Arab League, African Union and UN Support Mission joint statement on Libya

On the 25th of October the League of Arab States, African Union and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) held a meeting to discuss the situation in Libya.

The meeting also talked of ways for the three organizations to cooperate to "advance the political process and assist Libya in its democratic transition". It could be argued that there has been no democratic transition but a UN-supported Government of National Accord that has been manufactured by external forces as much as by Libyans and forced upon the Libyans. The government is not able to satisfy basic needs and has been unable to unify with the east which is becoming more and more under military control led by Field Marshal Haftar.
The statement consists of 15 separate points and the entire document can be found here. The meeting was with Ahmed Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Jakaya Kikwete of African Union representative for Libya and Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and head of UNSMIL.
In the third point the parties "reiterated their rejection of any foreign intervention in Libya". Presumably, the three do not object to foreign intervention that is requested. The problem is that foreign military intervention may be requested by one government such as the UN-supported GNA while rejected by their rival government of the House of Representatives (HoR). While the GNA welcomes and asked for US bombing support of the Sirte offensive, the HoR regards the bombing as unwarranted foreign intervention. There is already intervention of special forces from the U.K., U.S. and France, and Jordan and perhaps others. There is also intervention by Egypt and the UAE and support for Haftar that often violates the UN weapons ban on Libya.
The statement notes that a Troika of representatives from the three organizations would be set up to held enhance cooperation on Libya by the three bodies to help facilitate the Libyan Political Agreement. The envoys of the three organizations are to "conduct joint missions" that would encourage key Libyan stakeholders to advance the political process.
The document condemns the recent coup attempt saying the action hindered the political process. They called for swift de-escalation of the process and consolidation of security and rule of law in Tripoli. No recommendations are made as to how this can be done. There is no mention of the defection of the Presidential Guards, who are supposed to defend the GNA, to those attempting the coup.
There is no change from the long existing plan to have the HoR vote confidence in the GNA:The parties expressed their support for the PC and urged it to continue to assume its responsibilities, in an inclusive manner, as mandated by the LPA, and to present a revised cabinet of the Government of National Accord. They also expressed their support for the House of Representatives, as the legislative authority of the State, and urged it to continue to fulfill its responsibilities towards the LPA.
So far the HoR has exercised its responsibility twice by rejecting the GNA, the last time on August 22. The GNA had ten days to present a new cabinet, that is over two months ago. The HoR is functioning as a legislature but of the rival HoR government in Tobruk not that of the UN-recognized GNA.
The parties emphasize the need for cohesive and professional Libyan military and security forces "operating under a unified chain of command as mandated by the LPA". They do not mention that this makes the PC commander in chief for now. There is no mention of Haftar and the demand of him and his supporters that the LPA section on this issue, article 8, be deleted. Support was expressed for the fight against terrorism in Sirte but also in Benghazi and other areas. No specific mention is made of Derna which is under siege by Haftar.
The parties welcome efforts to restore oil production. No mention is made of Haftar's seizure of the oil ports. They support a unified oil company. They do not mention the unification agreement that has the headquarters moving to Benghazi and has the NOC reporting to the HoR. They stress as well the importance of a unified Central Bank to oversee funds collected. The group said they were ready to provide technical support to assist the PC in dealing with the Central Bank on issues of public financing and expenditures. The group wants to help mobilize and coordinate international support for Libya. There is a high-level meeting on Libya to be held in London soon. The final point of the communique is that the group is committed to having further meetings.
The group stick with the long-standing policy of regarding the LPA as the only way forward even though so far any attempt to pass it through the HoR has failed. There is no discussion of the problem of Haftar or any reason provided to think that a new cabinet will result in a vote of confidence in the GNA by the HoR. Given the length of time since the GNA was voted down there is not even any good reason to believe the PC can ever agree to a new cabinet. No deadlines are set. That is probably a better approach than setting a deadline and then breaching it continually.


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