Opinion

General Libyan Conference: searching for new consensus

By: Ibrahim Dabbashi

Ibrahim Dabbashi

No one inside or outside Libya believes that the House of Representatives (HoR) and the state can be partners in resolving Libyan crisis, as previous incidents proved that the last thing they care about is the interests of Libya and Libyans.

The HoR and the state are unable to reach consensus and achieve national interest; hence, many Libyans consider them an obstacle to revive the democratic process and establish the rule of law.

Because of their inaction, the United Nation (UN) has ignored them and started to search for practical alternatives to unify institutions and form a strong government that is able to consolidate the prestige of the state.

The militias with their different views, whether extremist or criminal, have weakened, and their leaders are ready to accept any negotiations that would save them from criminal proceedings or from the revenge of their opponents and the of their victims.

Rarely are the regional and tribal militias that call for a revolution, prompted by their fear of the army’s return as a destructive force that would disarm and oppress them. During their revolution, they mainly rely on intimidation and defaming their adversaries as their political tool to maintain the alliance of all militias to be able to face any military power, which would protect the government in the capital and save it from militias’ dominance.

It is no longer worthwhile to consider the legitimacy, the government and the leadership of Faiez Sarraj, despite what is said about him, that he enjoys the “international support” that make him sustain the status quo.

However, he tries to take an action despite all the unfavorable circumstances that he cannot change, and it is certainly that he is better than any other politician to resume the presidency of a unified government preparing for the election if an organized military power is founded and is internationally supported.

Meanwhile, Khalifa Haftar has been able to build a powerful force and constitute a considerable military achievement on the ground; therefore, he would be more capable of transforming the power under his leadership to a powerful army if the arm embargo is lifted. The army would be reformed in accordance to the outcomes of the Cairo meetings, and offices and soldiers of militias would join them.

Libyans or whoever seeks to help them find solutions for the crisis have no other choices except an interim alliance with international guarantees, provided by the most prominent politicians and military members to unify institutions and impose the sovereignty of the state.

This aims to pave the way to hold presidential and legitimate elections within 6 months.

Further, the only current choice to them is working on expediting consensus between Sarraj and Haftar to ensure that the first leads the political process as a head of the Government of the National Accord (GNA) and the latter leads the security situation as a minister of defense and a head of Libyan National Army (LNA).

Achieving that is certainly possible in the light of the absence of a legitimate power, but many political leaders and those who exploit the chaos in Libya will oppose it. Therefore, a Libyan consensus should be reached through the General Libyan Conference, which should bring together respectful representatives from all municipalities.

Would Ghassan Salame take an action and prepare for the conference based on that or would he be influenced by some other countries that seek to make this conference fail in the context of continuing chaos?

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