Six years after Gaddafi’s death, rival governments bicker as unity talks

Six years after Gaddafi’s death, rival governments bicker as unity talks

It’s been six years to the day since Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels. The ensuing militia-driven violence

A member of the force assigned to protect Libya’s unity government stands at the entrance to where the government has their offices, in Tripoli

Photo: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

It’s been six years to the day since Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels. The ensuing militia-driven violence has given rise to—among other things—an east vs. west rivalry between the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

Since a fateful Paris meeting, the two rival power blocks have taken substantial strides towards a unity deal. However, in a last-minute move on Monday, the Tobruk group suspended its participation in the UN-sponsored talks.

The withdrawal came after the Tripoli government refused to cede control on naming the head of the country’s military—likely a bid to restrict Tobruk-allied strongman General Khalifa Haftar from seizing the position. Mr Haftar, whose forces control two-thirds of the country, has received substantial support from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and has ties to Russia, making him a force to be reckoned with.

Haftar’s attempts to tie himself to Libya’s fate by refusing to relinquish power threatens to reignite conflict if negotiators cannot break the current impasse.

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