The Heat debates whether Libya is headed for civil war

The Heat

Three years after the overthrow of Libya’s Former Prime Minister, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is on the brink of chaos. Fighting is rampant in Tripoli and Benghazi, with two governments and an array of armed militias vying for power. Fears are growing that nation is headed for an all-out civil war.

Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years before his assassination by Libyan rebels in October 2011. NATO forces carried out an extensive air campaign before his death that was intended to liberate the Libyan people, but three years later, the oil-rich nation remains bitterly divided.

Benghazi Airport looks more like a ghost town than a major transportation hub. The Libyan Army, with the help from former General Khalifa Haftar, was able to reclaim the airport this week after an intense firefight with Islamic militants.

Haftar is also known for helping Gaddafi seize power in 1969, before the leaders had a falling out years later.

The capital city of Tripoli was also taken over by an armed Islamic militia called “Libya Dawn” in August. Leaders from government were forced to flee to Tobruk in the eastern part of the country and are now working from a hotel. Libya Dawn also formed a government, but it’s not recognized by the international community.

The United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire, and has made some progress in recent weeks to bring together different factions. But the future of refugees who have been forced to flee Libya remains uncertain.

Neighbors Egypt and Sudan have offered to help in Libya’s fight against Islamic militants. An agreement to work together was reached in Cairo between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. But many fear without a larger political solution, civil war could be imminent.

The Heat debates whether Libya is headed for civil war

Three years after the overthrow of Libya’s Former Prime Minister, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is on the brink of chaos. Fighting is rampant in Tripoli and Benghazi, with two governments and an array of armed militias vying for power. Fears are growing that nation is headed for an all-out civil war.

The United Nations says the next few months will be critical for Libya’s future. Five Western Nations have condemned the violence in Libya but can diplomacy alone work? The Heat speaks to a panel of experts to find out.

* Phyllis Bennis, an author and fellow at the Institute for Political Studies.

* Hafed Al-Ghwell, a Middle East and North Africa analyst at the World Bank Group.

* Richard Bailey, a communications consultant who has advised the office of the Prime Minister in Libya.

Phyllis Bennis, Hafed Al-Ghwell, Richard Bailey debate situation in Libya

The United Nations says the next few months will be critical for Libya’s future. Five Western Nations have condemned the violence in Libya but can diplomacy alone work? The Heat speaks to a panel of experts to find out.

The panel continues to discuss the future of Libya.

Phyllis Bennis, Hafed Al-Ghwell, Richard Bailey discuss deteriorating security in Libya

The United Nations says the next few months will be critical for Libya’s future. Five Western Nations have condemned the violence in Libya but can diplomacy alone work? The Heat speaks to a panel of experts to find out.