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Shifts in the Libyan Civil War

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 16, 2020

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.

Geostrategic Dimensions of Libya’s Civil War

Africa Security Brief No. 37   published by Tarek Megerisi on May 18, 2020

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.

Tubu Trouble: State and Statelessness in the Chad-Sudan-Libya Triangle

Recommended research   published by Jerome Tubiana and Claudio Gramizzi, Small Arms Survey/HSB on June 30, 2017

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: The Politics of Power, Protection, Identity and Illicit Trade

Recommended research   published by Tuesday Reitano and Mark Shaw, Crime-Conflict Nexus Series No. 3, United Nations University Centre for Policy Research on May 31, 2017

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.

Libya, Extremism, and the Consequences of Collapse

Recommended research   published by The Soufan Group on January 27, 2016

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.

Libya: A Growing Hub for Criminal Economies and Terrorist Financing in the Trans-Sahara

Recommended research   published by Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime on May 31, 2015

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

Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa

Infographic   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on September 14, 2020

A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.

What the Coronavirus Means for Africa

Spotlight   published by Shannon Smith on February 4, 2020

Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.

Threat from African Militant Islamist Groups Expanding, Diversifying

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on January 18, 2020

Militant Islamist groups in Africa set a record pace of activity in 2019, reflecting a doubling of militant Islamist activity from 2013. Expanded activity in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin underscores diversification of threat from Somalia.

Responding to the Rise in Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Africa Security Brief No. 36   published by Pauline Le Roux on December 2, 2019

Reversing the escalating violence of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel will require an enhanced security presence coupled with more sustained outreach to local communities.