Assessments

The Man at the Center of Libya's Armed Conflict

Sep 16, 2016 | 08:00 GMT
The Man at the Center of Libya's Armed Conflict
A protester holds an image of Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Benghazi during a demonstration calling for domestic, rather than foreign, military intervention into the city of Sirte, which is held by the Islamic State.
(ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Put simply, Libya is split between east and west: Between August 2014 and April 2016, Libya was divided between the General National Congress, which operated out of the western city of Tripoli, and the House of Representatives, which operated out of the eastern city of Tobruk. For the past year, the United Nations has been trying to form a unity government, the Government of National Accord (GNA), in an attempt to unite the two centers of power. The GNA was formed earlier this year and arrived in Tripoli in March, but it has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives, leaving the country still divided between rival governments in the east and west. Meanwhile, armed groups with shifting allegiances are fighting for territorial control. One of the most powerful, the Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, reportedly just defeated a rival in eastern Libya and took control...

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