Key players of the Libya crisis

Key players of the Libya crisis
2 min read
All you need to know about the main players in Libya's crisis.
[From Left] Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh Issa, Fayez al-Sarraj, Khaled Mechri [AFP]
Since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gaddafi, Libya has been divided by a multitude of rival factions seeking to gain dominance in the North African nation.

The four key players of the crisis who convened for a Paris peace conference in May are to meet again in Sicily next week.

Fayez al-Sarraj

Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, 58, heads the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

He has held the post since March 2016 with the support of cities in the west, but the GNA has not won the backing of Libya's parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Sarraj is supported in the Libyan capital by three militias, which are in charge of security in Tripoli and its surroundings.

Khalifa Haftar

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) dominates the country's east and also has a presence in the south.

The 75-year-old's hostility towards the GNA has been seen as a major cause of the current crisis.

But Haftar has gained in stature for fighting jihadists. Earlier this year, he ousted Islamist militias from the city of Derna, which had been the only part of eastern Libya out of his control.

The military figure is accused of wanting to impose a dictatorship and of being backed by foreign powers, notably Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.

Haftar's LNA is made up of former officers from the Libyan army, militiamen, fighters from allied tribes, as well as non-jihadist Salafists.

Aguila Saleh Issa

Aguila Saleh Issa was elected parliament speaker after 2014 polls. Militias seized control of the capital later the same year, prompting the assembly to flee to the eastern city of Tobruk.

In the west, the General National Council (GNC), appointed in 2012 elections, has refused to step down to allow the exiled lawmakers to take up their seats.

Haftar says he takes his legitimacy from the Tobruk-based parliament.

Saleh is a former judge and has the support of his tribe, Al-Obeidat, one of the most powerful in eastern Libya.

Khalid al-Mishri

Khalid al-Mishri was elected in April as head of the High Council of State in Tripoli. 

The body was part of the UN-sponsored deal signed in Morocco in 2015, which also led to the creation of the GNA. The High Council is made up of ex-members of the GNC.

Mishri is a member of the Justice and Construction Party, the country's wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While he is hostile to Haftar in the east, he has not expressed clear support for the GNA.