A Trumpian Peace Deal in Libya?

Why Tripoli Needs an Unorthodox Approach

Armed Libyan men celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Libyan revolution, in Benghazi, Libya, February 17, 2016. Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters

Surprising as it may be stateside, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is wildly popular in Libya. Since 2014, the civil war in Libya has been in a stalemate as rival factions, including the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the House of Representatives in Tobruk, each backed by an assortment of militias, fight for control. 

In 2015, things looked particularly dire in Libya; some cities have fallen entirely under jihadi control and most of the country’s oil terminals had been taken offline. But since mid-2016, there have been some positive developments too: Libya’s oil production is rebounding and the Islamic State (ISIS) has been evicted from Sirte, which was its largest patch of territory outside of Iraq and Syria. But the political roadblocks to reconciliation remain. A new war is brewing in Libya’s south and the GNA is on the verge of collapse. On January 2, its

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