Libyan peace process

The Libyan peace process is a series of meetings, agreements and actions that aim to resolve the Second Libyan Civil War. These include the Skhirat agreement of December 2015,[1] the plans for the Libyan National Conference in April 2019[2] that were delayed because of the 2019 Western Libya offensive, and the July 2019 Ghassan Salamé three-point peace plan (Eid al-Adha truce, international meeting of implicated countries, internal Libyan conference).[3]

2015 Skhirat agreement

During the first half of 2015, the United Nations facilitated a series of negotiations seeking to bring together the rival governments of Libya and warring militias tearing Libya apart.[4] The U.N. representative to Libya reconvened delegations from Libya's rival governments on 8 June 2015 to present the latest draft proposal for a unity government for the war-torn country.[4] After a warning one week earlier that the country was running out of money and had risked ceasing to be a functional state, Bernardino Leon urged at a ceremony in Morocco that the Libyans approve the fourth version of the proposal.[4] On 8 October 2015, Bernardino Leon held a press conference in which the names of several potential members of a unified government were announced.[1]

A meeting between the rival governments was held at Auberge de Castille in Valletta, Malta on 16 December 2015. The meeting was delayed for a few days after the representatives from the Tobruk government initially failed to show up.[5] The leader of the Tripoli government, Nouri Abusahmain, announced that they "will not accept foreign intervention against the will of the Libyan people," while the leader of the Tobruk government Aguila Saleh Issa called on the international community to "allow [them] time to form an effective unity government." Representatives from both governments also met officials from the United Nations, Italy, the United States and Russia in a conference in Rome.[6]

On 17 December 2015, delegates from both rival governments signed a peace deal backed by the UN in Skhirat, Morocco, although there was opposition to this within both factions.[7][8] The Government of National Accord was formed as a result of this agreement, and its first meeting took place in Tunis on 2 January 2016.[9]

On 17 December 2017, general Khalifa Haftar declared the Skhirat agreement void.[10]

2019 Libyan National Conference

A meeting, called the Libyan National Conference, was planned in Ghadames for organising elections and a peace process in Libya.[11] The conference was prepared over 18 months during 2018 and 2019 and was planned to take place 14–16 April 2019.[2] It was postponed in early April 2019 as a result of the military actions of the 2019 Western Libya offensive.[12]

Salamé three-point peace plan

On 29 July 2019, Ghassan Salamé, head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), proposed a three-point peace plan to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which would "require consensus in [the UNSC] and amongst the Member States who exert influence on the ground" and require Libyans "to listen to their better angels" rather than "[fight] the wars of others and in so doing [destroy] their country."[13] Salamé's plan includes:

  1. a truce between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libyan National Army (LNA) and their associated militias on Eid al-Adha, along with confidence-building measures such as prisoner exchanges, releasing arbitrarily detained prisoners and exchanging the remains of victims of the conflict;[13]
  2. an international meeting of countries implicated in the conflict, to stop the fighting, implement the legally existing arms embargo, and promote the following of international human rights law;[13]
  3. a Libyan meeting similar to the originally planned Libyan National Conference.[13]

Eid al-Adha truce

A truce took place on Eid al-Adha. Salamé described it as a "substantial reduction in violence along the main fronts in southern Tripoli and elsewhere" with "some violations" and that "broadly speaking, the truce held for the duration of the Eid festivities."[3] Salamé stated to the UNSC that UNSMIL was working on encouraging confidence-building measures and a ceasefire.[3]

International conference

On 4 September 2019, Salamé stated to the UNSC that he had visited several countries in the region with the aim of organising an international conference that would fulfil the second element of his peace plan. He stressed that a central theme of the meeting would be respect for the arms embargo, a commitment to non-interference in Libya, and a commitment to supporting Libyans' view of the conflict and Libyans' preferences for a political solution to the conflict. Salamé argued that "the idea that war should be given a chance and that a military solution is at all possible is quite simply a chimera."[3]

References

  1. ^ a b "UN proposes Libya unity government". BBC News. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Libya, Ghassan Salamé, on the National Conference". United Nations Support Mission in Libya. 2019-04-09. Archived from the original on 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  3. ^ a b c d "Remarks of SRSG Ghassan Salamé to the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Libya - 4 September 2019". UNSMIL. 2019-09-04. Archived from the original on 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  4. ^ a b c "Libya's parliament rejects U.N. peace proposal". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  5. ^ Grech, Herman (12 December 2015). "Top level Libya rivals meeting in Malta cancelled at last minute". Times of Malta. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Heads of rival Libyan parliaments meet in Malta, seek more time for unity government". Times of Malta. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Rival Libyan factions sign UN-backed peace deal". Al Jazeera. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Libya's rival factions sign UN peace deal, despite resistance". Times of Malta. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  9. ^ Zaptia, Sami (2 January 2016). "Serraj holds GNA meeting in Tunis". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Q&A: What's happening in Libya?". Al Jazeera. 20 December 2017.
  11. ^ "UN urges Libyans to work for peace at National Conference". The Washington Post/Associated Press. 2019-03-26. Archived from the original on 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  12. ^ Zaptia, Sami (2019-04-09). "UNSMIL postpones Ghadames National Conference until conditions are right". Libya Herald. Archived from the original on 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  13. ^ a b c d "Remarks of SRSG Ghassan Salamé to the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Libya 29 July 2019". UNSMIL. 2019-07-29. Archived from the original on 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2019-09-09.

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