COVID-19 has changed the world and the way we live it, establishing something of a “new normal” as states and societies battle the pandemic and learn to accommodate its multidimensional effects. For Libyans’ living in the midst of conflict, normality and a new normal are difficult to determine.
The economy, healthcare system and everyday lives of Libyans’ have been far from normal as a result of the 18-month conflict sparked by General Khalifa Haftar’s attempt to overthrow the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
However, the pandemic and its dynamism has had an impact far beyond the everyday lives of citizens. The lifecycle of the pandemic has had a major impact on the conflict itself. It first served to distract international powers from their diplomatic obligations and peace building in Libya, acting as a cover for local factions and their foreign sponsors to intensify the conflict during the initial global shockwave of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. Towards the end of 2020, however, the pandemic compounded socio-economic and political pressures in Libya, sparking national demonstrations and dissidence towards the rival factions, leading to political resignations and renewed diplomatic negotiations in the process.
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This publication first appeared on the IAI site.
Author: Anas El Gomati – IAI.
Image courtesy of Tim Mossholder via Unsplash.
The views are those of the author and not necessarily those of ETTG.