North Africa

  • Can Libya Survive Without Haftar?

    Libya was thrown into further flux this past week amid reports of the death of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. His exact condition remains unclear; Haftar was reportedly hospitalized in Jordan after suffering a stroke before falling into a coma after his transfer to a hospital in France. Other sources reported that eastern strongman passed away while in Paris. Reports of his death, while unconfirmed, will significantly impact the calculus of Libya’s major players, both domestically and regionally. Haftar’s death could serve as an opportunity to revive political dialogue, but it could also trigger an escalated conflict between Libya’s competing factions that would further fragment the country.  

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  • A Question Mark Over the Fate of Libya’s Haftar

    Reports that Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar is in a coma will deepen the chaos in a country that has been in flux for the past seven years. Haftar is a military strongman whose forces have fought Islamist militias, but has himself proven to be an obstacle in efforts to unite Libya.

    Media organizations reported that Haftar had slipped into a coma after suffering a stroke. He was flown to Paris earlier in April after falling ill in Jordan.

    If Haftar is incapacitated, or dead as some unconfirmed reports suggest, it could create a vacuum which would be hard to fill, said Karim Mezran, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

    “There are no figures of Haftar’s stature who can control special forces, tribal groups, and Salafists all at once,” Mezran said.

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  • North African Winds

    The situation in North Africa is developing in unexpected directions. Challenged by the Libyan crisis and the consequent threats that derive from its instability—continuing violence, expanding terrorism, and flourishing organized crime—it could be reasonably expected that a more assertive cooperation would incur among the North African countries. However, this is hardly the case: Tunisia is embroiled in a difficult economic and political moment with strikes and protests in many parts of the country, and Algeria and Morocco are facing their own developing crisis while Libya is slowly collapsing into a state of semi-anarchy.

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  • Libya: Permanent Limbo or Refreshed Hope?

    The situation in Libya seems irrevocably stalled. The internationally recognized government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli and the Abdullah al Thinni government in al Beida—supported by the legitimately elected parliament of 2014, now residing in Tobruk—are as distant as ever. The Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) is only as good as the effort invested in it. Last fall, gridlock between the groups prematurely cut off political negotiations to amend the LPA and hence any chance of a political deal between the two rival factions. Talks of holding national elections are in the abstract. Without a constitution, elections could not dampen the power grabbing mentality on the ground in Libya.

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  • Shaffer Quoted in Egypt Oil and Gas Newspaper on Gas Export From Israel to Egypt


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  • Hellyer Quoted in Bloomberg on the Egyptian Election


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  • Hellyer in The Atlantic: Sisi's Control of Egypt Is Absolute


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  • Miller Quoted in The New Yorker on Egypt's Election


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  • Sisi's Second Term Could Be Spent Securing a Third

    To no one’s surprise, Egyptians re-elected President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on March 29 by an overwhelming majority. However, according to an Atlantic Council analyst, one of Sisi’s priorities in his second term may be securing a third.

    “He has one major issue that I think he will go after in the first couple of years,” said Dr H.A. Hellyer, a non-resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, “which is to address the existence of a two-term limit article in the constitution.”

    Under current laws, Sisi’s second four-year term must be his last. However, said Hellyer, he is likely to consolidate power and work to extend his time in office. The idea has a recent precedent—Chinese President Xi Jinping did away with term limits in China earlier this month.

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  • Hellyer Quoted in LA Times on Egyptian President Sisi's Victory


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