Is an End to Libya’s Political Crisis Finally in Sight?
This Middle East Eye article demystifies the important changes that are afoot in Libya at present examining the collapse of Libya Dawn as its pillars of support shifted to the GNA. It tackles these key issues via interviews with two of the Libya fields most knowledgeable experts, Mattia Toaldo and Mohamed Eljarh. Key Insights from Mattia:
Libya Dawn has dissolved and therefore the government of Libya Dawn has dissolved. The moment 10 Libyan cities (which had previously supported Libya Dawn) signed a statement supporting the GNA, then Libya Dawn was over….
Some people in Libya fear that the GNC might try to take the lead [in the GNA] because of the HOR not moving forward with its implementation.They fear that some Europeans and the United States might say “okay, the HOR doesn’t want to play ball, the GNC State Council has been purged of its hardliners, so let’s work with the GNC”.To be honest I don’t see that happening in the real world for political reasons. Tobruk is backed by Egypt and the Emirates and I don’t see France or Italy doing anything against Egypt or the UAE….
The West should be patient (and not press military intervention) other than offering very innocent assistance, by which I mean not trying to drag the GNA into a new counter-terrorism effort. The GNA has to legitimise itself as a purely Libyan government – and not as a foreign pawn that the spoilers have consistently portrayed them as….
And important perspective from the ground by Mohamed:
The next step is to convene the House of Representatives in Tobruk in order to vote on two key issues – these include the constitutional amendment by which the Libyan political agreement that was signed on 17 December in Skhirat will become part of the constitutional declaration. Number two will be to vote on the government of national accord (GNA) – either to accept it or reject it. There is going to be most likely a positive vote from what I heard. The only contentious issues remain Article 8 of the additional provision that deals with General Haftar and senior military positions. Article 8 of the additional provisions states that all senior military positions would be reset as soon as the agreement is signed, but that has not been the case because the House of Representatives about seven weeks ago met and voted to drop Article 8 or freeze it completely. I think that will be one of the sticking points there. But my reading is that there will be a compromise and that we will see Article 8 frozen or dropped altogether and then we will see the GNA approved…..
If Article 8 is dropped, I’m sure there will not be any problems. My only worry is if we see a session in the HOR, but we don’t see consensus reached and we do not see Article 8 dropped….As a result, what we will see is a split within the HOR – we will have some staying in Tobruk, others going to Tripoli or elsewhere in Libya and we will have a repeat of what happened in 2014 where you have the east with its own parliamentarians and then you have the government of national accord in Tripoli…. It’s like a new divide. But at least for now, what is happening is slightly positive. There are lots of challenges. It’s normal because you are trying to bring two extremes into one agreement or to one setting so that’s expected, but if we manage to find a settlement regarding Article 8 or General Haftar and the army, then I’m sure there won’t be any spoilers in eastern Libya.
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