What are the options for reconciliation in Derna?
Al-Zubayr Salem as written a policy brief attempting to identify entry points for a successful reconciliation process in the Libyan city of Derna. Derna, perceived as a melting pot of terrorism and local division, has been politically and socially marginalized since 2011 and its inhabitants currently face dire economic and humanitarian conditions. Analyzing the successes and failures of the High Council of Reconciliation at achieving a non-violent solution to the crisis, Salem draws the following conclusion:
Dialogue remains the best solution to the Derna crisis. Reconciliation efforts could play a major role in supporting and pushing for a peaceful solution, but the many challenges to such a process have meant that mediators have thus far been in a weak position. These stem in part from the specificities of Derna: Libyan public opinion, which sees the city as a hotbed of terrorism, as well as the real presence of some extremist actors; the crisis of political representation and legitimacy in the city, and the fragmentation of political actors; the weakness of tribal actors within the city of Derna, due to the diverse origins of its inhabitants, in opposition to the strong tribes supporting Operation Dignity present in the surrounding area.
Click here to read the policy brief in full.