Battle For Tripoli Rages On

General Haftar chose war over talks in a bid to unite the country under his leadership. His prospects for success are uncertain, but the risk to Libya’s vital oil sector is real.

It took Libya’s eastern-based General Khalifa Haftar three years to seize Benghazi from Islamic militants and one year to take Derna in the east. But his recent operation which swept through the sparsely-populated lawless south lasted just two months.

His self-styled ‘Libyan National Army’ (LNA) now faces its biggest challenge yet with the 4 April launch of its operation to ‘liberate’ Tripoli ( MEES, 5 April ). While some commentators suggest Mr Haftar’s offensive was a ploy to gain more leverage in a now-cancelled national peace conference, his steadfastness so far paints a different picture.

As MEES went to press, forces aligned to the Tripoli-based internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) were battling LNA units just 11km outside the city center. But victory for Mr Haftar isn’t certain. (CONTINUED - 944 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Libya Crude Output Rebounds To 1.1mn B/D In March On El Sharara Restart (Mn B/D)