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War in Libya and Its Futures – Tribal Dynamics and Civil War (1)

Tribalism in Libya’s civil war is a powerful dynamic that must be analyzed and understood before endeavoring foresight. Libya comprises 140 tribes, of which an estimated 30 to 40 have political influence, making it “one of the most tribal nations in the Arab world” (Kurczy and Hinshaw, The Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2011; Varvelli, ISPI, May 2013). As a result, if a few or many of them side with one or the other warring groups, then this will impact the war. Tribal identity and its product of favoritism are dynamics that can have a profound effect on political allegiances (see section on Creating Grievances). Because tribes are inclusive and often have extended familial ties, they are naturally predisposed to favoritism […]

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Scenarios for the Future of Libya within the Next Three to Five Years

Now that we have identified and understood the actors in Libya’s civil war (see State of Play), we may outline the various scenarios regarding Libya’s future within the next three to five years. A civil war with two rival governments, armed coalitions, jihadists, and various tribes creates a complex climate, and we have constructed initially […]

Signal: U.S. air strikes kill IS fighters in Libya

Impact on Issues ➘➙ ➃/➄ The Islamic State at War /Libya The war waged by the Islamic State goes on…  and the situation in Libya is not yet pacified. Both the war in Libya and the activity of the Islamic State (and al-Qaeda) must continue being monitored.   U.S. air strikes kill 17 Islamic State […]

Final Scenario for the Future of Libya and their Likelihoods

Having evaluated the likelihood for each scenario for the future of Libya (see detail here), we shall now present updated likelihoods that account for changes that have taken place since we began the evaluations. Because both intervention and spillover are already undoubtedly occurring in Libya, our scenarios are now considered sub-scenarios of Scenario 2: Intervention […]

Signal: Libya’s Council of Representatives Dialogue Committee Abandons Peace Negotiations

Impact on Issues ➚ ➀ / ➄ Failed peace talks / Continued war in Libya On Monday 16 October 2017 evening, the Council of Representatives (COR) dialogue committee suspended its participation in the Tunisia-hosted peace negotiations with the Government of National Accord (GNA). For previous and other signals check the Horizon Scanning Board According to the […]

Signal: Rival Libyan Governments Remain at Odds Over Haftar

Impact on Issues ➙ ➀ / ➄ Stalled peace dialogue / Continued war in Libya On Monday, the head of the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) High Council of State—Abdulrahman Swehli—reiterated the continued inability of the GNA and the Council of Representatives (COR) to agree on General Haftar’s role in a united government. For previous and […]

Signal: Libya’s Largest Tribe Poses Challenge for a Peaceful Solution

Impact on Issues ➙ ➀ / ➄ Hindrance to effective peace talks / Continued war in Libya Recent statements by the elders of the Warfalla tribe highlight an underlying challenge to Libyan peace talks—tribalism. Under the umbrellas of the rival Libyan governments lie a host of tribes that are simultaneously competing for influence and power. The […]

Signal: Libya and Italy Increase Efforts to Combat Migrant Smuggling

Impacts and Consequences If the planned center truly becomes operational and efficient, which cannot be estimated with confidence currently considering unknowns, Increased likelihood to mitigate spillover from the Libyan conflict Facts and analysis Related Final Scenario for the Future of Libya and their Likelihoods; Estimating Likelihoods (detailed): Scenario 2 Increased Spillover and Partition; Narratives Sc 2.2 (2), […]

The Islamic State in Libya – Force, Fighters and Tribes

What is the current state of play for the Islamic State in Libya, and, most importantly, how can it evolve? The question is increasingly relevant considering the rising possibility of an international intervention in Libya against the Islamic State, a complex matter considering notably the questioned domestic legitimacy of the new U.N.-prompted Government of National Authority (GNA) (e.g. APA, “Libya unity gov’t approval postponed indefinitely“, 19 April 2016), despite strong pressure imposed on Libyans to recognise it, such as the U.S. President “Executive Order — Blocking Property And Suspending Entry Into The United States Of Persons Contributing To The Situation In Libya” (White House, 19 April 2016). Is the Islamic State’s threat in Libya hyped and “not a realistic fallback” for a Khilafah, furthermore […]

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Potential Futures for Libya Series – Features of a War

The fall of Muammar Gaddafi and his revolutionary regime in 2011 has ushered in an era of factional violence between city militias, military units, and Islamic and nationalist brigades. According to LibyaBodyCount.org (see detailed bibliographic reference below), 1,741 Libyans have been killed in violent clashes or assassinations from January to September 2014 alone. Although the site’s body […]