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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

UN General Secretary on Libyan situation after one year of the Libyan Political Agreement

(December 17) A year ago on the 17th of December, selected members of the Libya Dialogue signed the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in Skhirat Morroco. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon today commended all the Libyans who took part in the process.

A spokesperson for the UN General-Secretary issued a statement that said in part:
The Secretary-General commends all Libyans who engaged in the process, in the spirit of reconciliation, inclusion and human rights. The road to peace is long and requires hard work and commitment. Much has been achieved in the past year. The Presidency Council was formed and operates from Tripoli. Oil production has increased and significant advances have been made against terrorism across the country.
As is common, in UN statements much that is significant is left out. The LPA was not signed by either of the two separate legislatures as was originally intended. There was the Salvation Government of the General National Council(GNC) based in Tripoli and the House of Representatives government based in Tobruk. Neither parliament has ever ratified the LPA. Although there were members of both parliaments who signed, none were authorized by their respective parties to do so. The agreement was in effect manufactured by the UN as a means of getting around the fact that neither parliament would agree to the LPA. The text of the entire agreement can be found here. Some dates indicating when certain things are to be accomplished are long in the past.
In a masterful understatement Ban Ki-Moon notes that the slow pace at which the LPA is being implemented has not brought the stability and security to Libya that Moon says all Libyans deserve. In the parts of Libya run by the UN-brokered Government of National Accord, there have been cash shortages, power outages, some water shortages and many clashes among rival militia groups. There have been many kidnappings as well. There is no sign of the rival House of Representatives signing on to the LPA. The eastern area is being increasingly militarized by the commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar. He rejects the LPA and the GNA and even threatens to attack Tripoli.
Ban urges those not involved in the LPA process to join in. It is not clear why Haftar and his supporters should do so. He has seized the main oil ports of the oil crescent in the east and allies have control of the main pipeline system in the west carrying oil from two fields to the coast. He appears to have worked out some type of agreement with the National Oil Company but no detail has every been released. His Zintan allies in the west also must have reached some agreement but no mention is ever made of what this involves in reports.
Moon expressed his support for his Special Representative, Martin Kobler, and the staff of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). He also praised the Africa Union, EU, League of Arab States for their strong support of the political process. All seem to have simply been cheerleaders for whatever the UN and GNA did.
The statement today follows on an earlier statement on December 6 to the UN Security Council. In it he noted that the LPA was moving slower than it should in implementation, and associated institutions were operating below expectations. In that statement he mentioned the plan to form a Presidential Guard which would protect the government and institutions. He pointed out the difficulties of relying on militia.
There are no specific plans or even ideas as to how the HoR and Haftar are to be incorporated within the GNA or even how the LPA might be changed. It is still regarded as the basis for a way forward. Haftar is not even mentioned by name. The crucial specific problem of his continuing as commander of the armed forces is not mentioned. The statement gives little information about what has happened and even less about what the UN specifically intends to do in the future.


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