Middle East: Week in Brief [May 19-26, 2014]
CIVIL WAR, LIBYA
Libya´s government continues to face challenges, as former general Khalifa Hiftar was backed by an armed rebellion, taking over an air force based in the east of the country on Monday. Hiftar heads a loose coalition of tribal and army forces, brought together by no more than their opposition to the Islamist-led congress. This move, in conjunction with the attacks on Benghazi last week, was the product of months of behind the scenes negotiations between the various groups. These attacks have exposed the deep divisions and instability of government in Libya, but it is unclear what will come next.
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS/CIVIL WAR, SOMALIA | Context
Islamist group al-Shabaab stepped up attacks against Kenya and Somalia forces this week. al Shabaab militants stormed Somalia’s parliament on Saturday, killing at least 10 security officers. The attack started with a car bomb at a gate to the heavily fortified parliament compound, followed by a suicide bombing and then a gun battle that continued for hours. A Kenyan military vehicle was ambushed by al Shabaab militants after it was immobilized by mud, at least two Kenyan solders were killed in the attack. These attacks come at the heel of the strengthened presence of UN forces in Somalia to protect aid workers from attacks.
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