Libya, Toward a War of Attrition
- Denis Schrey, Head of the Multinational Development Policy Dialogue, Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung
- Michael Sieveking, Deputy Director, AJC Transatlantic Institute
- Kristina Kausch, Senior Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Mohamed Eljarh, Co-founder and CEO, Libya Outlook Research and Consulting
- Mary Fitzgerald, Journalist and researcher with a focus on Libya
- Hannah Neumann, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/Europe Free Alliance
Four months after Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) began the offensive on Tripoli to seize control of the capital from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), western Libya is caught in a war of attrition. The conflict has become bogged down in a stalemate on the capital's outskirts.
The involvement of external forces has further fueled the conflict. While the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, have supported the LNA's military activities, Turkey, and Qatar have supported the GNA and helped the UN-backed government resist Haftar's territorial offensives. With France supportive of the LNA and Italy siding with the GNA, there has been no common EU position.
UN-backed plans for elections to install a new government for all of Libya have so far failed, and it remains unclear whether any of the country's well-armed factions would respect any results. According to the World Health Organization the new conflict has left 1,093 people dead and 120,000 displaced, and it has provoked sharp rifts within and among communities in western Libya, and deepened the divide between the eastern and western parts of the country.
What are the prospects for Libya's conflict? What is the potential impact of a Libyan war of attrition on Europe? What is the role of the EU and its member states in potentially ending the conflict?
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