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When Libya’s globally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) was signed into existence in December 2015, the United Nations hailed its “clear plan for rebuilding a strong, united and peaceful Libya” after five years of unrest split the country down the middle with two competing governments.
The 12 months that followed saw the Misrata brigades, a band of militias loyal to the GNA, drive Daesh from its strongholds in Libya – liberating thousands from the ultra-hardline terrorists and securing a key victory for the fledgling government.
But, beyond that all-important military success, there are few reasons to look back on 2016 as an encouraging year for Libya. Hopes for unity have unravelled in the face of continued opposition from power-brokers in the east of the country, who flexed their muscles last summer by voting against the GNA’s mandate and seizing oil terminals. One western group responded by seizing premises in Tripoli and trying to restore executive powers to Khalifa Al-Ghwell, the former prime minister...