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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

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Trump aide proposes Libya partition

(10 April 2017)

The Guardian has reported that, according to an unnamed European diplomat, a partition of Libya has been proposed by Sebastian Gorka, a US foreign policy advisor with close ties to White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. The European diplomat reported that during a meeting in the weeks leading up to President Trump’s inauguration Gorka drew a map on a napkin that partitioned Libya along the lines of its three historic Ottoman provinces: Tripolitania in the northwest, Fezzan in the southwest, and Cyrenaica in the east.

The proposed partition would acknowledge the de facto division of the country that exists today. The western part of the country is ruled by the UN-backed, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, while the northeast is ruled by an Egyptian/Russian-backed anti-Islamist authority. Neither side, however, has advocated partition. Furthermore, outside experts fear that a mandated partition would lead to intensified conflict over the location of the boundary.

Gorka, a former editor with Bannon’s Breitbart news, is presently vying for the position of presidential special envoy to Libya.