Libya: Prior Warnings, International Inaction, and the Battle for Tripoli

With the recent escalation in violence between militias supporting the Tripoli government, and the forces of Khalifa Haftar, there is cause to revisit our previous publication "Libya: The Need for a New International Approach, " and assess what, if anything, has truly changed in Libya.


This report argues that there were warning signs of this escalation, from the paralysis of the international community, to Haftar’s own military gains in the south of Libya last autumn, and the decline in legitimacy regarding the Tripoli government to the internal fighting between militias last August. It is further stressed that the international community should urgently adapt to the empirical reality on the ground, as was originally recommended in LNNIA, in order to avoid further bloodshed.


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Author: Ben Lowings



[2] See:


[4] Ibid.



[7] Which in itself reveals the difficulty posed by the dual-role nature the UN in Libya as both negotiator and human rights observer. This is further discussed in LNNIA.