The General National Congress (GNC), House of Representatives (HoR) and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), are all competing to establish dominance in Libya.
The power vacuum has pushed the country into an unending civil war.
The GNC has controlled Tripoli since 2014, while the HoR has formed a government in Eastern Tobruk. The UN-backed GNA also hopes to establish itself in Tripoli.
The GNC, which is in control of Tripoli, was formed by members of the former Congress of Libya, the country’s legislative authority from 2012 until 2014.
The latest civil war in Libya began when the forces of former general Khalifa Haftar attacked the GNC in Tripoli, demanding the dissolution of the parliament after claiming its term had expired.
The GNA recently emerged from a UN-mediated deal signed in December last year by figures from both sides of Libya's political divide.
The GNA unity government, which was announced on January 19 by a nine-member presidential council, has named a total of 32 ministers, including one woman.
It is led by Fayez al Sarraj, a businessman from Tripoli.
Libya's UN-backed unity government announced on March 13 that it was taking office despite lacking parliamentary approval, saying that a majority petition signed by lawmakers was equivalent to a vote of confidence.
On April 5, 2016, the Tripoli-based government announced it ceded power to the UN-backed unity government, but Khalifa Ghweil – the GNC's’ prime minister – made a U-turn just a day later, declaring that the body is still in authority despite some of its officials giving support to the GNA.
The HoR has not endorsed the GNA due to a dispute over the cabinet.
On April 5, 2016, the UN’s Libya envoy Martin Kobler flew to Tripoli for his first visit since Sarraj's arrival in the capital, affirming the GNA's authority in the country.
However, on March 23, the UN envoy cancelled a flight to Tripoli because he was not granted landing rights by the GNC.
The UN-backed government's arrival from Tunisia raised hopes it would be able to restore some stability in Libya, which has been plagued by chaos since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011.
If the new government is able to get full control of the country, the UN says it will consider lifting sanctions on the country’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Its leader, al Sarraj, has asked the UN to lift its arms embargo on Libya.
Dr. Mustafa Fetourri, a Libyan journalist and analyst, told TRTWorld that the GNA called for the lifting of the arms embargo in order to purchase arms legally from the international market.
However, he called the arming of the GNA a "serious problem," because the body does not have an army, rather its forces are made up of militias.
The international community has raised concerns over the lifting of the embargo on Libya for the benefit of the GNA, as such a decision may further escalate tensions in Libya.
— UN Political Affairs (@UN_DPA) June 6, 2016
Important events in Libya since 2011
February – Protests break out in Benghazi, leading to clashes between security forces and anti-Gaddafi rebels.
March – UN Security Council authorises a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians. Libyan rebels at first captured territory but were then forced back by better-armed pro-Gaddafi forces.
July – The main opposition group – the National Transitional Council (NTC) – is internationally recognised as the new Libyan government.
October 20 – Gaddafi is captured and killed. The rebels capture his hometown, Sirte.
October 23 – The NTC declares Libya to be officially "liberated," announcing plans to hold elections within eight months.
January – Fighting breaks out between former rebel forces in Benghazi in a sign of discontent with the pace and nature of change under the governing NTC.
March – More fighting between NTC officials takes place, centered in the oil rich territory around Benghazi and the central NTC in Tripoli as the latter launches a campaign to re-establish authority in the region.
June – Libyan authorities are unable to control local militias, especially in Zintan in the west of the country. Al-Awfea Brigade rebels briefly take over Tripoli International Airport.
July – GNC is elected with 61.58 percent of Libyans casting ballots.
August – Transitional government hands power to the GNC, which vows to disband all illegal rebel militias after crowds in Benghazi drive out Ansar al-Sharia and other militias from the city and nearby Derna.
February – Protests break out over the GNC's refusal to disband after its term expires. Post-Gaddafi authorities struggle to control militias formed during the uprising.
May – Militias based in Zintan launch an attack on the parliament in Tripoli to dislodge the GNC. The militias are loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar, who is from Tobruk and is backed by Egypt. Militias from Misrata repelled the attack.
June – Disputed elections are held for the HoR, which wins the backing of western countries.
July – UN staff pull out, embassies shut, and foreigners are evacuated as the security situation deteriorates. Tripoli International Airport is largely destroyed by fighting. Ansar al-Sharia seizes control of most of Benghazi.
August – The HoR attempts to take power. Shortly afterwards a reconstituted GNC selects its own prime minister and challenges the HoR’s authority, forcing it to relocate from Tripoli to Tobruk.
October – DAESH seizes control of the port city of Derna in eastern Libya.
January – The Libyan Army and Tripoli-based militia alliance declare a partial ceasefire after UN-sponsored talks in Geneva.
December – DAESH establishes control over the port-city of Sirte, halfway along coast between Tripoli and Benghazi.
December – In Morocco various Libyan factions sign a UN-backed plan to establish a national unity government. This leads to the formation of a presidential council with nine members from the rival factions with the aim of establishing a government.
January – The GNA’s presidential council proposes a 32-member unity cabinet, which is rejected by the HoR in Tobruk as being too large. DAESH attacks Ras Lanuf oil terminal and threatens to move on to Brega and Tobruk.
February – The presidential council revises the proposal and puts forward 18 names (13 ministers, five ministers of state) to form the unity cabinet.
April – Unity government travels to Tripoli from Tunisia
April 5 – GNC disbands itself, ceding power to the UN-backed unity government.
April 6 – GNC announces a U-turn, stating that it is still in authority.