On 5 September, Italy’s Interior Minister Marco Minitti visited LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi just a day after the French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian completed his tour of Libya. The new UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé is said to be frustrated by the succession of independent bilateral attempts to broker a solution to Libya’s crises, particularly ahead of the UN General Assembly’s meeting on Libya on 20 September.

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Egypt issued a statement calling for Libyan parties to continue with political negotiations, but did not mention the BDB advances against the LNA. The UN, UK, US and France have condemned the escalation of violence.

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The Islamist Benghazi Defence Brigades launched a surprise attack against the LNA in the oil crescent last week, pushing the LNA back to Brega and taking control of two oil ports. The LNA has accused the PC of working with BDB and other jihadists to mastermind the attack.

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The recent takeover of the oil ports by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan National Army (LNA), who are aligned with the Tobruq-based House of Representatives (HoR), has significantly shifted the balance of political and military power away from PM Fayez Serraj and his Presidential Council, and towards Haftar. As a result, there is growing international pressure to find a way to bring Haftar within the Libyan Political Agreement, in order to reflect the realities on the ground.

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Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni narrowly escaped an assassination attempt this week when gunmen fired at his convoy as it left the HoR in Tobruq. The Prime Minister had been attending a session in the House at which he was being questioned about his government’s performance. The session was interrupted after armed protestors who had been demonstrating against Al-Thinni threatened to …

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Egypt and the United Arab Emirates continue to actively support the HoR and the LNA, providing military assistance and equipment despite the UN arms embargo. However, this support is not proving enough and Haftar is making few real gains week on week. This is unlikely to deter either Egypt or the UAE from continuing to support the Tobruq camp. Both …

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ISIS did not yet exist in Libya, but fissures between the mainstream religious establishment and Tobruq were creating an environment for radical preaching. The HoR moved a step closer in its bid to expel Libya’s ultraconservative Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani this week.

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