Libya’s war economy: predation, profiteering and state weakness


Libya suffers from interlinked political, security and economic crises that are weakening state institutions, damaging its economy and facilitating the continued existence of non-state armed groups. As rival authorities continue to compete for power, the resulting fragmentation and dysfunction have provided a fertile environment for the development of a pervasive war economy dependent on violence.This war economy is dynamic and constantly in flux. Relative to earlier problems, there were signs of progress on several fronts in 2017: a reduction in human smuggling, a tripling in oil revenues, and increased local action against fuel smuggling. Yet the dynamics that have supported the war economy’s rise remain.he international community can do more to support Libyan efforts in countering the war economy. Cooperation over the targeting of criminal groups’ overseas assets, support for increased transparency over the dispensation of state funds, and measures to reduce the viability of illicit activities can all help to strengthen the position of state authorities.

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