By the Libya Experts Group
The creation of a Government of National Accord in Libya has created a new and positive dynamic in the country’s politics – or at least that is what its local and international supporters argue. In the wake of its formation, Perim Associates asked its Libya’s experts to look at a few months into the future, to make sense of ongoing political and security events, to discern what is likely to take place in a country that has experienced continuous chaos since its revolution of 2011, to analyze international efforts in regard to the IS presence in Libya, to gauge the impact on Libya’s neighbors of the ongoing turmoil, and to question ultimately whether (and on what terms) the GNA can propel its forward as a truly national government.
The full report in pdf (Libya-Experts-Group-1 )
The report included the following brief views of 2 Libyan intellectuals; Dr. Mohamed Mufti and Dr. Azza Maghur>
1- Dr. Mufti’s View
The current chaos in Libya can best viewed as a power struggle between tow rival camps: the Government of National Accord (GNA)and the so called Heftar Camp. Alliances in each camp are unstable, and overlap with tribal, ideological and even criminal allegiances.
The GNA, enthusiastically supported by the international community, lacks democratic legitimacy and has so far largely remained dysfunctional. It is allied with and protected by Islamic militias who will reject it on an ideological basis in the long run.
On the opposite side of the divide stands Heftar with the Libyan National Army that has fought devastating street wars in Benghazi against IS and Islamic militias.
Misratan-cum-islamic are now fighting on behalf of the GNA to evict IS from Sirte. If they prevail, their guns will be turned against Heftar’s army next, a move advocated by Sheikh Gharyani.
Future conflicts will bring other armed groups into the battle – many of which have so far remained uncommitted and mostly on Heftar’s side. However, moderate Islamists, ferocious in their feud against Heftar, are politically more flexible. They may even be better qualified to fight IS.
But an Islamist-dominated Libya ultimately remains unsustainable. In all of this, one reality stands out clearly. The present UN-sponsored approach based on political negotiation and the apportioning of government seats, is doomed. It has simply reinforced Libya’s historical tendency towards segmentation of authority.
Short Bio of Mohamed Mufti:
2. Dr. Maghur’s View
Much of Libya’s immediate political future will hinge on the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement (PLA), a pact among the warring Libyan parties that was signed in December 2015. The LPA has introduced into Libya’s political life a significant path toward a political transition in which
elections are no longer the driving force – contrast to political attempts at reconciliation until now. The PLA is neither an international nor a Libyan agreement: it has been drafted, coordinated and orchestrated by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) with the support of foreign states.
Currently, the PLA is an agreement that is binding only upon its parties. It is not applicable to Libyan territory or the people living within it. Neither can it be invoked before Libyan courts nor used as a binding document since it is not Libyan legislation. Furthermore, the PLA didn’t specify the steps by which it can be integrated into Libya’s legal framework.
The LPA created two institutions that did not exist during Libya’s transitional period after 2011: the . Government of National Accord (GNA), and the State Council (SC). In accordance with the PLA, the elected House of Representatives (HoR) continues to perform its mandate as the legislative authority of Libya. However, as long as the HoR is unable to oblige to the PLA by adopting it as a constitutional amendment, the GNA performs its obligations in complete detachment from the HoR. This includes with cabinets that were denied a vote of confidence by the HoR. An issue of greater concern in the LPA’s failure to become part of the legislation, and not being implemented as a policy instrument that promotes consensus or mutual faith among the different parties. The fate of the PLA hints at the larger political vacuums that continue to exist in Libya’s public life five years after the fall of the previous regime.
Short Bio of Azza Maghur:
Libya Experts Group, a division of Perim Associates, LLC. is comprised of nine Libya-focused professionals with a mixture of academics, corporate and policy backgrounds. We are dedicated to understanding political, economic and security-related developments in Libya and North Africa, and promoting the application of development technologies in post-conflict environments.