New UN envoy claims rival Libyan regimes close to an agreement
For over a year now the UN has been trying to broker a deal between the two rival Libyan regimes but neither the House of Representatives(HoR) based in Tobruk or the General National Congress based in Tripoli have approved the Libya Political Agreement
|The new head of the UN Support MIssion in Libya(UNSMIL) Martin Kobler, took over from the former envoy Bernardino Leon around the middle of November. Leon had presented a final draft of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement(LPA), together with names for senior members of the associated Government of National Accord, to the two parliaments before he left. Neither of the two parliaments held a vote on the draft and both issued statements taking issue with some aspects of the draft. Nevertheless Kobler said:|
"We are very close to a deal even if some hurdles remain. I believe we can sign in a month. Talks have lasted for a year and it is time now to sign a deal. The government of unity should be based in Tripoli."Kobler has not called for sanctions against those resisting the deal, at least for the moment, but he encouraged Libyans to go for a solution. But this is a solution that has been producing division without any resolution of the conflict for months now.
“The government proposed by Leon was not the outcome of the Libyan people’s inspiration and demands, because it was not formed by the consent of the Libyan parties related to the crisis, particularly – the GNC and the HoR. The dialogue must go back to what it was intended for, which is a dialogue between the General National Congress and the House of Representatives, besides, the United Nations role in this dialogue mustn’t exceed that of the mediator or the sponsor and not the ruler or the decision maker,The GNC has recently cut the size of its government and declared itself willing to hand over power to a unity government. However so far there is no proposed unity government that the GNC has approved.
Martin Kobler, welcomes the recent declaration by 92 members of the House of Representatives endorsing in principle the Libyan Political Agreement and the proposed Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord.The statement has two provisions that make it a rejection of the LPA. One is that Khalifa Haftar retain his position as commander of the Libyan National Army and the other that some of the names in the proposed GNA must be changed. The first provision would never be accepted by the GNC. It is strange Kobler could ever praise this basic rejection of the LPA. A recent article stresses that Kobler must move to restore trust in the UN process. So far he has done little to do so and that includes not replying to the GNC that has demanded an explanation of whyBernardino Leon was hired and kept on after clear evidence of a conflict of interest.