Divisions within Libya’s civil war have been amplified by foreign-sponsored disinformation campaigns. Reconciliation and peacebuilding will require local actors to reclaim Libya’s digital spaces.
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The rapid gains of Libya's Government of National Accord have pushed rebel leader General Khalifa Haftar's forces out of large swathes of western Libya, further shifting the balance of this geostrategic competition.
Libya's civil war has become an increasingly competitive geostrategic struggle. A UN-brokered settlement supported by non-aligned states is the most viable means for a stable de-escalation, enabling Libya to regain its sovereignty.
The absence of state administration, both during the colonial period and since independence, defines this region. But when limited administration has existed, whether from the formal state or from various armed groups that operate there, it has been marked by continued competition over natural resources and land use between traditional chiefs, cross border traders, and rebel leaders. Inhabitants themselves have also played various roles in civil and proxy wars here. While a large economic development project failed to bring much needed assistance to the region, the recent discovery of gold has led both to conflicts and to newfound wealth.
Libya has been carved into multiple tribal fiefdoms whose economies depend on internal and external flows of income, licit and illicit. The political rise of the previously marginalized Toubou by leveraging their control of the smuggling economy, for example, reveals the many ways local conflict dynamics influence and are influenced by external forces including organized crime. It also exposes the resulting disincentive the various parties have to rebuild a unified nation. Identifying and addressing the many layers of internal and external involvement in Libya’s fractionalization will help transition the “patchwork state” to a central state.
Internal and external actors in Libya have pushed varied, divergent agendas, and the country has been unable to form a unified political system. Criminal and violent extremist groups have flourished and begun to monopolize black market activities. If their economic control hardens, it may persist beyond the eventual formation of a government and make a Libyan government more difficult to finance and stabilize in the long run.
The fall of Gaddafi in Libya facilitated a significant increase in smuggling and trafficking throughout the Trans-Sahara region. This includes the transport of drugs, counterfeits and contraband, weapons, and migrants. Terrorist and militant groups have become increasingly involved in these networks as a means to fund their operations. The increase in illicit activities has been... Continue Reading
African governments face a fast-evolving array of digital threats from espionage, critical infrastructure sabotage, organized crime, and combat innovation.
A wide spectrum of credibility marks the 13 African elections slated for 2021. This has direct implications for the legitimacy of the leaders that emerge and their ability to navigate the security challenges they face.
Composed of distinct operational entities, the militant Islamist group coalition Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen serves the role of obscuring the operations of its component parts in the Sahel, thereby inhibiting a more robust response.
A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.
Rising violence by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel is straining intercommunal tensions, threatening the foundations of social cohesion in the region.