The “confused” conditions on the ground in Libya
Istituto Affari Internazionali has published an article by Karim Mezran that explores the “confused” conditions on the ground in Libya and the UN effort to conduct a process of negotiation between rival governments and groups in the country. The author argues that while international actors have been involved in the UN-led negotiations they have also pursued their own geopolitical and economic interests and in doing so have supported one faction over another, much to the detriment of the UN process. Mezran argues:
The case of Egypt is emblematic. The support Cairo has given to Haftar was intended to keep Islamist groups out of power in Libya and away from the border between the two countries. It was also aimed at re-establishing order in Libya so as to initiate the process of economic reconstruction, of which Egypt planned to obtain a lion’s share. This has not happened and is looking less and less likely, thus causing a possible shift of strategy in the Egyptian capital. How this change will be expressed is still unclear.
There are rumours that the recent reshuffling in the security cabinet could lead to a change in policy vis-à-vis Libya and specifically regarding Haftar. Egypt could pressure Haftar to effectively collaborate with the UN toward the realization of a sound negotiated solution to the country’s crisis. Because Egypt’s role in the Libyan conflict is so important, this is the only case in which a consensus-driven government to replace that led by Sarraj today becomes a realistic scenario.
Although Egypt is the clearest tangent, other regional actors also played a role in diplomatic negotiations by inviting the various parties to their capitals and conducted negotiations. These were in theory connected to the national mediation of the UN but, in reality, undermined these efforts by creating different and overlapping fora for the discussions, while pursuing their own particular interests.
Click here to read the article in full.