What’s next for Libya

After today’s bomb attack in Libyan city of Zliten Martin Kobler, the UN’s special representative to Libya, tweeted: I condemn in the strongest terms today’s deadly suicide attack in Zliten, call on all Libyans to urgently unite in fight against terrorism. Do you think there is a path to unity in Libya and maybe also similar attacks can in fact somehow contribute to finding unity? Read few comments.

Lorenzo NannettiInternational Affairs Analyst

ISIS sees militias in the West of Libya as the main source of threat because they are the closest to Sirte, so Misurata and Zliten are prime targets – the Jadran militias defending Cyrenaica oil fields being a close second now since a few days ago.

ISIS is still a small group in Libya (less than 3,000 fighters), which means it could be overpowered if a focused effort is done and I see this as a possibility. Paradoxically, the more threat ISIS poses to oil fields, the more an armed reaction by other militias looks likely because they need those same resources and won’t accept ISIS “stealing” them. So, yes, there’s a possibility of this kind of incidents to strengthen interest in fighting ISIS all together, but currently I can’t see any unified, coordinated approach, because the new government is still too fresh, too weak and can’t muster any real unity on the field – yet, at least.

At the same time, it’s obvious EU and UN representatives are pushing on ISIS as the main common threat everyone should unite against, but now it could be little more than wishful thinking. I see positive strides in the medium-long term on this, likely not as much in the short one.

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