Russia and Turkey risk turning Libya into another Syria

Demonstrators take part in a rally against eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa HaftarImage copyright

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The conflict has denied Libyans access to a decent life despite its oil and gas riches

Libya looks to be at the end of one bleak chapter, but there is no guarantee that the next will be any better for a country that has been torn to pieces by civil war and foreign intervention since Col Muammar Gaddafi met his grisly death in 2011.

Since last year Gen Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya, has been trying to capture the capital, Tripoli, in the far west of the vast country.

Intervention by Turkey in support of the Tripoli government, recognised by the United Nations, looks to be decisive. Gen Haftar’s men, along with a force of several thousand Russian mercenaries, are in retreat.

But that does not mean that Libyan civilians can expect the peace they crave. Once again they are the biggest losers.

Their country, richly endowed with oil and gas, should be able to guarantee them rights of which they can only dream: education; healthcare and a decent standard of living. They don’t have any of them, or safety.

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Media captionWhat’s behind the fight for Libya?

Libyans who have not lost their homes have been locking down to prevent the spread of Covid-19, hoping they do not also become the…

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