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Country Report Libya Product Image

Country Report Libya

  • ID: 2101513
  • October 2014
  • Region: Libya
  • 25 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Libyan army, supported by forces loyal to an anti-Islamist general, Khalifa Haftar, have made significant advances in the past week in an offensive on the city of Benghazi, from where they were ousted in August.

Residents of Benghazi have reported that the army now controls around 80% of Libya's second-largest city. Supply lines for the Islamists are cut off, with a naval route to Derna likely to be their only remaining outlet. The momentum is now very much with forces loyal to the House of Representatives (HoR, the internationally-recognised parliament), and they may soon control the entire city and surrounding area. Such a victory would be highly significant, after months of defeats suffered by government forces. It could even allow the parliament to relocate to more familiar surroundings in Benghazi. At present, the HoR meets in the remote eastern town of Tobruq, near the Libyan-Egyptian border.

However, extremist groups, which include Ansar al-Sharia and others, are unlikely to go quietly. Even if the Libyan army succeeds in ousting them, they are likely to resume the wave of assassinations and bombings that blighted Benghazi from 2013 onwards. They may also attempt to relocate to the extremist stronghold of Derna, although they will have to pass through government-held territory.

Country Report Libya

National army advances further into Benghazi
Impact on the forecast

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