Is Libya becoming the ‘next Syria’?

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Is Libya becoming the ‘next Syria’?

Libya, long after Gaddafi’s days so far, the country is sliding from crisis to crisis. In spite of considering the country was one of the most stable and economically forwarded nations of Africa a few years ago. The country is reserved with oil and natural gas, which is located on the Mediterranean coast. Things took another deviation in 2011 which completely affected the fall of Libya and its situation. Muammar Gaddafi, the most celebrated North African-Arab commander and one of the longest-serving non-royal leaders, was killed at the end of the civil war led by forces seeking to oust his government, which broke the country to pieces and became the least secure; socially, economically and politically, around 80 billion dollars of  GDP in 2008 dipped to 33 billion dollars by the end of 2019.

After the assassination of Gaddafi in 2011, Libya went through the hands of Islamic extremists like Islamic State, Al Qaeda and a lot of the militant group’s poor governance, corruption, and insecurity which destroyed the nation. Within reach of 2020, the country is ruled by two different governments – United Nations recognized Fayez al Sarraj’s government of national accord ruling and representation from Tripoli and the other one is ruled by Khalifa Haftar, the chief of Libyan National Army(LNA) recognized by a few nations with huge supporters within the country, where 80% of the land is governed by LNA. Haftar served as a general under Gaddafi before he was exiled to the United States in 1987 he returned to Libya during the first Libyan civil war, which overthrew Gaddafi from power, and later Haftar refused to follow the Government of National Accord (GNA) and use his strong militia, which he founded a parallel government that ruled from Benghazi.

The Libyan civil war is not just internal conflict, like in Iraq and Syria where superpowers have a clear interest in Libya’s oil and natural gas. They provided weapons and military aid to Gaddafi’s rebels and military troops after Gaddafi’s death. By the end of 2015, the UN recognized the Tripoli government under Sajjar, whereas the U.S. and the European Union recognized them as officials. They fear Hafthar will be a successor to Gaddafi because of his military background and popularity but his strong leadership and stand against Islamic extremists made Hafthar more welcoming to some nations. According to the Washington Post, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and Egypt have developed a strong relationship with Hafthar. The Washington Post reported that Hafthar met the Saudi royals and intelligence chief in Riyadh. Issues arose in the E.U. even though Germany and the U.K. support Sajjar, where countries like Italy in the E.U. stand against Hafthar. An interesting development is that with France they are officially supporting Sajjar but Russia Today reported that Hafthar is using French weapons in his army and is maintaining a strong relationship with France.

By the end of 2019, Turkey made a big move by sending military troops to aid the government recognized by the United Nations, which was passed in the Turkish parliament. This created tension in the area and the world is expecting Syria in Libya, but a conference held in Berlin, Germany in 2020 January relaxed the situation by deciding on political cooperation between the two governments. The future of Libya is still uncertain on its internal as well as external situation, where the chances are arising from the international war in the region between Iran and the U.S. and the division Libya itself and political division are still on!

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