Residents of cities in southern Libya have noticed an improvement in the security situation in the country after the Libyan forces entered the region.
Following the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) operations in the south of Libya, citizens have stated that security has returned to their areas. Following the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, the southern regions of Libya witnessed a power vacuum that allowed for militias, smugglers, and armed groups to take the southern provinces as a hub for their activities.
Furthermore, the defeat of ISIS in the city of Sirte and the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC) in Derna, pushed many of the retreating militants into the southern region, causing great harm to the residents there.
This resulted in the LNA, which is led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, to announce that his forces will be launching operations to capture the southern areas, mainly Sabha.
However, this operation did not go down well with many of Libya’s political leaders. Observers say that this move was an attempt by Haftar to consolidate his power throughout the country ahead of the planned political resolution. According to many, this claim was confirmed after the LNA captured the Sharara Oil Field, the largest oil field in the southern regions. They say that since last year, Haftar’s forces have attempted to capture all of the cities in Libya that have natural resources.
While this political debate is yet to be settled, citizens residing in the country’s southern regions say that they welcome this advance because it has returned security and stability to their areas.
“Now that the armed forces and the police have entered, security and safety are present,” said a citizen of Sabha. “Now the shops stay open until midnight, and you can walk anywhere.”
While the stabilisation of security is seen as a glimpse of hope by the residents of southern Libya, they say that authorities should make a series effort to improve their living conditions because they continue to lack necessities.
“We lack basic needs such as gasoline and natural gas, in addition to [the problems caused by] liquidity,” said another resident of Sabha.