A grenade splinter crack Mohamed Ben Khalifa from the living. The freelance Journalist worked as a photographer and cameraman for the AP news Agency reported heavy fighting between rival militias in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. There is a shrapnel met the 35-Year-old fatally in the head.

Ben Khalifas death is a metaphor for the slide of Libya in the civil war. The photographer was a chronicler of this development, and all their accompanying circumstances. Power of the militias, desperate refugees wait in devastating circumstances on the Crossing to Europe battles. But also the hope of many Libyans stand on a quiet life in peace and modest prosperity: Ben Khalifa has captured all these facets in his shots.

click here to See a selection of his photos:


a photo journalist was a victim of the recent civil war between the militias in Tripoli and the surrounding area. Once again, the fighters of the so-called Seventh Brigade of the 65 kilometers Southeast to the nearby small town of Tarhuna had made their way in the metropolis. Your goal is to break the dominance of the four major militias in the capital. Like a mafia cartel, you have divided Tripoli and the United Nations-supported government of Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj Subject.

The ceasefire does not resolve the conflict

In September, the Seventh Brigade had tried, together with allied militias from Misrata and Zintan to topple the cartel of Tripoli. In days long battles in the capital, more than a hundred people were killed and thousands of civilians displaced before the UN brokered a fragile ceasefire.

Now, the militias from the surrounding countryside have started a new attempt to secure by force their share of the benefices in the capital. For days they fought battles, in which at least 30 people, the photographer Ben Khalifa were killed, among them.

Now a fire break, but the fundamental conflict is since a few days: That militias plunder by force of arms to state institutions and fight anyone who wants to also pots of money.

Macron and Salvini behind the Libya policy of the EU

The next round of fighting in Tripoli is therefore only a matter of time. Salah Badi, leader of the militia “Brigade strength” from Misurata, threatening to open with a new attack on the battle groups in Tripoli. “The UN has not done their Job. That’s why I think that the armed struggle is a way of exerting pressure,” said Badi, the magazine “Zenith”. “The government is just a puppet.”

fighters in Tripoli

The powerlessness and the lack of legitimacy of the government, the United Nations difficult, the political process in Libya. Because the location within the formally government-controlled area around Tripoli, is only part of the problem. Add to that the political division of the country into an internationally recognised part in the West, and the Eastern part around Tripoli, is dominated by the troops of the Warlords Khalifa Haftar and his allies.

Haftar is mainly supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The United Nations and the European Union, Prime Minister Sarraj support. But, of all things, two important EU countries, France and Italy, to thwart the Libya policy. First, the French state chief Emmanuel Macron invited in may 2018, the two adversaries Sarraj and Haftar to a summit in Paris, on the he the 10. December as the date for parliamentary and presidential elections of the Philippines. This date is long passed, elections, or even a choice of law – are still in sight.

In November, organised by the former colonial power, Italy, in Palermo, a Libya summit, which remained entirely without tangible result.

Sarraj attended Short

On Monday Sarraj traveling to Vienna. At the Meeting with the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz will not, however, the internal political conflict in Libya. Instead, it is a question of ensuring that the number of refugee boats heading across the Mediterranean to Europe, goes back further.

In the next few weeks is to begin under the auspices of the UN special envoy, Ghassan Salamé, a “National conference” to the main parties to the conflict peacefully is to advise on how Libya will look like in the future. It is all about the future form of government and a question of how much autonomy the three country will enjoy parts of Tripolitania in the West, Cyrenaica in the East, Fezzan in the South in the future.

But, as long as not even the power relations are clarified within the capital, seems to be a success of this conference is very questionable. The UN does not want to even announce a start date.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.