22 countries plus the European Union, the United Nations, the League of Arab States and the Arab Union all signed a joint statement on the situation in Libya after a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
|The statement reiterates positions often taken by members of the international community. In spite of the fact that under the leadership of Faiez Serraj the Government of National Accord (GNA) has been unable to convince the House of Representatives (HoR) to vote confidence in the GNA, the statement praises his leadership. There are many other problems Serraj has not solved, such as hydro outages, and cash shortages that Serraj has not yet solved.|
Given recent tensions in various parts of the country, we urge full de-escalation and avoiding provocative actions. We share the Libyan people’s desire to transform Libya to become a secure, democratic, prosperous, and unified state, where state authority and the rule of law prevail. This can only be achieved peacefully through inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation.
First, the House of Representatives (HoR, the internationally recognised parliament based in Tobruk) has rejected the list of ministers for the GNA. The EU and some member states had been engaging with the ministers designated as if they were already in charge. It is hard to predict whether a new list will be submitted soon, how different it will be from the current one and whether it will stand any chances of being approved by the parliament. At the moment, the implementation of the LPA is blocked while the government in Tripoli seems to be suffering from lack of domestic political support and an inability to deal with the many economic challenges it faces.
The second development is that the main force which remained outside of the LPA - namely general Khalifa Heftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and his political supporters in the HoR - have made significant progress both politically and on the ground. On 11 September, the LNA seized the main oil terminals in the so-called Oil Crescent from the Petroleum Facilities Guards of Ibrahim Jadhran, a backer of the government in Tripoli who had demanded payment in exchange for unblocking exports.Haftar gave control of the terminals to the Tripoli-based National Oil Company. Toaldo fails to mention that negotiations for the merger of the Tripoli and Bayda-based NOC's are still ongoing with the heads of the two NOC's working on the final agreement. The HoR had rejected the earlier agreement. Even under the existing agreement the revenues will ultimately go to pay civil servants in both governments and armed forces including the LNA as well. Far from causing parallel institutions to wither and collapse for lack of funds, the GNA has created a stituation where its oil revenues provide funding for an opposition government and forces. No wonder Haftar can hand over control to the NOC. However, if the arrangement goes awry, Haftar has the upper hand through control of the oil ports and fields.