Access to education remains just as perilous for Libyan children four years later. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that 489 schools were affected by violence in the first seven months of 2018. At least 260,000 students experienced obstacles to accessing an education as a result. Despite the conflict, literacy rates remain high in Libya, standing at nearly 91 per cent as of 2015. However, this figure might not be accurate due to the difficulty in conducting a nationwide census.
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As the country spiralled into another civil war, access to health care became severely limited. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO), published in May 2015, stated that patients could not reach hospitals due to the fighting. Medical workers also had a difficult time retrieving casualties. However, WHO is concerned that serious viruses such as HIV will spread rapidly due to a lack of sanitation and public awareness.
Trump’s policy is pushing Iran towards Russia. In order to preserve its position in the region, Iran knows that it needs international allies and backing. Russia, therefore, is an important international actor that can balance the US, which is backing Iran’s rivals in the region. According to Khamenei’s adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, “Iran-Russia relations are strategic and will determine the future of the region.” Trump’s policy is only strengthening this view and hastening Iran’s shift towards Russia and the East in general.
Other inhabitants are more ambivalent about the LNA. In a policy brief for the European University Institute, researcher Al-Zubayr Salem wrote that since besieging Derna, the LNA has compounded the crisis by failing to make a distinction between the DMSC and civilians. Worse still, civilians who support the LNA said that Haftar’s forces have shown little regard for human life.
Besides holding elections, the terms of the agreement include unifying the country’s key financial institutions such as the Libyan Central Bank, phasing out parallel government and institutions” and building a national army. It stipulates that all parties will preserve security during the elections, and respect the final outcome.
While the kidnapping of foreigners in Libya has made headlines, nationals from countries in sub-Saharan Africa are arguably the most vulnerable. Most of them are fleeing persecution, war and famine, pushing them to rely on criminal gangs to take them to Europe. However, since Europe began contracting Libyan militias to intercept boats at sea in February 2017, smugglers have resorted to kidnapping migrants to earn a profit instead.
There is no doubt that this operation is not the same as the ones launched in the past. The Egyptian army announced that it aims to achieve four objectives: tightening control over border posts, eliminating terrorist outposts, immunizing local populations against extremist ideologies and tackling the crime rate, which has soared amid the instability.
Although Sufis were marginalized for much of Qaddafi’s rule, circumstances have arguably worsened since he died. After the revolution, Sufis worried that new religious officials were inspired by Salafist ideologies, leading them to appoint extremist sheikhs in mosques that pro-Qaddafi preachers once occupied. Some of these new sheikhs quickly pressured authorities to replace other long-time Sufi imams with hardliners.
Five years later, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) helped jump-start a reconciliation process between the two cities. An agreement was reached on 31 August 2016, stipulating that the primary condition for the return of the Tawergha is that the victims of the 2011 uprising are compensated. Residents from Tawergha are expecting to receive financial compensation, but so are fighters from Misrata who accepted the deal.
But due to (still relatively small) Iranian influence in Yemen, the Saudis and Emiratis will be obliged to work together in the medium term. As the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel put it, ‘The war costs Tehran a few million dollars per month, while it costs Riyadh $6 billion per month.’ Any disagreement between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi could increase Iran’s influence.