Tripwires For The Libyan Peace Process
The American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project has published an analysis by Emily Estelle on recent events that may unsettle the Libyan peace process in the wake of December 17. Estelle points to the assassination of Misrata mayor, Mohammed Eshtawi, and Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar’s rejection of the Libyan Political Agreement as triggers to instability. Estelle expands upon this, suggesting:
“Haftar’s rejection of the LPA is his strongest statement so far indicating that he will run for president in 2018. His position diverges somewhat from that of his political allies in the Libyan House of Representatives, who had the upper hand in the UN-led talks and avoided rejecting the LPA entirely. Haftar will capitalize on popular frustration with the stalled peace process to consolidate his personal power, legitimize the LNA, and secure a leadership role in the future Libyan state.
Both Eshtawi’s death and Haftar’s turn away from political resolution worsen the polarization of the Libyan political sphere. This polarization empowers armed actors that will escalate the conflict and weakens moderate factions who are willing to make compromises—albeit limited ones—in negotiated deals. Political leadership will likely take steps to de-escalate with dialogues between eastern and western delegations, as well as domestic and international efforts to commit Haftar to a political framework.”
To read the article in full click here.