Tunisia FM Concerned ISIS Will Grow in Libya Following Syria, Iraq Defeat

Tunisia FM Concerned ISIS will Grow in Libya Following Defeat in Syria, Iraq

isis in libya

ISIS IN ACTION
On 18 February, Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui is reported to have stated in an address at the Munich Security Conference in Germany that ISIS will attempt to return to Libya following its defeat in Iraq and Syria. In his speech Jhniaoui called for the need for cooperative international counter-terrorism efforts, arguing “to win our battle against terrorism, it has to be under the name of “war of thoughts”, which will eradicate extremist thinking that attempts to attract young people to ideological distortions, in addition to fighting poverty and unemployment.”

isis in libya
Credit: Ministério da Indústria, Comércio Exterior e Serviços

WESTERN RESPONSE
On 12 – 14 February, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), a Geneva-based NGO, facilitated talks between a range of different Libyan actors in Geneva. CHD did not publish a list of attendees, but those invited are reported to have included Government of National Accord (GNA) Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maitig, House of Representatives (HoR) President Agilah Saleh, Central Bank of Libya Governor Sadiq al-Kabir, and former head of the General National Congress (GNC) Nuri Abu Sahmain. The organisers of the event stressed that all participants were invited in their personal capacity as individuals, not as representatives of certain institutions. HCD held a similar event in May 2017, as well as a meeting of over 90 of Libya’s mayors in Tunisia in December 2017.

On 15 February, the Egyptian army announced it had foiled an “infiltration attempt” after reportedly destroying ten 4×4 vehicles loaded with arms and ammunition on the Libyan border. This is the latest in a series of similar claims by the Egyptian army to have destroyed convoys of vehicles carrying weapons and fighters into western Egypt.

On 13 February, it was confirmed the UN General Assembly (UNGA) had suspended Libya’s to vote at the UN for the third year in a row due to debts owed by the country. According to a letter from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Assembly president, Libya must pay at least $6,594,842 to restore its voting rights.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.