The initial euphoria is a distant memory as little have changed since the fall of Gaddafi’s dictatorship. A 2015 UN-backed deal to set up the unity government in Tripoli was meant to end the turmoil but the gap between Libya’s east and west is yet to be bridged.
Libya has remained riven by divisions between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and a rival administration backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the east.
The internationally recognized GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, has failed to assert its authority across the oil-rich country, which is also grappling with deadly attacks, and a migration crisis.
“Maybe a regime has ended, but the truth is we have not managed to rid ourselves of a culture that has dominated the minds and behavior of many people, who today are at the forefront of politics and who consider the homeland as booty,” Sarraj said in a televised speech.
Despite the ongoing political crisis, the OPEC member has registered a much-needed increase in crude sales, which analysts see as key to kick-starting Libya’s moribund economy and returning security to the country.
Libya’s oil revenues more than tripled in 2017 despite the violence and political instability – though they are still a fraction of crude sales under Gaddafi.
Since 2014, fighting and protests have regularly shut down oil facilities, a key focus of power struggles in a country with the largest oil reserves in Africa.