This has not been a great year for Libya, and on Thursday, things got worse. Libya's Supreme Court announced the dissolution of the country's elected parliament in Tobruk, a city where the country's internationally recognized government has governed in exile since Islamist forces pushed them out of Tripoli. The parliament assumed office after a June 25 vote that brought Abdullah al-Thinni, a moderate, into power. The Supreme Court decision sparked both celebration and outcry.
"Lawmakers will not recognize a verdict decided under the gun," Tobruk-based parliamentarian Issam al-Jehani wrote on Facebook.
Libya has not had a central leadership since this summer, when the new parliament fled Tripoli shortly after being elected, while the old parliament refused to step down. Ever since, the country has had two different parliaments and two different prime ministers presiding over two different parts of the country.
Then there's Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the birthplace of the anti-Qaddafi revolution in 2011. There, a former pro-Qaddafi general named Khalifa Haftar is battling for control of the city with groups of Islamist militias, with neither thus far claiming full control. One of those militias is Ansar al-Sharia, a group aligned with al-Qaeda that pulled off the raid on Benghazi's U.S. Embassy in September 2012 that led to the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Hundreds of miles to the south, fighters from the Tebu and Tuareg minorities have battled near the city of Owbari, located near Libya's Al-Shararah oil field. Oil production, a central source of revenue for the country, has fallen in recent months to around 800,000 barrels per day.