The bloody Libyan Revolution of 2011 that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and the resurgence of violence between factions since 2014 have led to a terrible displacement crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people uprooted within the country, and hundreds of thousands more forced to seek shelter in neighboring countries, particularly Tunisia. Those who have been uprooted range from beneficiaries of the Gaddafi regime, to persecuted ethnic minorities, to those simply caught in the crossfire. Many of these exiles live in fear of being forcibly returned to Libya where, in the absence of security, rule of law, and a functional transitional justice process, they may face incarceration, torture, and death. The continued displacement of Libyans has significant political, socio-economic, humanitarian, and human rights implications. Drawing on in-depth interviews with policymakers, practitioners, and displaced persons in Libya and Tunisia, this study analyzes the complex dimensions and implications of the Libyan displacement crisis. While resolution of this crisis hinges on a negotiated end to the Libyan civil war, this study seeks to help lay the groundwork for this process by identifying constructive approaches to improve assistance strategies, and, eventually to support durable solutions for displaced Libyans.
Conceptual issues Background : a fallen regime, victor's justice and resurgent violence The fall of the Gaddafi regime The rise of victor's justice The initial displacement crisis War and the re-escalation of the displacement crisis A growing crisis : internal displacement in post-Gaddafi Libya A "constant nightmare" : daily life and protection challenges for Libyan IDPs Lacklustre responses and barriers to solutions Precarious refuge : displaced Libyans in North Africa Into the shadows : Libyans' search for invisibility in neighboring countries Insecure status, lack of documentation and fear of return Declining living conditions Dismantling an "army of opposition," advancing durable solutions Durable solutions : obstacles and prospects The lynchpin : security and rule of law Participation in dialogues and negotiations Transitional justice, reconciliation and the resolution of displacement Conclusions and recommendations.