Struggles Between BDB and LNA analyzed by Wolfgang Pusztai
Events in Libya are getting more complex by the day, with the power outages leading to new factional fighting in Tripoli and throughout Western and Southern Libya. This is being grafted onto struggles between the Benghazi Defense Brigades and the LNA around Jufra and possibly the oil crescent that have now been ongoing for about a month. The best analysis of the risks of an all out Misrata vs. Haftar war have just been made by the seasons Austrian Analyst Wolfgang Pusztai for the “War is Boring” blog. You can read his stuff here.
Beginning in December 2016, the Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade — an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Tobruk-based Libyan National Army, was involved in the attack on facilities in Libya’s Oil Crescent. The LNA decisively repulsed the attacks. But the wider conflict is only deepening — and could spark a new civil war in Libya pitting the two major claimants to the country’s leadership. Haftar and his allies in Tobruk on one side. On the other, the Government of National Accord in Tripoli….
This steady uptick in direct confrontations between the LNA and the GNA in Misrata points to a new phase of the civil war in Libya — a showdown between the two major military forces in the country. But the situation on the ground in southwest Libya is complex. On both sides there are several groups, each pursuing its own goals. For starters, the Awlad Suleiman, Ghaddadfa, Toubou, Touareg and other southern tribal militias are heavily involved in smuggling, human trafficking and other criminal activities — and fight each other over turf. In 2016 alone, several dozen people died and hundreds were injured in clashes between the Awlad Suleiman and the Ghaddadfa. Misrata’s 3rd Force deployed to Fezzan in southwest Libya in early 2014 as a kind of peacekeeping force, aiming to ensure a basic level of peace and secure the oilfields — oh, and also to evict its rivals from Zintan and prevent the LNA from getting a foothold in the south. Far from being impartial, the Misrata fighters allied with the Awlad Suleiman against the Ghaddadfa and the Toubou.
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