Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Mohamed Eljarh writes for Foreign Policy on ongoing developments in Libya:
Lately Libya has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Civil war continues to rage. In the East, the army of the internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk continues its war on terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Ansar al-Islam. In the West, the forces of the Tobruk government have allied with the powerful town of Zintan against militias loyal to the former General National Congress (GNC) and the city of Misrata.
As one might expect, the war is taking a heavy toll on basic services and vital infrastructure. For the last few weeks Libyans have suffered power blackouts and shortages of gasoline and propane. The lack of gas for cooking, in particular, has forced many people to prepare meals over wood fires, making life miserable for many. The blackouts are the direct result of damage inflicted on power distribution units and power stations by the fighting. Needless to say, the lack of electricity is also affecting communications. Within the past month only one of the two mobile phone operators in eastern Libya has been working. These problems have knock-on effects for the banking system, knocking out automatic tellers and leaving many people strapped for cash (assuming they had any in the first place). Clean water, too, is becoming scarce.