Hafed Al Ghwell: Few observations on
the New government of "National Accord"
I really find what has been happening in Libya, with the active participation of the International Community and the permanent members of the Security Council over the past year or so, quite a sad farce and a pathetic commentary, not only for Libya itself, but on a global level.
If this is the best, the international political order under the leadership of the US so far can do, for a small, relatively straight forward case like Libya, one should have very little faith in the future and for other more complex countries and regions of the World.
I have been finding it quite hard to actually sit down and write anything serious about Libya for months... mainly because I can't find any thing serious to write about in the whole debacle since Mr. Leon took up his role as " the main contact person" for the International community at the end of 2014.
I find the whole process he led, with his hand picked Libyan interlocutors and supported, sadly, by the US, EU, etc, to be keen to watching a group of monkeys in a zoo throwing feces at each other. How does one seriously sit down to try to find any rational or sense behind it?… I personally could not and can not now, while maintaining any sense of self respect!!
Anyway, with the announcement of the new Government today, I just thought I should at least briefly highlight some of the "achievements" so far, to just keep your eyes focused on what is real, while you will undoubtedly hear and read all sorts of "congratulatory" press releases from those who have been involved in this tragic farce.
Without trying to mention all the missed opportunities and screw ups of the past 5 years, or delving into the economic disaster facing Libya currently, here is what the international community has achieved with this agreement and new government, still in exile in Tunisia.
We now have:
1- A government headed by 9 persons council, 5 of them have veto power over any decisions made. Two of them; Omar Aswad and Ali Qadrani, have already announced that they have frozen their membership in the council and don't recognize any of its decisions, including the cabinet announced today.
2- All 9 of these people have been hand picked by Mr. Leon himself, and no one I asked, until this day, including senior US officials and a number of the Libyan participants in the Sukhairat negotiations could explain exactly who, how, and why they were chosen!
3- Mr. Leon, and partners, in their "infinite" wisdom, have of course excluded many significant forces and segments of the Libyan population in this agreement. Including; former Gaddafi officials, military people, and tribal alliances, close to a million Libyans living in exile in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries - most of whom were affiliated with the former regime, many of the hard line groups, and many of Libya's minorities like the Amazigh, Tabu, Tawraq etc. Which essentially means at least 30% to 50% of the population, depending on who you ask, of the country has been excluded and will have no other option but to undermine the whole agreement and government.
4- The agreement essentially maintains the existence of the two institutions and individuals in them who have been responsible for tearing the country apart for another two more years, despite the fact that their mandate has expired; The National Congress in Tripoli will be renamed as the Supreme National Council, with the same members , and the HOR of Tobruk will remain as the official Parliament, despite the fact it was chosen by about 10- to 15% of the voters and has expired officially on Oct 20th, 2015.
5- A new " National Security" council will be set up that will include the heads of most of the militias who have been killing each other, running criminal smuggling organizations of arms, drugs and people, kidnapping and robbing civilians, and running illegal jails and torture chambers, for the past 4 years at least.
6- A 32 member government… yes 32, ministries, plus the 9 members that make up the council of the "Prime Minister"!... and 62 Deputy ministers, as a "Crises Government"!
7- Libya's international partners have pledged some limited financial and military support to the new government, provided it; 1- establish itself inside the country; 2- open up some of the key oil fields and terminals, important for some Western firms; and 3- begin to really collaborate effectively with the West on fighting ISIL, which is spreading in many parts of the country.
8- With about $40 billion in reserves left, about 400k barrels of oil at a price that is hovering close to cost of extraction, and investments that have lost much of their value and/or were taken over by host countries tired of waiting for Libya to stand up again for 5 years, and two Investment Authorities fighting courts in the UK and elsewhere claiming that each is the legitimate side, its hard to see how Libya will fare financially in the coming months, let alone years.
Finally let me ask the members of this list, most of whom are academics, business people, former and current officials, journalists, and others: How the hell is this supposed "political and security framework" going to actually succeed or produce any real solution to Libya's problems? On which planet can this be considered logical or rational framework?
If anyone has an answer, please let me know …
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