Africa

  • Fighting ISIS in Libya

    Libyan foreign minister seeks US engagement in effort to root out terrorists

    Amid concern that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is regrouping in Libya, Mohamed Taher Syala, the foreign minister in Libya’s internationally recognized, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), said the United States must remain committed to defeating the terrorists in his country.

    More than five years after its longtime ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, was ousted and killed in an Arab Spring-inspired uprising, Libya remains mired in chaos. It has two rival governments and is awash in weapons and independent militias. ISIS has sought to exploit this chaos in the North African nation.

    In the summer of 2016, the United States conducted drone strikes against ISIS targets in the coastal city of Sirte. Troops loyal to the GNA—mostly militias from the western city of Misrata—also helped shatter ISIS’ control over its stronghold in Sirte.

    Syala praised the US military intervention. “Without those attacks, it would be very difficult for our forces to conquer Daesh in that area,” he said in an interview with the New Atlanticiston March 23. ISIS is also known as Daesh.

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  • Sixth Anniversary of the US-Libya Intervention: A Model for the Future

    Six years ago on March 19, 2011, the United States started its military intervention in Libya. In 2009, President Obama, in his inauguration speech, addressed the world’s dictators asking them to “unclench their fist” and said  that “America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.” This was not just a statement by the Democrat president; it was a renewed commitment from the leader of the free world. In 2005, President George W. Bush in his second inauguration speech also said, to those living under tyranny that “… the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.” To the people living under dictatorships, these promises matter.

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  • Russian Policy toward Libya: The Egyptian Factor

    A great deal of media attention to Russian involvement in Libya arose as a result of a March 14 Reuters report that Moscow “appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya.” These forces, reportedly consisting of a 22-man unit, deployed to support General Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of eastern Libya. Haftar is at odds with the UN-backed (and thus Russian-approved) Libyan government based in the western part of the country headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

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  • Libya, The Time to Avoid Escalation is Now

    Libya risks a new escalation and a deepening of the division between the eastern region under General Khalifa Haftar and the rest of the country nominally under the control of an ever-weaker UN-backed government headed by Fayez Serraj. On March 3, fighting started in the Oil Crescent, the part of Libya’s central coast where 60 percent of the country’s oil exports transit. 

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  • Eljarh Quoted by Agence France-Presse on the Libyan Political Agreement and Conflict in Tripoli


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  • Egypt Appoints Ambassador to NATO

    From Jens Stoltenberg, NATO:  I welcome very much that Egypt is establishing a mission to NATO and will appoint an ambassador to NATO.
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  • Hruby Quoted by Forbes on Chinese Investment in Africa


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  • Pham Joins VOA’s Africa News Tonight to Discuss Causes of Radicalization in Africa


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  • Priorities for Ending the Libyan Crisis

    Former US Special Envoy to Libya, Ambassador Jonathan Winer spoke at a panel event on Libya at the Rafik Hariri Center on March 9, 2016 and gave a short interview afterwards describing the priorities for ending the Libyan crisis. Below is a summary of his comments and the Facebook Live interview. 

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  • Is Libya’s “Skhirat” Agreement Really Dead?

    The Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB)’s recent successful offensive conducted against the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the Gulf of Sidra—in which it seized the oil ports and terminals of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider—leads one to consider its effects on the Skhirat agreement. This is the agreement that produced the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and a Presidential Council (PC) and was negotiated under the leadership of the United Nations by a plethora of Libyan actors, with support from most countries involved in Libya.

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