The ensuing attempt to seize power resulted in the formation of numerous domestic militias and sparked interventions by Arab nations as well as Turkey, Russia, and Western states.
Since March last year, an administration in Libya’s east backed by military leader Khalifa Haftar — who has been close to Russia and Egypt — has opposed the UN-recognised government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, alleging it has outlived its mandate.
Earlier this month, the United Nations announced that senior officials from the rival administrations had endorsed a coordination mechanism to clear the country of foreign troops and mercenaries.
The UN mission in Libya hailed “an important step toward achieving permanent stability and peace in Libya” after a meeting in Cairo on February 8 along with officials from Sudan and Niger.
However, the discussions led by UN envoy Abdoulaye Bathily failed to produce a clear timetable or concrete measures for the withdrawal of foreign fighters.
The UN estimated in late 2021 that there were more than 20,000 foreign fighters, both military and paramilitary, in the country.