Publication of Updated Post-Nov 6 Supreme Court Decision Report.
I wanted to share with you my latest think tank report about Libya which was just updated on November 9th to reflect the crisis of legitimacy in Libya politics and the multiplicity of international interventions currently underway. You may read it in its entirety at the following link and please feel free to quote/cite it. http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/religion-geopolitics/country-profiles/libya/situation-report
The report has two primary conceptual conclusions:
1. Libya is not witnessing a civil war; it is in a state of “highly armed politics” as defined by Emile Simpson’s paradigm.
2. As the report was commissioned by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, it expressly treats the religious dimension of the current conflict. The report concludes that the polarization into two blocs in Libya is not primarily driven by religious fissures and that thinking about the conflict as Islamist vs. anti-Islamists is a flawed paradigm and we should think of the two blocs as a pro-lustration bloc and an anti-lustration bloc. This model is far more explanatory for why certain actors support certain blocs.
I believe that international actors must incorporate these conceptual insights into their dealings with Libya and that so doing will open up new avenues for mediation efforts focused on forging a national unity government, a return to the transitional process, and binding all the major factions to respect the constitutional referendum.
Relating to the Supreme Court decision I write that
The extent of international support that the HoR will receive is currently in flux as the Libyan Supreme Court ruled that the seventh constitutional amendment issued in March 2014 was unconstitutional and hence so were the June elections that brought the HoR to power. The HoR has rejected the ruling claiming it was made at ‘gunpoint’ in Tripoli.” and “The Supreme Court ruling, while complicating matters, could represent a window of opportunity. In fact, the ruling could serve ‘to level the playing field’ between the two camps and make it easier for international actors to engage all parties as potentially legitimate political actors. According to Mohamed Eljarh, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center, “The international community’s next step is key. Despite the UNSMIL statement that it is studying the Supreme Court’s ruling with its international partners,the EU ambassadors to Libya met with the Minister of Health in al-Thinni’s government in Tunis shortly after the ruling, suggesting it is business as usual with the Tobruk government”. For the international community to be able to play a positive role, they must show a greater inclination to engage with the Tripoli government, especially in the wake of the court’s decision.
I, therefore, council the international community to
Despite this new potential for division, all domestic and international actors should agree on the form of a ‘National Unity’ government incorporating all the major political factions (MLA, Muslim Brotherhood, HoR members, Liberal-leaning technocrats, Berbers/Amazigh, Federalists, key tribal leaders, Tebu, and Toureg). Such an agreement would bypass the need for each actor to definitively ‘take sides’ by choosing to recognize one governing body as opposed to the other.
To read the report click here.