Libya at the crossroads

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For the first time since the revolution and liberation of 2011 the latent conflict between opposing militias has broken out into fighting on the streets of Tripoli in which scores of people have been killed. On 16 November the government announced a State of Emergency in Tripoli following clashes between rival militias which left at least 43 …

Libya: slipping away

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Since the Libyan revolution in 2011 we have consistently taken the view that the constitutional roadmap announced immediately after the liberation of Tripoli has been followed remarkably closely. Political power has been handed over twice without violence, elections were held which were universally regarded as genuine, and the government of Ali Zaidan has a democratic mandate and a …

Libya: faltering

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The abduction and release a few hours later of the Prime Minister Ali Zaidan on 10 October has had surprisingly limited impact in the short term. Assassinations mainly of senior police and military officers in Benghazi have become frequent, seen by some as revenge attacks on former Qadhafi officials and by others as an attempt to destroy the …

Libya: the long arm of the… law?

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On 28 September Nazih Abd al-Hamid al-Ruqai, also known as Abu Anas al-Libi, was reportedly arrested in Tripoli by US special forces and taken on board a US warship where he is now being interrogated. He had been indicted in a New York court for involvement in the 1998 terrorist attack on the US …

Libya: still shaky

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Speaking at the UN General Assembly on 26 September (video at link)  the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan said that members of the former Qadhafi regime living in neighbouring states had been involved in criminal activities which threatened Libya’s security and stability. He called on those countries – interpreted by the Libyan media as Niger, …

Libya: uncertainty

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The Libyan government has been largely unable to deal with a number of serious problems facing it: independent militias, "federalism" amounting to separatism in Cyrenaica, interruption of oil supplies by strikers, power and water cuts, political/tribal assassinations. In a three-minute clip published by the BBC the Libyan writer Ghazi Gheblawi reflects on Libya after the Arab …

Libya: still on the edge

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Sporadic violence including assassinations, probable vengeance killings, continues. The government is making a more consolidated effort to enforce security, but still with only limited effect. A Reuters report quotes Henry Smith of Control Risks: "Libya is essentially beholden to local and regional interest groups… The government doesn't really have the coercive capacity to be able to …

Libya: glass half full?

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Since our posting of 1 August reports from Libya remained mixed with some sign of improvement. The security update published by Libya Business News on 6 August reports "a fractious couple of weeks towards the end of Ramadan with attacks continuing in the east of the country and isolated incidents of violence elsewhere in the country including …

Libya: a crisis point?*

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Libya: a crisis point? There has been a marked worsening of the security situation in Libya in recent weeks, with frequent assassinations and other acts of violence, mostly apparently settlement of scores between revolutionaries and survivors of the Qadhafi regime. The process of constitution-building towards democratic elections has not been derailed but is painfully slow. The government is weak, and progress …

The Arab spring: what next?

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Developments in Egypt have driven even Syria off the headlines, but it is clear that the major changes throughout the Middle East which began in Tunisia in 2011 are still working themselves out. Below are three attempts to take a broader view. The first by Max Rodenbeck Cairo-based chief Middle East correspondent of the Economist attempts a comprehensive survey and concludes that the current feeling that the scorecard looks overwhelmingly negative is only the end of the beginning. The second published on the London Review of …