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A Light in Libya’s Fog of Disinformation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 9, 2020

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.

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

Tunisia in Crisis: An Explainer

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 30, 2021

Tunisia is facing a constitutional crisis rooted in challenges to the separation of powers and the reach of executive authority. The outcome has implications not only for Tunisia but prospects for democracy across North Africa.

Tunisia’s Evolving Counterterrorism Strategy

Spotlight   published by Anouar Boukhars on July 16, 2021

To build on its commendable counterterrorism progress, Tunisia needs to elevate its prevention efforts and strengthen oversight mechanisms to prevent abuses by its security forces.

Chinese Security Firms Spread along the African Belt and Road

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on June 15, 2021

The deployment of Chinese security firms in Africa is expanding without a strong regulatory framework. This poses heightened risks to African citizens and raises fundamental questions over responsibility for security in Africa.

Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on May 3, 2021

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the ongoing instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent military coup d’état led by the late president’s son risks deepening political violence in this geographically strategic country.