Williams: Politicians in Libya exchange fire in the day and collude at night

Williams: Politicians in Libya exchange fire in the day and collude at night

November 05, 2022 - 19:55
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said that Libyan political actors tend to exchange fire during the day and collude at night while continuing to amass significant gains at the expense of Libyan citizens.

In a policy brief published on Brookings Institution after the passing of two years since the Libyan ceasefire agreement signed in Geneva, Williams said Libya’s wily and opportunistic post-2011 ruling elite – a network of security, political and economic actors – continues to prioritize patronage and its own transitory deals above the future of the country.

Williams said that the specter of Muammar Gaddafi is still haunting the country, as evidenced by the sudden entry into the presidential race of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi last year, indicating that  Libya is facing a dilemma of democracy, referring to what she described as "the fear" that some potential presidential candidates, if elected, would take everything, one person, one vote, leading to a return to the era of Muammar Gaddafi."

Williams said that the candidacy of Khalifa Haftar and the Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah sparked a deep controversy, as Haftar's coup attempt in April 2019 killed a large number of civilians in western Libya, while Dbeibah acted in bad faith by violating The pledge he made during the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in February 2021 that he would not present himself as a presidential candidate.

She explained that the agreement on a constitutional basis for the elections had recently stopped due to Haftar's insistence on language that would allow candidates to retain a second citizenship (in his American case), and said that the House of Representatives and the High Council of State could end the work that began in Cairo in March 2022 through coordinated international pressure.

Williams pointed out that Libya has retreated from the headlines of the newspapers and ceased to be a priority in many capitals, with the international community's attention focused on the Ukrainian crisis.

Despite the bleak outlook for the Libyan situation, Williams indicated that there are a number of applicable points to mitigate the effects of local and regional situations on the Libyan crisis, and to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people.

In October 2020, the two parties to the conflict in Libya signed a ceasefire agreement in the meetings of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission after talks that lasted for 5 days at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.