What's at stake

for Libya?

An interactive explainer

On April 4, forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar launched a surprise attack on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in an attempt to remove the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).


Claiming that he is fighting “terrorism” and trying to stabilise Libya, Haftar - who is backed by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives - has sought to defeat the militias that support the GNA, which is headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.


Since the toppling of long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, a series of governments have failed to demobilise and reintegrate a number of armed groups that had risen to prominence during the revolution.


Haftar’s attack has failed to achieve any of its objectives thus far, with his eastern-based forces struggling to break through the GNA’s front lines along the capital’s southern outskirts.


Both sides have been fighting skirmishes within an area only a few kilometres wide despite interventions from the air force and heavy artilleries.




Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. The 48.36 billion barrels in its proven fields constitute 3.76 percent of world oil reserves, according to the 2018 estimates of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).


Estimates from 2017 put Libya’s natural gas reserves at around 1.5 trillion cubic metres, with an annual production of 14.3 billion cubic metres. Most of this production is concentrated in the el-Wafa gas fields and the Sabrata marine platform.


Prior to the February 2011 revolution, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), which later slumped to fewer than 300,000bpd due to the armed conflict that has lead to several oil fields, installations and ports being taken out of state control and temporarily ceasing operations.


Oil output recovered to reach 1.2 million bpd in March 2019, however, production levels continue to be subject to disruptions, owing to recurring military campaigns and field changes.


All major oilfields, oil export terminals and refineries in the eastern and southern Libya are held by forces loyal to Haftar, while the facilities near Tripoli and the al-Zawiya district are held by the GNA and are operated by the National Oil Corporation.


UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA)

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA)

Other rebel groups

Oil and gas fields

International airports

Oil refineries

Oil ports

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Only major locations are shown

UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA)

Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA)

Other rebel groups

Airstrikes and clashes (cumulative)




The forces fighting as part of Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army were part of “Operation Dignity” which he launched in 2014. These forces are well-equipped and the UN has reported that they are being supplied at least in part by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Pro-Haftar Entities

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Forces Fighting alongside GNA Troops

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Human cost

© 2019 Al Jazeera Media Network.