A general view of the Marsa al Hariga oil port in the city of Tobruk, Libya, August 20, 2013. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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It could be a costly bet, one that ignites renewed conflict between east and west over territory, slashes oil production, and pushes Libya closer to a split that has threatened the country since the uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi five years ago.Western powers see the unity government as the best hope for ending the chaos.The Government of National Accord has slowly begun to establish itself in the capital since arriving a month ago. After Gadhafi's fall, a gulf between east and west has slowly widened, especially after an alliance of Islamist-leaning Tripoli and Misrata militias took over the capital in 2014 and created their own self-declared government.It also appointed a ex-Gadhafi ally, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, as the head of its armed forces, the Libyan National Army.The military leadership has its own divisions, but after a long deadlock the LNA has made significant gains in parts of Benghazi since February, boosting Haftar's popularity and emboldening his political allies.After its Benghazi success the LNA says it is getting ready to advance on Sirte from the east, while brigades from Misrata are reportedly preparing to advance from the west.
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