Dr. Mattia Toaldo, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, recently released an extensive analysis of the present situation in Libya giving considerable background to help understand the present situation.
|The entire article can be found here and is titled "Between Progress and Fragmentation". The good news about Libya for Toaldo is that the Islamic State is almost wiped out in its last main base in Libya, Sirte. However, he also claims that the other good news is that there is a Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) establishing the Government of National Accord (GNA).|
Less optimistic is the fact that the country is as divided as ever, with the Tripoli-based GNA having only loose control of parts of the West and South of the country and the east being a de facto separate country under the dictatorship of renegade general Khalifa Heftar. Heftar receives support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – and increasingly from Russia.This is happening even though supporters of Haftar continue to give lip service to the primacy of the GNA and to UN resolutions on the issue.
A national dialogue initiative could be facilitated by the UN (Special Envoy Martin Kobler is already moving in this sense) and receive the logistical and financial support of the GNA while remaining independent from government control. It should support a country-wide conversation on crucial issues such as, to make a few examples, the fate of political prisoners, the distribution of oil wealth (with the goal of restarting oil production and avoiding the economic collapse of the country) or the social and political inclusion of members of the former regime without blood on their hands. This reconciliation initiative should go hand in hand with concrete moves by the GNA in Tripoli to reach out to the east, promoting decentralisation and addressing the issue of the building of a national army.We have already seen in a recent national dialogue that splits make such a dialogue difficult.
That agreement contains itself the tools that allow to unlock the process: for instance, article 16 and 17 say that the House of Representatives must become a truly neutral body and not Heftar’s political branch. It should sit in a neutral location and all members should be free to express their vote, unlike what’s happened in the past.Yet the two articles say nothing about the HoR becoming a neutral body and nothing about Haftar. It does say that a meeting of the HoR should determine a location for it to meet. The deadline for article 17 to be implemented was September 17 2015, over a year ago.These articles surely come into play only in the context of article 13:
Article (13) The House of Representatives, elected in June 2014, shall undertake the legislation authority for the transitional period, granting the vote of confidence or no confidence to the Government of National Accord as per the items of this Agreement, adopting the general budget, performing oversight over the executive authority and endorsing the public policy submitted by the Government. In other words, it would seem that before the tools in the two articles can be used there must first be the vote of confidence in the GNA that has yet to happen.