Suggestions for a way forward in Libya
Mattia Toaldo a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations has a recent article in the Middle East Eye recommending a way forward in Libya for the United States and the EU.
|This article critically analyzes some aspects of Toaldo's position. Toaldo notes that it is important not to just look at what the US and others are doing militarily in Libya, but what their policies are and should be. Toaldo says that both the EU and Americans have been active in the process of setting up the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). He claims that the joint US and EU actions led Russia and powers such as Egypt and the UAE to "sign up for extended support for the GNA" even though their "hearts wallets, and arms stockpiles" were on the side of the rival House of Representatives (HoR) government. However, this appears to be mainly lip service rather than actual support. Russia, Egypt, and the UAE continue to support Haftar and the HoR government in actuality.|
Despite all diplomatic efforts, Haftar, who effectively controls the government in Tobruk and Beyda, is unlikely to willingly serve under an effective civilian government. His regional sponsors in Egypt and the UAE are unlikely to accept a unity government that includes anything that seems “Islamist” in any way. This means that there wouldn’t be a unity government, and most likely not one working from Tripoli.While Kobler at least until recently has emphasized achieving a unity government, Toaldo thinks this unlikely.
The GNA is supposed to be an interim government tasked with bringing the country to new elections. But in the meantime, Libyans deserve to have an interim representative body and, if the HoR is not working, a temporary solution could be to ask municipalities to designate their representatives for a national body that, together with the Political Dialogue (the delegations that signed the UN-backed agreement), would hold the GNA accountable. These representatives could include current HoR members, mayors, tribal and social leaders.Toaldo thinks that empowering these groups would achieve stability and would also facilitate coordination between local and central authorities. However, many local authorities are dependent upon militias for security. The local authorities may not be able to coordinate with central authorities unless this furthers the interests of those who provide security for the area. The Political Dialogue is not a dialogue at all. As it is now, it is a meeting of a select few whom Kobler thinks will support whatever new plan he has up his sleeve.