Kobler’s Fecklessness and the Plummeting of the Libyan Dinar
The UN mediated political process seems to have passed the point of no return and Kobler’s knee jerk resorting to platitudes and attempts at applying the same failed solutions is going no where fast. On 2 March, Kobler reported to his bosses at the UN that the agreement, ‘desired by most Libyans’, is being stymied by a few spoilers. He suggested that the UN punish these spoilers but failed to give any details.
This is what I have constantly warned against doing. Spoilers should be punished and hit with sticks, not with empty words. The bigger Kobler talks without delivering and clinging onto the strategy of carrots he inherited from Leon, he will undermine any sliver of hope for an agreement that remains.
Another way he is harming the UN’s credibility is that Kobler publically said that the HoR had accepted the Libyan Political Accord (LPA) in ‘principle.’ This is manifestly false, as any potential HoR endorsement of the LPA appears conditional on the removal of a key article, which has yet to be removed and if it were would cause opposition from the moderate Islamists and Misratans who have signed on.
Kobler warned that if the new government was not recognised by mid-March, he intended to reconvene the Libyan Political Dialogue group to examine a new approach. However, he gave no indication of possible solutions. Kobler repeated that there were no alternatives to the LPA and that the GNA should be allowed to take up its duties in Tripoli as soon as possible. All of these words and no meaningful actions to bring about progress have further exposed the UN’s weakness and hypocrisy.
Libyan institutions know that this approach is doomed, and the value of the local Libyan currency in the informal market reflects this, dropping for the first time below 4.75 Libyan Dinars to 1 USD for a whole week. Reports on 6 March of an arrest of 4 persons smuggling 400kg of Gold bullion and US foreign currency is an apt metaphor for for Libya’s macroeconomic situation.