Libyan crises threaten to push the country to a dangerous turning point


Tue, 15 Sep 2020 - 09:10 GMT

FILE PHOTO: A member of Libya's internationally recognised government forces carries a weapon in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A member of Libya's internationally recognised government forces carries a weapon in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny/File Photo

CAIRO - 15 September 2020: Libya has been marred in violence between competing forces, militias, and extremists since the toppling and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The conflict now pits the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal KhalifaHaftar, for control of the country.


During the past months, the country has suffered from several crises that threaten to push the country into a dangerous turning point if the UN mission in Libya and the countries concerned with the security and stability of Libya do not move.


These successive crises are represented by long hours of power outages, lack of liquidity, collapsing infrastructure, and fears that the country will enter a political vacuum due to the weakness of the Government of National Accord(GNA) controlled by  militiaand the resignation of the interim Libyan government that enjoys the confidence of the Libyan Parliament, led by AqeelaSaleh.


As a result of the deteriorating living conditions in the country, several widespread demonstrations erupted in most Libyan cities, whether in the west, east, or south, all calling for a rapid solution to the crises afflicting the Libyan state, which could lead to a state of widespread public tension that pushes towards a general uprising similar to the events of February 17, 2011.


The United Nations Support Mission in Libya(UNSMIL) focuses on pushing towards activating a political solution in cooperation with several neighboring countries, in addition to conducting a new round of meetings for the Libyan military in the format "5 + 5" to work on fully stabilizing the ceasefire and discussing several controversial files between the Libyan National Army delegation and the National Accord government delegation.


Moving to form a new presidential council and a separate government


The United Nations Support Mission in Libya is betting on the effectivenessof the results of the Montreux conference held in Switzerland a few days ago, in preparation for the completion of a comprehensive dialogue between the Libyan parties in the Swiss city of Geneva, as well as an agreement to choose a new presidential council that includes a president, two deputies, some agreed on names and a separate government.


This comes with the participation of all spectrums of the Libyan people, including those who were marginalized in previous agreementsand representatives of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi movement, who participated for the first time after the Skhirat Agreement, which excluded supporters of the former regime.


The outcomes of the Cairo meetings that were held during the past four days between the delegation of the Western region in Libya and several Egyptian officials came in linewith the moves by the UN mission, where the needto form a new presidential council and a separate government, and to hold elections in the country by October 2021 was emphasized.


Unifying security and military institutions


The idea of ​​unifying the security and military institutions in Libya is one of the biggest challenges facing the United Nations as it is the best planto reach a political solution and establish a new government that can play its full role in resolving the crises facing the Libyan street, such as crises of power cuts, lack of availability of liquidity and the collapse of infrastructure.


The UN mission is trying to liberate the Libyan institutions, specifically the executive ones, by supporting the proposal to transfer these institutions to the city of Sirte temporarily, so that these institutions can comfortably exercise their role, and be able to prevent the financing of armed militias and mercenaries and discuss the mechanism to get rid of militants.


A new UN envoy to Libya


Libya is awaiting the session of the UN Security Council voting to appoint a new UN envoy to Libya and a coordinator after more than six months of disagreement; voting will take place within hours on a draft resolution that will renew the work of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya until September 15, 2021.


Libyan media said that the Bulgarian, Nikolai Mladenov, the envoy of the peace process in the Middle East, was one of the most prominent names proposed to lead the UN mission in Libya, and it is assumed that he will be the coordinator of the United Nations support mission in Libya and responsible for the daily operations of the mission and the director of nearly 200 employees.


The new UN envoy to Libya will need quick moves to get involved in the Libyan file; work to activate the three tracks emanating from the Berlin conference, which are the political, military, and economic tracks; and work to address the gaps that Ghassan Salame left before submitting his resignation to the UN Secretary-General. 




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