The internationally recognized Libyan head of government has announced that it will give up power. Berlin is planning another meeting to settle the conflict.
NEW YORK / TRIPOLIS dpa | After the Libya summit in Berlin, the United Nations and Germany are planning another meeting to settle the longstanding conflict in the civil war country in North Africa. In addition to UN Secretary General António Guterres, a number of foreign ministers and representatives of the conflicting parties will take part in the virtually planned talks on October 5, as a UN spokesman confirmed to the German Press Agency on Wednesday.
In Libya, the chaos continues: After days of protests against the government, the head of the internationally recognized Libyan government, Prime Minister Fajis al-Sarradsch, announced on Wednesday his intention to relinquish power in a maximum of one month. “I declare my sincere desire to hand over my duties by the end of October at the latest,” said al-Sarradsch in a televised address on Wednesday.
Civil war has been raging in Libya since the overthrow of long-term ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, and in recent years it has increasingly developed into a proxy conflict. Al-Sarradsch is fighting with the powerful general Khalifa Haftar for supremacy in the oil-rich country. Al-Sarradsch’s government troops are mainly supported by Turkey and Qatar, and Haftar by Russia, the Emirates and Egypt.
It was initially unclear whether a joint declaration or something similar was expected at the follow-up meeting. The talks will be held in the so-called Berlin format – based on the conference in the German capital in January. At that time, in addition to Germany and the UN, the USA, Great Britain, France, China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Congo, Italy, Egypt, Algeria as well as the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League were represented.
Violations of the arms embargo
With the summit, Germany had taken on a mediating role in the devastating conflict and created a brief moment of departure. The final declaration has hardly been implemented to this day. The United Nations is primarily registering violations of the arms embargo by Turkey, the Emirates and Russia. They too had signed the Berlin Declaration.
The European Union is trying to curb arms smuggling in two ways: the military mission “Irini” is supposed to detect arms deliveries and at least stop them by sea. In addition, Germany, France and Italy have proposed sanctioning companies and individuals in the EU who provide ships and aircraft for the transport of weapons.
In his TV address, al-Sarradsch said that the political climate in Libya was in a state of extreme polarization that would make any attempt to resolve the crisis extremely difficult. In the capital Tripoli and other cities there have been repeated protests against corruption and the deteriorating living conditions in recent weeks.
Hundreds of demonstrators had called for political reforms in the North African country. The counter-government allied with General Haftar in the east of the country had already offered to resign on Monday amid protests.
The United Nations is still looking for a successor after the completely surprising resignation of the Libyan UN mediator Ghassam Salamé in March. Nikolai Mladenow, the UN envoy to the Middle East, is one of the favorites.