Sarraj’s peace proposal unlikely to bear fruit
On 16 June, the Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, announced a new peace plan initiative, under the auspices of the UN, to kick start a new political process, provided that it does not include Khalifa Haftar and his supporters. The initiative is a rehashing of the stalled UN peace plan – a national conference to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections with the added caveat of excluding Haftar and all Libyan National Army (LNA) affiliated representatives. The UN Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the initiative calling it “constructive” and added that it welcomes any other initiatives from Libya’s major actors, signalling that it remains open for engagement and dialogue with the LNA.
The Sarraj peace plan is widely seen as political posturing to showcase the GNA’s good faith to the international community and embarrass Haftar and the LNA, as well as maintain the status quo in Tripoli with the GNA still at the helm of the anti-LNA forces. However, it is very unlikely to result in any significant change to the political situation in Libya or internationally, as Sarraj has made no concessions nor offered a way out of the current impasse. Any ceasefire or political process necessitates the participation of pro-LNA forces and LNA supporters, therefore excluding all LNA-affiliated officials will be a non-starter. As a result, the current military stalemate and political instability is likely to continue for at least the medium term, and likely for the longer term.