Libya

  • Illicit Trafficking and Libya’s Transition: Profits and Losses

    By Mark Shaw and Fiona Mangan, U.S. Institute of Peace | February 2014 — Illicit trafficking of drugs, people, arms, and goods have become a major source of revenue for the numerous militias and armed groups in Libya as well as a driver of competition and corruption within the post-Qadhafi political order. Such activities are complicating an unstable transition and the development of new state institutions. Stronger efforts to promote inclusivity among constituents and business opportunities in key trafficking regions, especially in border areas, may undercut illegal economic activity and weaken armed actors. Additional improvements in the security sector may also reduce the “protection” market controlled by militias, thereby incentivizing demobilization of some armed groups.

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  • Seeking Security: Public Opinion Survey in Libya

    By National Democratic Institute | November 2013 — A series of public opinion surveys conducted by NDI in May and September 2013 assessed the attitudes of Libyans towards the post-Qadhafi political transition. While the surveys found that Libyans’ trust in the General National Congress, which has governed the country since 2012, was declining, most Libyans also held negative perceptions of militias and saw disarming these groups as the country’s number one priority. Encouragingly, affiliation with emerging political parties tends to be based more on policies and platforms than local or tribal ties, and the majority of respondents favored the establishment of quotas to ensure the representation of women and ethnic minorities in the constitution-drafting assembly.

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  • Building Libya’s Security Sector

    By Frederic Wehrey and Peter Cole, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | August 2013 — Years after the fall of the Qadhafi regime in 2011, Libya’s new security services remain outnumbered and outgunned by multiple armed militia groups across the country. Resulting problems include a worsening spiral of violence in the country’s east and weak border security, which has led to a boom in illicit trafficking. In order to rebuild its security sector, the Libyan government needs to establish a new security architecture with clear authorities and coordinating mechanisms; speed militia integration, demobilization, and pension plans; and improve recruiting, vetting, and training of new forces.

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  • Fault Lines of the Revolution: Political Actors, Camps and Conflicts in the New Libya

    By Wolfram Lacher, German Institute for International and Security Affairs | May 2013 — Two opposing camps are emerging in Libya’s fragmented political landscape, each featuring a wide range of shifting factions and interests. Representatives of “revolutionary” forces seek root-and-branch reform of the political and business elite to their advantage. They face a heterogeneous camp of more established actors who fear further loss of influence following the collapse of the Qadhafi regime. This rift runs through the General National Congress, between individual cities and tribes, and divides elements in the security sector and business community. The rivalries tend to focus on local issues, and therefore are unlikely to translate into national level fissures. However, establishing structures of accountability and forums for dialogue can bridge rifts and foster a shared vision of the country’s future.

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  • Libyan Islamists Unpacked: Rise, Transformation, and Future

    By Omar Ashour. Brookings Doha Center, May 2012. Multiple, diverse Islamist influences are shaping post-Qadhafi Libya. These include the Muslim Brotherhood, which emulates the moderate, political party model of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change, formerly a violent anti-Gaddafi militia; and an amorphous Salafi movement which has long been nonviolent but lacks organization. Although certain Libyan Islamists fought in Algeria, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, this experience strengthened the dedication of many to a peaceful political process in Libya. Overall their experiences with al Qaeda and AQIM have not been positive and most seek to be inclusive and gain legitimacy both nationally and internationally. Download the article: [PDF]
  • Libya: Post-War Challenges

    Misrata was heavily damaged by fighting during the 2011 Libyan civil war. (November 2011) By African Development Bank, September 2011. The replacement of the Qadhafi regime in Libya will not eliminate the patterns of patronage in existence since 1969. Only an integrated and systemic interweaving of various social, political, legal, and economic initiatives can prevent backsliding to authoritarianism. The key to success will be political governance matched by economic reconstruction and by legitimacy for those in charge of the post-conflict governing structures. Download the Article: [PDF]

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