With the election of Fathi Bashagha as premier by the Tobruk House of Representatives “we are entering a phase of new institutional chaos”, with the risk “truly that Libya will split” with the coexistence of two parallel governments. Arturo Varvelli, director of the European council on foreign relations (ECFR) in Rome, said this to Adnkronos, for whom “it is difficult to understand what the prime minister of the national unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, will do now, everyone is taking time, even the international community “.
Varvelli stresses that in this case “all Libyans did with their internal rivalries: compared to previous years, when external actors put their effort into making things go wrong, now they have done everything themselves”. “It is no longer even an ideological question, of geopolitical competition, of world views – is the analysis of the ECFR director – Now we are faced with the personalisms of one or the other and this makes everything even more difficult to solve “. Among other things, Basghaha, passed from the Muslim Brotherhood and from the proximity to Turkey to the alliance with Haftar, is “the symbol of an entirely Libyan opportunism”, where the reference is “to power groups rather than ideological groups”.
‘just set a date for the elections, we need nation and institution building first’
And the international community “no longer knows what is best to do”, underlines Varvelli, who does not completely exclude the risk of new armed clashes, “this is always there, but compared to some time ago I noticed a Libyan company that is very, very more tired of the conflict, while the various external powers have also become less incisive, they have spent their chips “.
In such a situation, the ECFR director’s proposal is to “rethink all the timing: it is enough to set deadlines for the elections, which in any case do not solve the problem of Libya”. Rather than “rescheduling the vote, which is surreal, we need to really work on a process of nation and institution building”, managed by the Libyans, and aim for “the long term”. On the model of that National Conference convened by the then UN envoy Ghassan Salamè in April 2019 and then skipped due to the offensive on Tripoli launched by Khalifa Haftar: “Let the Libyans see each other and the internal context controlled “.
Meanwhile, he concludes, “the Libyan crisis has become a chronic crisis, like the Somali one or the Israeli-Palestinian one, in which it is increasingly difficult to get hold of”.
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