Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 86, 6 May 2020

Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
Harini Sha

In the news

On 29 April, the Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar called for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The declaration was a response to an international call for a truce in the war-torn North African country. The announcement came after the series of setbacks faced by the eastern Libyan forces in their efforts to siege the country's capital Tripoli. 

Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has rejected the truce announced by the commander citing "humanitarian cause". However, speculations remain over the deliberate move of Haftar's unilateral announcement on the ceasefire as it is believed to be a response to the requests of "friendly nations."

Issues at large

The conflict in Libya has remained torn between the Libyan National Army commanded by Khalifa Haftar and the Tripoli-based government (Government of National Accord). While the Libyan National Army is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and France, the GNA is recognised by the United Nations and supported by Italy, Turkey and Qatar. Since the Tripoli offensive by the Libyan National Army in April 2019, violence in the region has escalated between these two opposing groups, and in recent days both have accused each other of shelling the civilian neighbourhood. 

The United Nations, along with the European counterparts called for a humanitarian truce during the month of Ramadan which would eventually pave the way for a permanent ceasefire. The Libyan National Army spokesperson took the opportunity to announce the ceasefire saying that this would help the authorities to focus on the humanitarian crisis at hand caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains to be seen whether the ceasefire is to double the military strength of the warring parties or serve peace amid the humanitarian cause.

In perspective

The supply chains from the eastern states have been cut due to the increasing dominance of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean waters. Turkey has signed an agreement with the Tripoli government that they would defend the GNA forces in exchange for gas-exploration rights in the Libyan waters. The seizures of Libyan oil terminals and blocking exports have challenged the Libyan National Army in their fight to consolidate power.

Russia, the most significant support of the Libyan National Army, is facing a severe crisis due to coronavirus and weakened their support to Haftar's Army. The highly sought after Libyan Oil is given lower prices and losing market. Thus the multiple disadvantages faced by the Libyan Army and the series of setbacks faced in the siege of Tripoli forced Haftar to declare a ceasefire in their march towards the capital city Tripoli.

Haftar's Army is unlikely to be defeated, but the pause is to strengthen its eastern allies before taking a stronger step in his road map for a populous government.  

Harini Sha is a Research Intern at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS). The author is pursuing a Masters in International Studies from Stella Maris College, Chennai. 

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence

October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement

August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees

May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar