Khalifa Haftar’s Visit to Niger

On 6 August, Libya’s Khalifa Haftar – head of the Libyan National Army, the most prominent politician in northeastern Libya, and a key rival of Libya’s Government of National Accord – visited Niger. There, he met Nigerien President Mahamdou Issoufou as well as senior Nigerien military officers.

Haftar is not Libya’s head of state, but as one observer commented, it looked a bit like “head of state protocol” for Haftar in Niger, or at least a very respectful welcome. See this official tweet from the Nigerien presidency:

Similarly, Libya analyst Jalel Harchaoui took issue with RFI’s headline calling the visit “discreet/low profile.”

No news reports that I have seen, nor the Nigerien presidency’s website, have given an official readout of what was discussed at the meeting. Various analyses have placed the visit in the context of Haftar’s ambitions to dominate/conquer southern Libya, and the corresponding need to coordinate to some extent with Libya’s southern neighbors.

I am aware of at least one past visit by Haftar to Chad, in September 2016, but I am not aware of him paying another diplomatic visit like this to another Sahelian country (and no, I am not counting his capture in Chad in the 1980s as a “visit” in this sense) since he returned to Libya in 2011.

2 thoughts on “Khalifa Haftar’s Visit to Niger

  1. Pingback: World update: August 13 2018 – and that's the way it was

  2. Something doesnt add up here the present Libyan Government have been well aware of Haftars movements for a long time,look at the pictures of the long lines of his troops,the Libyan airforce could have wiped them of the face of the earth with jet fighters they have ,however they didnt ask yourselves why they didnt and you have yourselves a coup involving members of the present Libyan Government to topple the U.N ,,,,,simple really even a school kid work that one out 1000s of vehicles in a nice long sraight line……any of you guys ever heard of a mini gun??????? it would take about 5 minutes to completely demolish a line of vehicles like this the Libyan Government have enough fighter jets to do this ……CT back to my council tax…..personally I believe certain persons who work for the UN are ill founded

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