What Happened: The Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Hifter said on April 6 that it had taken control of the disused international airport in Libya’s capital Tripoli, two days after Hifter ordered his forces to seize the seat of Libya’s U.N.-backed government, AP reported. Meanwhile, the United Nations’ envoy to Libya insisted an April 14-16 conference on possible new elections would go ahead as planned.
Why It Matters: Libya has been torn by factional conflict and instability since Moammar Gadhafi was deposed and killed in 2011. Hifter’s offensive could plunge Libya into another period of violence and anarchy, and thwart the latest U.N. efforts to forge a political resolution.
Background: Rival authorities govern Libya: the internationally backed government in Tripoli and the government in the east, which Hifter is aligned with. Each is backed by an array of militias.