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With a certain inevitability, inroads into territory held by Islamic State (IS) in and around the town of Sirte in recent weeks are beginning to bring to the fore the equally serious divisions between Libya’s competing political factions.
If the marginalization of IS in Libya can be achieved, it is a great step forward. But it also removes the main motivation for the recent lull in fighting between forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR) in Tobruk, and elements of the former Tripoli legislature, the General National Congress (GNC).
The UN sponsored creation of a new internationally recognized government under the Libyan Political Agreement (LNA) on 17 December has not made the situation any less complicated. The new Government of National Accord (GNA) is based in Tripoli harbor, but it has no direct control of the capital or anywhere else. The GNA held its first Tripoli meeting in late June, but it is yet to be endorsed by the HOR, which shows no sign of achieving the quorum necessary for such a vote.
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