Libya in the African Context

In the flurry of assessments and debates about the 2011 war in Libya that overthrew the country’s longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, there has been little scholarly or policy attention to Libya’s relationship with sub‐Saharan Africa during and after the conflict. Convening area experts for a combination of public and closed‐door discussions over two days, the World Peace Foundation aimed to reverse this neglect.

Key areas of discussion of post­‐conflict issues included:

  • How uncertainty on many issues within Libya’s new political dispensation impact internal and international matters; and
  • Libya’s current turn away from sub­‐Saharan Africa.

Previously untold or under‐examined linkages during the armed conflict were also explored:

  • The African Union’s efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the armed conflict;
  • The scale and significance of Sudanese support for the National Transitional Council (NTC) in 2011; and
  • The roles of other key countries, Chad, Algeria and Qatar, specifically.
  • Participants also discussed the on‐going conflict in Mali, which is related to upheaval in Libya, but also fed by its particular national dynamics.

A briefing paper published by the WPF, Libya in the African Context provides an overview of the seminar. Several of the participants have also agreed to write short essays for this blog. Their contributions will be posted over the following days.