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...