Since the fall of Ghaddafi’s regime 2011, Libya has been politically unstable. In 2014, two factions began vying for power, one in the east in Tobruk and one in the west in Tripoli. The western faction known as the Government of National Unity (GNU) is led by UN-backed Prime Minister Dbeibeh. The eastern faction is led by Prime Minister Bashagha. Eight years later and the country is still without a president or stable government and the people are growing more discontent. The power is going out, the country is haemorrhaging money, and nothing is being done. Meanwhile, the factions are focused more on fighting for power than doing what is best for the people.
Key Judgement 1: It is unlikely that the two government factions of Libya will reach an agreement in the next 6 months.
- The main point of friction between the two parties is on eligibility criteria for the president. The GNU refuses to allow former military members and dual citizens to be eligible. This is squarely targeted at Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the LNA and a key ally of Bashaga. (Source)
- Across Libya, citizens have grown tired of both political parties due to their inability to reach an agreement. The lack of progress for years has led people to begin protesting across the country. (Source)
- Negotiations surrounding the constitutional framework in early June were largely unsuccessful. The two parties were only able to agree on 137 constitutional articles out of 195. (Source)
- The most recent talks held in late June in Geneva also ended without a resolution. The two parties agree on many points such as delineation of provincial territory, distribution of seats for the legislature, and distribution of powers between various executive authorities, among other things. However, the two parties were still unable to reach a consensus on the constitutional framework for presidential elections. (Source)
Key Judgement 2: It is likely that Bashagha’s ties to the Libyan National Army will gain him more international support over the next 6 months.
- Bashagha’s party is closely aligned with Haftar and with the Libyan National Army. The LNA played a key role in the 2011 revolution and continues to be closely intertwined with the country’s future. (Source)
- In 2019 Russia’s semi-clandestine tool of foreign policy, Wagner Group began training and working with the LNA. Together they secured Libya’s largest oil field in 2020. Wagner had been active in the country until early 2022, when Russia recalled them to fight in Ukraine. (Source)
- The United States has chosen to invite the LNA to participate in Phoenix 22. Phoenix 22 is a large-scale multi-national military training exercise with participants from 12 countries. (Source)
Key Judgement 3: It is likely that there will be a decrease in stability throughout Libya over the next 6 months.
- Libyan experts briefed the United Nations Security Council in late June of this year on the current political climate. They described the situation in Libya as, “unstable, mired in leadership uncertainty, continued violence and women omitted from political processes.” (Source)
- Libya has lost US$3.5 billion due to the LNA’s forced closures of oil refineries. As a result, the National Oil Corporation declared force majeure on many of their contracts. Subsequently losing over 865,000 barrel exports a day. (Source)
- The lack of state revenue and domestic fuel has resulted in routine country-wide power outages. Some power outages last up to 12 hours and are a key demand of the protestors. (Source)
- Small-scale armed conflict has erupted in Tripoli as a result of Bashagha trying to seize the city from Dbeibeh. 16 people were killed with another 52 injured, including some civilians. (Source)
Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 25th of July 2022