Militias and ISIS lead to Libya’s instability

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The  civil war in Libya has worsened with different militias engaged in fighting to seize the power in the country but this has also resulted in providing  the space to the ISIS and Al-Qaeda jihadists in a big way.The ongoing civil war  started after the ouster of long-time Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi in 2011.The United States started bombing the  tumultuous region of Libya  and Tunisia to eliminate ISIS infrastructure, camps  and their fighters  .

With an aim to unify the conflict-ridden country of Libya  and drive out the Islamic State  and Al-Qaeda terrorists ,United States under a UN led initiative is engaged to bring the warring factions into a unity  government but the endeavour to unify Libya is being derailed by various political and militarized factions. It is pertinent to mention that Gaddafi had already warned that “he is the one who is controlling the militias and the Islamists  and if he is eliminated the country will run into chaos.”

The growing Libyan National Army- Misratan  militias conflict is providing ISIS to consolidate their position and expand their areas in the country with the migration of 7000 Islamic State fighters from Iraq,Syria and Tunisia.

Political leaders based on town, tribe, personality  and religious ethnicity  centred around Tripoli and the eastern city of Tobruk  are fighting for supremacy .The attempt by UN led German diplomat Martin Kobler to form a   is being violently opposed by the faction that controls Tobruk based House of Representatives .The US launched 496 precision airstrikes during the nearly five-month operation, dubbed Odyssey Lighting.

The situation in Libya continued to pose a threat  to US national security  in spite of the success of GNA-aligned forces ,backed by American air strikes in ousting the so called ISIS from Sirte. Outgoing US President Barack Obama has extended the US emergency in respect to Libya beyond 25 February 2017 and Donald administration will have to take  call in accordance with policies that may pave way for stabilizing the country.

The original sanctions were enacted against Gadhafi and his administration when they took extreme measures against protesters during the 2011 revolution. Obama stated that  action was needed to “protect against the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Gaddafi’s family and other regime officials”.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist


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