Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Local security governance in Libya

22 Oct 2018 - 10:22
Perceptions of security and protection in a fragmented country

Libya lacks a central government that is united, effective, or both. Two competing governments from the East and West of the country claim to be the legitimate national rulers but real power is in the hands of a plethora of local (armed) groups. These local actors have begun to provide core government functions that the 'state' fails to provide.

This new report analyzes how the provision of security is organized and perceived at municipal level across Libya. It synthesizes the findings from a household survey on security and protection we conducted in various Libyan municipalities. The report gives insight in how local security governance functions beyond formal institutions and how this is experienced by average Libyans.

The results of the survey on security and protection in Libyan municipalities are presented here, offering you up-to-date and municipality-specific information on security governance in Libya.

Research findings demonstrate that Libyans seek security from local actors instead of national ones, and that a combination of formal and informal actors is responsible for their protection. The report therefore emphasizes the need to take account of the full spectrum of local security providers, including informal actors that are trusted and considered legitimate. It also explains why any policy and programming, in order to be effective and conflict-sensitive, requires up-to-date knowledge of local power arrangements and what can be done by the international assistance community to support legitimate security governance in Libya.