On 29 April, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared in a video for the first time in five years. In his message, Baghdadi said that he sees Africa as an important location for the group’s future operations. He said that ISIS could be effective in Libya despite losing Sirte in 2016. He called on ISIS fighters in Libya to carry out a war of attrition and praised the recent ISIS attacks against the town of Fuqaha, in Libya’s central region, saying they were in revenge for ISIS’s defeat in al-Baghuz, Syria.

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On 26 April, Government of National Accord (GNA) Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha, in an interview with the BBC, said that plans to extradite British national Hashem Abedi to the UK had been delayed due to the fighting in Tripoli. Hashem is the brother of Salman Abedi, who blew himself up at a concert in Manchester in May 2017, killing 22 people. The UK wants to extradite its citizen on charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

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On 24 April, UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome. Salame called for Italy and all UN member states to push for a ceasefire and the return to dialogue, stressing that dialogue “is the only possible way to avoid the catastrophe.” He added that the National Conference, although impossible at present, remains essential in the long run. On 29 April, during a visit to Paris, Salame openly criticised Haftar. He is quoted as saying: “He is no Abraham Lincoln, he is no big democrat … Seeing him act, we can be worried about his methods because where he is governing, he doesn’t govern softly, but with an iron fist.”

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Last week, armed clashes, shelling and airstrikes continued along the front lines in southern Tripoli between Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and forces aligned to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, with both sides frequently losing and gaining territory in southern Tripoli. Indiscriminate shelling/rocket attacks on residential areas have also continued. According to the UN, as of 28 April, at least 41,000 people have been displaced in Tripoli, nearly 300 people killed and thousands injured. The levels of disinformation and propaganda remain extremely high on all sides.

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