Ghadames to Host UNSMIL Brokered Talks
It was announced today that the city of Ghadames has been picked as the site for hosting talks and negotiations between HoR representatives and its boycotting members, who have been deserting the institution since the start of its works last summer. In a bid to avoid providing Libya Dawn and its institutions with additional legitimacy, there will be no direct negotiations between the recently sworn-in al-Thinni government and members of the re-vamped GNC or of the al-Hassi government. However, despite recent declarations from HoR spokesman Faraj Hashim, outside observers expect HoR boycotters attending talks to act as full fledged Libya Dawn representatives, potentially allowing already tomorrow for the declaration of a bilateral ceasefire and exchange of prisoners. This would in turn strengthen the UNSMIL-brokered initiative and boost the possibility of reaching a political solution to the ongoing national crisis, as many of Libya’s Western partners are pushing for.
In Benghazi, meanwhile, violence continues unabated. During the past seven days, the city has witnessed a string of targeted assassinations that came as a shocker even when bearing in mind the city’s recent events and trends. Last Friday, not only were members of the security apparatuses again attacked by assailants, but, once again,young political activists were also needlessly killed. Furthermore, on Wednesday, General Haftar’s forces finally followed through with their threats of attacking ships suspected of providing weapons and ammunition through the city’s port to militias aligned with the Benghazi’s Revolutionaries Shoura Council.
At this stage, it then seems clear that Benghazi will remain the scene of further violence, quite possibly for an extended amount of time. Besides the fact that Operation Dignity forces are all but set to accept their eviction from the city, the willingness of extremist groups to adopt asymmetrical tactics in order to coerce the population and fulfill their political visions make it likely that even the achievement of a grand political bargain during Ghadames’ negotiations will not bring an end to the city’s current security jumble.