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Unpacking the Conflict in Libya

The Wilson Center’s Africa Program and Middle East Program invite you to a briefing with Anas El Gomati, Director of Libya’s first think tank, the Sadeq Insitute, on Tuesday, June 25 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm in the 6th Floor Boardroom at the Wilson Center.

Date & Time

Jun. 25, 2019
10:30am – 12:00pm


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Unpacking the Conflict in Libya

On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the Wilson Center Africa and Middle East Programs welcomed Mr. Anas El Gomati to the Wilson Center to hold a private briefing on the ongoing conflict in Libya. Mr. Mike Morrow, a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Wilson Center, offered welcome remarks, and Ms. Merissa Khurma, Project Director of the Wilson Center’s Middle East Special Initiatives, moderated the concluding question-and-answer portion. Mr. El Gomati is the founder and director of the Sadeq Institute, Libya’s first public policy think tank and the newest member of the Southern Voices Peacebuilding Network. The briefing included 38 policymakers, experts, and stakeholders from the United States, Africa, and abroad.

The discussion on Libya focused on competing narratives of the civil war and how various factions have manipulated local and international perspectives to decry their enemies and further their agendas. Misconceptions have had a profoundly negative influence, downplaying ethno-tribal tensions in favor of simpler narratives of religious extremism and bellicose warlords. The briefing also discussed how international actors, particularly the Gulf States, have sought to influence events on the ground through arms deals and diplomatic support. Participants also considered the prospect for future policy initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis, especially in response to General Haftar’s recent advance on the capital, Libya. The country remains at a critical juncture, and the conversation emphasized how U.S. policymakers can use American ‘soft power’ to potentially defuse the crisis. The event was a timely opportunity for open analysis of evolving issues.

The Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP) is a continent-wide network of African policy and research organizations that works with the Africa Program to bring African analyses and perspectives to key issues in U.S.-Africa relations. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York since 2011, the project provides avenues for African researchers to engage with, inform, and exchange perspectives with U.S. and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks for the issues of peacebuilding and state-building in Africa.

This event was held under Chatham House non-attribution rule. 

Anas El Gomati

As the Founder and General Director of the Sadeq Institute, Anas El Gomati brings international experience in public policy, strategic policy advisory and political analysis. He is a graduate of the Politics, History and International Relations department at Loughborough University (UK), and has since worked in the Sustainability department at an IOC and served as an advisor and publisher on Libyan affairs for several European think tanks. Among his publications is “Freedom or Survival?” regarding non-violent solutions to the recent Libyan conflict. He is also a frequent and renowned commentator on Libyan and Middle Eastern affairs on Al Jazeera, France 24 (in English, French and Arabic), Sky News and several others.

Sadeq Institute

Sadeq Institute is a non-governmental think tank based in Libya that provides analysis and understanding of strategic Libyan issues and challenges by cultivating a culture of public discourse and plurality of thought. It is the world’s first research institute specializing in Libyan affairs. The Sadeq Institute aspires to a Libya where every citizen’s opinion is heard and valued, and every person is treated with dignity and respect. During this critical juncture in Libya’s history, we believe free and open discussion will be vital to the cultivation of an informed and progressive political culture. 

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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more

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