Rule by the Libyan Arab Armed Forces has disrupted the fragile balance in Sirte


In January 2020, as conflict was raging in Tripoli, Haftar’s Libyan Arab Armed Forces succeeded in capturing Sirte. Because of the city’s location and socio-political specificities, this constituted a key strategic gain. In the following months, the LAAF focused on consolidating its control over the city by relying on affiliated security agencies and new political alliances, as well as by manipulating tribal loyalties. Based on numerous interviews with key actors from Sirte and on both warring sides, this paper highlights how the LAAF rule and policies have changed the local dynamics and increased tensions, thereby destabilising the fragile balance in the city.