya boycotted the vote over uneven distribution of wealth and differences over minority rights.43 Additionally, several HoR members have rejected the constitution. 44

The parliamentarians, especially from the eastern region, suggested that instead of a nation-wide referendum to approve the constitution by a two-thirds majority; individual votes should count on the basis of the three regions. It would allow one region to veto the constitution passed by the other two regions. The obstacles to facilitate a constitutional foundation to Libyan polity have therefore, yet to be overcome. Thus, there is a need for dialogue/ discussions on reaching a consensus on drafting, framing and approval of a new constitution that could potentially unite the majority of Libyans behind a single authority. Moreover, resumption of the electoral process could be another viable arena in which the warring sides could reconcile their differences. United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame in late 2018 expressed hope that elections could be held in 2019.45 The prospect of the elections however, remain bleak due to Haftar’s renewed campaign since April 2019. A popular social media campaign called ‘Constitution First’ has suggested that holding an election before accepting the constitution would only drag the transitional process and the armed conflict. 46 There is a need for serious consideration by Libyan and foreign actors to restart the constitution framing process to resolve the complicated issues of power-sharing, fair distribution of resources and reaching a common ground on Libya’s political future.

India’s policy perspective towards Libyan civil war

India, after the outbreak of protests in Libya, abstained from voting on UNSC Resolution 1973 that authorized use of force against Gaddafi’s security forces on 17 March 2011. According to C. Raja Mohan, India’s policy was driven by national interest and suspicion about the use of force by western actors in internal conflicts especially in the West Asian region.47 India recognised the interim NTC government on 16 November 2011. India also offered US$ 1 million in cash to support the UN Office of Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid’s efforts in Libya. In January 2012, India supplied US$ 1 million worth of medicines and medical equipment to Libya.

India and Libya maintained regular bilateral visits between 2012 and 2014. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahamed visited Libya between 14 and 16 April 2013. Between 15 and 18 December 2013, a high-level security delegation visited Tripoli to explore areas of possible bilateral cooperation in the field of security through capacity building. From the Libyan side, Ambassador Ramadan Rahim, Director General (Asia) in the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs led a five-member team to India in September 2012 to increase cooperation between Diplomatic Academy of Libya and Foreign Service Institute. The Deputy Chairman of the High National Election Commission of Libya visited and signed an MOU with Election Commission of India in November 2012. After GNC took control in Libya, an 11-member parliamentary delegation paid a study visit to in April 2013 to understand India’s parliamentary procedures. Business leaders from both states also maintained regular meetings to intensify economic cooperation. 48

India’s diplomatic outreach towards Libya was however, affected after Haftar took control of eastern Libya and launched a military offensive against Islamists in April 2014. India was therefore, forced to evacuate its embassy to D’jerba in Tunisia in August 2014 and later to Malta. India’s total export to Libya in items such as stone, plaster, tobacco, coffee, drugs and pharmaceuticals was at US$ 122.58 million in 2015-16. India’s import from Libya especially in petroleum and aluminum ores was at US$ 8.86 million in the same period. 49

India has supported international efforts to resolve the crisis in Libya. It has offered support to the internationally recognised government of Fayez al-Sarraj. In order to renew ties with Libya, Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju visited Tripoli on 8 and 9 May 2018 and met with Interior Minister of the Presidential Council, Abdul-Salam Ashour. The Libyan leader welcomed Indian companies to resume its work and requested the Indian government to re-open the embassy in Tripoli. 50 Rijiju during his visit also met with the Indian diaspora working in the Arab state. The renewed vigour to strengthen ties with Libya however, dampened after Haftar re-launched military campaign in April 2019. India’s then External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj took immediate steps to evacuate 500 odd Indian nationals working in Tripoli. Indian government offered emergency flight services for Indians willing to leave the state. 51 India at the present continues to emphasize on diplomatic means to solve the crisis and it has continued to support the GNA government.

Conclusion

The conflicting political aspirations of the two rival governments in Libya seeking to overpower one another have prolonged the civil war causing insurmountable damage to life and resources. The fragmented nature of militias with numerous factions has further complicated constructive dialogue. Officially, the external actors have opted for peaceful mediation efforts to resolve the crisis, however, lack of political will compounded with ideological and strategic interests have hindered real progress. Foreign actors have been pushing for a ceasefire while supplying and actively pitching one side against another. The signatories are not likely to dilute support for their respective sides in the civil war. The foreign players, therefore, will continue to influence Libyan affairs for realizing their geopolitical interests.

Berlin conference, therefore, sought to address the conduct of external actors rather than Libyan actors. Broadly, the Berlin Conclusions dealt with curbing foreign arms supply as well as practical steps to be taken to bring the warring sides to the negotiating table. Under the new circumstances, it is extremely pertinent for both Libyan governments to restart the negotiations about the constitution drafting process. It could potentially lay the foundation of a new democratic order in which fresh election could be held. However, based on past experiences, any real progress is unlikely due to Haftar’s unwillingness to accept a political compromise.

Another significant trend in the present conflict is the growth of Russia and Turkey as power brokers. Both Russia and Turkey emerging from the Syrian battleground have re-oriented their focus towards Libya. It is driven primarily by the energy and strategic interests. Russia under the new circumstances is keen to regain its foothold in the region. Turkey, besides energy and strategic interest, is also seeking to restore its historic role in the region and the Muslim world through its assertive foreign policy. Both states are presently supporting opposing parties which could refuel the ongoing proxy war in the Libyan battleground. The interventions by Russia and Turkey have nevertheless offered both states with a veto over the conflict resolution process. Therefore, the strategic conduct of these two states would play a crucial role in shaping the course of events in Libya.

The subsequent section provides a brief timeline of major events between February 2011 and February 2020

Timeline

15 February 2011: Protest rally in Benghazi to demand the release of human rights lawyer, Fathi Terbil

17 February 2011: Protests began after Day of Rage was announced in Benghazi

20 February 2011: Armed opposition groups take control of Benghazi

26 February 2011: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1970 to condemn the use of lethal force by Muammar Gaddafi government and imposed sanctions to prevent the supply of arms to and from Libya.

27 February 2011: National Transitional Council (NTC) formed as the de-facto government and political face of the revolution.

10 March 2011: Gaddafi’s forces manage to re-capture rebel-held eastern towns of Brega, Zawiyah.

17 March 2011: UNSC adopts Resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone and authorized all necessary measures including the use of force to protect civilians. India, Russia, China, Germany, Brazil abstained from voting.

19 March 2011: NATO airstrikes against Gaddafi government’s military targets.

15 March 2011: Gaddafi’s forces withdraw from Misrata

15 August 2011: Opposition militias take control of Gharyan which is 80 km from Tripoli

24 August 2011: Tripoli comes under opposition’s control

16 September 2011: UN General Assembly recognize NTC as the legitimate government.

114 states favour and 17 oppose the resolution.

25 September 2011: Libya under interim NTC government reconvenes oil supply from Marsa el Hariga port to Italy

14 October 2011: Gaddafi’s supporters indulge in a gunfight against NTC’s security forces

20 October 2011: Muammar Gaddafi killed in Sirte

23 October 2011: The Chairperson of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil declare the liberation of Libya

7 July 2012: Election held for General National Congress (GNC)

8 August 2012: NTC hand over power to GNC

4 May 2013: GNC pass Political Isolation Law to bar officials who worked under Muammar Gaddafi regime

23 December 2013: GNC extends its term by one more year

14 February 2014: General Khalifa Haftar calls for the dissolution of GNC

20 February 2020: Constituent Assembly election

16 May 2014: General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of Libyan National Army (LNA) launches Operation Karama (Dignity)

22 May 2014: GNC announces to conduct the election

25 June 2014: Election for the new parliament

13 July 2014: Islamists launch Operation Libya Dawn

26 July 2014: The US evacuate its embassy from Tripoli

4 August 2014: Nationalist bloc dominated House of Representatives (HOR) take over as the legislative authority

12 August 2014: Pro-Haftar, Chief of Tripoli Police, Col. Muhammad Swaysi killed

23 August 2014: The coalition of Islamist militias, Libyan Central Shield takes control over Tripoli International Airport. Islamists eventually take control over Tripoli and HOR is forced to flee to Tobruk by early September 2014.

13 November 2014: Islamic State (IS) head, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announces creation of new provinces in other Arab states including Libya. IS claim control or presence in Al Bayda, Sirte, Benghazi, Al Khoms. Sabha, Derna

2 March 2015: The Tobruk based government appoints Khalifa Haftar as the Army Chief

14 March 2015: Battle of Sirte begins between Islamic State and pro-Libya Dawn forces

17 December 2015: Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in Skhirat, Morocco to form unity government namely, Government of National Accord (GNA)

30 March 2016: GNA shifts its base from Tunis to Tripoli

2 April 2016: The National Oil Corporation (NOC) announces that it would function under the GNA’s Presidential Council

5 April 2016: The National Salvation Government under GNC announces resignation and agrees to integrate with the High State Council in accordance with LPA

29 July 2017: The constitution draft approved by 43 out of 60 votes

17 December 1017: General Khalifa Haftar nullifies the LPA

7 May 2018: Battle of Derna begins between Haftar’s forces and IS

29 May 2018: The warring sides based in Tripoli and Tobruk agree to conduct the election in December 2018

12-13 November 2018: Palermo Conference to resolve the Libyan crisis

16 January 2019: General Haftar’s LNA proceeds to the south to take over oil fields

25 January 2019: GNA and LNA sign ceasefire agreement to share control over Susah port

4 April 2019: Haftar’s LNA proceeds towards Tripoli and captures Gharyan

6 April 2019: LNA Air Force imposes no-fly zone over Western Libya

7 April 2019: GNA launches Operation Volcano of Anger to recapture territories in Tripoli; Russia blocked a UNSC statement calling Haftar to halt military advance towards Tripoli

10 April 2019: France block a European Union (EU) statement calling Haftar to halt military advance towards Tripoli

2 July 2019: LNA airstrikes on Tajoura migrant centre, Tripoli killing 53 and injuring 130 people

29 July 2019: The head of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salame introduces three-point Libyan Peace Plan to UNSC

11 August 2019: Temporary truce between GNA and LNA on the occasion Eid al-Adha

13 August 2019: GNA announces that it has killed six UAE soldiers in Al-Jufra airbase

1 October 2019: LNA launches artillery attack on Mitiga airport in Tripoli with help from the UAE

28 November 2019: Turkey sign a maritime agreement with GNA to demarcate the maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea

12 December 2019: General Haftar announces the final offensive to take over Tripoli

21 December 2019: LNA seize a Grenada flagged vessel with a Turkish crew

2 January 2020: Turkish parliament approves sending troops to Libya to support GNA

4 January 2020: A military school attacked in Tripoli killing 30 and injuring 33 people by Haftar’s forces

6 January 2020: Turkish troops land in Libya

8 January 2020: Russia and Turkey set 12 January 2020 as ceasefire deadline

18 January 2020: Haftar’s forces block the major oil terminals in eastern Libya and halt exports in Brega, Ras Lanouf, Al-Sidra, Al-Hariga and Zweitina ports

19 January 2020: Berlin Summit

27 January 2020: Haftar’s forces clash with GNA’s forces near Misrata killing 3 and injuring

28 GNA fighters

2-8 February 2020: The ten-member Joint Military Commission (JMC) nominated by GNA and Haftar held the first round of talks in Geneva. The talks end without any progress

12 February 2020: UNSC approves Resolution 2510 to call for immediate ceasefire. Russia abstained from voting

18 February 2020: Haftar’s forces attack Tripoli port. Talks are suspended

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(The paper is the author’s individual scholastic articulation. The author certifies that the article/paper is original in content, unpublished and it has not been submitted for publication/web upload elsewhere, and that the facts and figures quoted are duly referenced, as needed, and are believed to be correct). (The paper does not necessarily represent the organisational stance... More >>


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