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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 09:48 AM

In Libya, a rogues' gallery of militias prepare for war

Source: Associated Press

In Libya, a rogues’ gallery of militias prepare for war

April 16, 2019

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libya is on the verge of an all-out war involving a rogues’ gallery of militias, many of which are little more than criminal gangs armed with heavy weapons.

The country slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising, in which rebels overthrew and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi and looted his vast arsenal. Even more weapons have flowed in since then, despite a U.N. arms embargo, as Arab states have backed local allies and Western nations have partnered with militias to combat extremists and stem the flow of migrants.

A former general is now marching on the capital, Tripoli, where an array of militias — which have fought each other in the past — have for now joined forces to prevent a return to one-man rule. The fighting has already killed around 150 people, according to U.N. figures. The International Crisis Group, a Washington- and Brussels-based think tank, said last week that the two main coalitions “appear equally matched,” with fighter jets, gunships and heavy artillery.


The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise offensive to retake Tripoli on April 5. Hifter’s opponents view him as an aspiring dictator, and one of his commanders is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, accused of dozens of extrajudicial killings.


Read more: https://apnews.com/76313fb7c3654a1a9270bbd7b4bd96f2

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