Libya, Towards a War of Attrition
Four months after Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) began the offensive
on Tripoli to seize control of the capital from the UN-backed Government of National
Accord (GNA), Western Libya is caught in a war of attrition. The conflict has become
bogged down in a stalemate on the capital's outskirts.
The involvment of external forces has further fueled the conflict. Whilst the United Arab
Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have supported the LNA's military activities, Turkey,
and Qatar have supported the GNA and helped the UN-backed government resist Haftar's
territorial offensives. With France supportive of the LNA and Italy siding with the GNA,
there has been no common EU position.
UN-backed plans for elections to install a new government overseeing all of Libya have so
far failed, and it remains unclear whether any of the country's well-armed factions would
respect any results. According to the WHO the new conflict has left 1,093 people dead and
120,000 displaced and provoked sharp rifts within and among communities in western
Libya, and deepened the divide between the eastern and western parts of the country.
What are the prospects for Libya's conflict? What is the potential impact of a Libyan war of
attrition on Europe? What is the role of the EU and its member states in potentially ending