Libya risks losing its last chance to find a peaceful solution to the four-year stalemate, as Western-backed political parties plot to hijack crucial talks, a former Libyan diplomat said on Sunday. 39; UN.
The warning of the country's former ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, was published in an open letter to Ghassan Salame, UN special envoy for Libya.
Salame is hoping to hold a national conference this month ahead of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for the summer, which aim to bring the war-torn country together.
Dabbashi said in his letter published Monday that "some Libyan parties backed by active members of the UN Security Council are trying to deflect the national conference".
He added that Salamé should not be fooled by these groups, which would already occupy the chaotic political scene and seek to flood the meeting to maintain their power, rather than finding a long-term political solution. He said the UN should bypass them, ideally through municipal councils.
The conference was a last chance for the UN mission to restore its credibility and for Libya to achieve a peaceful transition, said Dabbashi. The UN has not yet announced the agenda, format or schedule of the conference.
Dabbashi's warning came as suggestions grew that Khalifa Haftar, the strongman who is the dominant figure in eastern Libya, is determined to reunite the country militarily, if necessary by organizing an assault on the capital. , Tripoli.
Salamé said that Haftar, the leader of the so-called Libyan national army, was committed to the political process.
But Haftar has disagreed with the UN-backed national accord government, led by Fayez al-Serraj for more than four years, splitting key Libyan institutions, including the central bank, the government and the security forces.
While Dabbashi did not explicitly indicate which foreign powers he accused of interference, Haftar's allies are mainly Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and more and more France, while the GNA government is dependent on Qatar and, in recent months, Turkey.
Over the past year, Haftar, who has been touted as able to defeat jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood, has gradually developed diplomatic support in Paris and Rome, alongside his long-time allies in Cairo and in the United Arab Emirates.
The prospect of free and fair elections by the UN this year depends on the guarantee of stability in the country, but fighting continues, especially in the south of the country, in the port of Derna, sporadically to Tripoli and south of Sirte.
The GNA Foreign Ministry in the capital was attacked by Islamic State fighters on Christmas Day, killing two people.
Salamé hopes that the increase in oil revenues, the exhaustion of internal political struggles and the support of the UN will persuade Libyans to accept the outcome of the elections.
Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was installed in October, told BBC Arabic that members of the Tripoli militia were conducting a parallel operation in his ministry, executing their agenda outside the orders of the government.
"We now have a parallel interior ministry in Tripoli," he said, saying that they had a huge amount of money to manage their operations. "These are not militias, but illegal groups that contribute to chaos and lack of security. They act on behalf of foreign nations, "Bashagha added.
If the political stalemate continues, Haftar could become a more attractive proposition for some Western countries, which are now as much interested in stability as in democracy.
Donald Trump described the dismissal of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 as a disaster, saying the country would be better off if the former dictator was still in power.
But for security to return to Libya, the Libyan national army, under the pretext of defeating terrorism, would have committed acts worthy of referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
A lawyer for Rodney Dixon, a human rights lawyer, said in a legal opinion that forces under Haftar's command "appear to be involved in the commission of war crimes including murder, mutilation, and torture. cruel treatment, attacks on human dignity and targets directed at civilians, these acts prima facie constitute crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention. "
Dixon, an expert in international law and considered a critic of Saudi Arabia, has viewed videos compiled over the last three or four months. He stated that in his view, the violence in the videos was "a stark reminder of the horrendous crimes perpetrated with impunity in eastern Libya and the urgent need for decisive corrective measures".
He added: "It is imperative that perpetrators and their commanders be investigated in order to obtain all available evidence so that those responsible are brought to justice." As a starting point, the individual authors featured in the videos should be identified.
"If there is evidence that they have ordered these crimes, they should be prosecuted as direct assailants." In addition, those responsible should at least have knowledge of these crimes or reasons to know, and failure to take action to prevent or punish them could result in criminal liability for those superiors. "
The UN Security Council has submitted Libya to the jurisdiction of the ICC, which last August issued an arrest warrant against a Libyan army commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli.
He has been accused of ordering and participating in summary executions of prisoners in Benghazi, but he is still on the run. He had already been arrested by Haftar; ICC Attorney General Fatou Bensouda repeatedly asked Haftar to hand him over, but in July he escaped from prison.
The Libyan National Army said this week that it was canceling the arrest warrant against him, prompting the ICC to reiterate its call for his arrest.