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Stability at what cost? Smuggling-driven development in the Libyan city of Kufra

  • Tim Eaton

    Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House

    زميل أبحاث أول، تشاثام هاوس

The case of Kufra raises difficult questions for policymakers over what interventions to support in places that have come to thrive on illicit cross-border trade. 


The Libyan city of Kufra is an important trade hub for goods crossing its borders with Sudan and Chad. Since 2011, human smuggling has come to play a complex role in Kufra’s economic development and overall stability,providing counter-intuitive findings for international policymakers.

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This article was produced by Chatham House for the Cross-Border Conflict Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) research programme, funded by UK aid from the UK government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.