Security actors in Misrata, Zawiya and Zintan since 2011

Think tank: Chatham House

Author(s): Tim Eaton

December 12, 2023

This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at how local factors shape Libya’s security sector.

Libya’s armed groups predominantly operate in the areas where they originated. This means that the security sector has developed since 2011 in accordance with distinctly local dynamics: the social composition of the area; the experience of conflict; the structure of the local economy and economic opportunity; and relations with neighbouring localities and the state’s formal institutions.

This local factor is critical to understanding the country’s security sector, and the challenges for security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), but has been relatively underexplored.

This research paper attempts to address this gap, through a close study of the development of the security apparatuses of Misrata, Zawiya and Zintan. It draws on a set of interviews with key figures with close knowledge of the security landscape, along with in-depth interviews with residents of the three cities.