Libya’s defensce spending in 2023 is estimated at $3.5 billion dollars, ranking 3rd in Africa and 51st globally, according to Global Firepower (GFP), a website dedicated to military affairs.
The volume of spending for African countries that have the largest defence budgets in 2023 is about $24 billion dollars. This includes armies that are ranked among the 36 most powerful in the world.
Algeria’s defense spending is estimated at $9.9 billion, and ranks 1st in Africa and 24th in the world. Egypt’s defence spending is estimated at $4.3 billion, 2nd in Africa and 46th in the world, while Libya comes 3rd with $3.5 billion.
However, higher spending does not correlate to the ranking of the army’s strength. The Ethiopian army is ranked 5th in Africa in military power, but its defence spending does not exceed $538 million.
Libya has two rival armies in the east and west of the oil-rich country. The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) is controlled by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, while the western-based rival is under the UN-recognized Government of National Unity (GNU).
The two rival parties signed a ceasefire agreement in October 2020.
Libya descended into a decade of violence following the 2011 overthrow of the late longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed rebellion.
The resulting power grab gave rise to a myriad of home-grown militias and prompted interventions by Arab powers as well as Turkey, and Western states.
Presidential and legislative elections were originally scheduled for December 2021, to cap an UN-sponsored peace process. But the polls were postponed indefinitely, because of controversial candidates and the laws on participation.
The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down.
In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.