EU calls for immediate ceasefire
On 13 May, the European Union Council released a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and reiterated that there was no military solution to the Libyan crisis. It urged all parties to stop any actions threatening the political process and to recommit to a political solution. The statement called the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s assault on Tripoli a “threat to international peace and security.”
The Government of National Accord (GNA)’s efforts to apply pressure on European powers to provide it with support and legitimacy appear to be backfiring and rather than nurturing its relationships, it instead appears to be actively antagonising them. Moreover, the GNA’s longstanding inability to control militias aligned with it or even identify those acting on its behalf has been a significant factor hampering the international community’s willingness to unite behind it. A UN staff member indicated that during the emergency United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session, it was “difficult” to identify the armed groups acting under the GNA and “the extent of their subordination to political authority.” The GNA’s international support base is becoming increasingly limited. While countries such as the UK, Italy and Germany continue to call for an end to the conflict and have previously tried to name Khalifa Haftar as the main aggressor in the escalating conflict, explicit international support for the GNA seems to be limited to Qatar and Turkey. The LNA’s offensive benefitted from direct regional and international support from Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, and Russia. In Libya, the GNA is perceived to be purchasing its allies. Its reliance on money to buy loyalty is drying up liquidity in some banks, which is resulting in social discontent. While Serraj remains the GNA figurehead, in practice anti-Haftar military figures, predominantly from Misrata, have taken over GNA politics in Tripoli and this dynamic is likely to negatively impact the GNA’s legitimacy in the future.
Click here to read the statement.