The strategic role of the Fezzan region for European security

This report by the UK think tank The Foreign Policy Centre examines the Fezzan region of Libya as a hub for transnational migrant smuggling networks as well as oil, weapons, drug and gold trafficking.

The Fezzan is a strategic southwestern region of Libya. Its stability is vital for Europe’s security and that of the wider Mediterranean area. The region is home to two of the most important oil fields of North Africa and is a hub for human smuggling and organised crime, whose networks extend to Mali, Niger, Chad and southern Europe.

While most of the international community’s attention is on the current conflict between Tripoli’s militias and the Libyan National Army (LNA), the Fezzan region’s role in the wider geopolitics is underestimated. It is often represented as a zone of systemic insecurity, far and disconnected from the political issues in northern Libya. Its importance, however, is crucial for national stabilisation and regional security in Sahel as Fezzan has become a key hub for transnational migrant smuggling networks, as well as oil, weapons, drug and gold trafficking across Africa and the Middle East.

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