What does the battle for Tripoli mean for Libya and the region?

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Khalifa Haftar is leading an advance on the capital, with potentially far-ranging consequences

Libya is on the brink of an all-out civil war that threatens to upend years of diplomatic efforts to reconcile two rival armed political factions. An advance led by Khalifa Haftar, the warlord from the east of the country, has diplomats scrambling and the UN appealing in vain for a truce. The French government, the European power closest to Haftar, insists it had no prior warning of his assault, which is now less than 20km from the capital, Tripoli. The outcome could shape not just the politics of Libya, but also the security of the Mediterranean, and the relevance of democracy across the Middle East and north Africa.

Related: Haftar’s advance leaves UN’s hopes for Libya settlement in tatters

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