Today, April 04, marks the second anniversary of the April 04, 2019 aggression led by Khalifa Haftar’s militias against Tripoli and other western cities to oust the legitimate Government of National Accord (GNA) and exact the military rule in Libya once again.
Haftar’s war on legitimacy and civilians in and around Tripoli was backed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, France and Russia. His militias were also assisted by foreign mercenaries and experts from the Russian Wagner Group, France and a myriad of African nations, especially the Sudanese Janjaweed and Chadian rebel groups.
Haftar’s war lasted over 14 months and ended by a humiliating defeat for his militias and mercenaries and their retreat from all western region cities to their previous positions, while some of his militias positioned themselves in a contact line in central Libya – Sirte and Jufra – to kick off a new phase of negotiations with the legitimate Libyan Army forces, which with the help of the UN and international circles, led to the formation of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission from both sides and then to a ceasefire agreement that was signed in October 2020 in Geneva, ending Haftar’s military endeavors.
The humanitarian situation due to the aggression deteriorated to levels never previously witnessed in Libya as between April 01, 2019 and March 31, 2020, UNSMIL documented at least 685 civilian casualties (356 deaths and 329 injured).
Statistics by UNSMIL also showed that around 149,000 people in and around Tripoli have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the offensive and nearly 345,000 civilians remain in frontline areas with an additional 749,000 people estimated to live in areas affected by the clashes, while over a million Libyans are in need of humanitarian assistance due to the war.
The war has also had an appalling impact in terms of damage to and destruction of homes, hospitals, schools and detention facilities, in addition to human rights violations which had exponentially increased with attacks against human rights defenders and journalists, doctors, lawyers and judges, migrants and refugees.
Two years have passed since the attack by Haftar on Tripoli and today, Libya has managed to recover partially by stepping into a new interim period of politics that will see the country go to elections for a president and parliament by December 24 2021, according to a roadmap approved by the UN-brokered Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.