As Italy pressures Tripoli to address the latter’s interests, France is coveting Haftar. The ambitions of both European countries have effectively undermined UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame’s action plan for the country. The plan was designed to amend the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) as well as hold a national conference to bring together all of Libya’s key stakeholders. The next steps were supposed to include a constitutional draft and referendum, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Results for Category: Libya
As the country spiralled into another civil war, access to health care became severely limited. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO), published in May 2015, stated that patients could not reach hospitals due to the fighting. Medical workers also had a difficult time retrieving casualties. However, WHO is concerned that serious viruses such as HIV will spread rapidly due to a lack of sanitation and public awareness.
Other inhabitants are more ambivalent about the LNA. In a policy brief for the European University Institute, researcher Al-Zubayr Salem wrote that since besieging Derna, the LNA has compounded the crisis by failing to make a distinction between the DMSC and civilians. Worse still, civilians who support the LNA said that Haftar’s forces have shown little regard for human life.
Besides holding elections, the terms of the agreement include unifying the country’s key financial institutions such as the Libyan Central Bank, phasing out parallel government and institutions” and building a national army. It stipulates that all parties will preserve security during the elections, and respect the final outcome.
Many failed to realize that Haftar amassed a large base of support among former members of the Libyan army who had fought against Gadafi in 2011 and who felt threatened as the Islamists began to “purify” the state of elements of the “old regime.” Haftar portrayed himself as Libya’s saviour (“Libya’s Sisi”) from Islamist organizations spreading chaos.
While the kidnapping of foreigners in Libya has made headlines, nationals from countries in sub-Saharan Africa are arguably the most vulnerable. Most of them are fleeing persecution, war and famine, pushing them to rely on criminal gangs to take them to Europe. However, since Europe began contracting Libyan militias to intercept boats at sea in February 2017, smugglers have resorted to kidnapping migrants to earn a profit instead.
Most Libyans emphasize that adopting a new constitution is a must before holding elections. That way, Libya can at least have a legal blueprint to rebuild weak institutions. However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement released on 21 March 2018, the rights group urged Libya not to rush into elections.
Although Sufis were marginalized for much of Qaddafi’s rule, circumstances have arguably worsened since he died. After the revolution, Sufis worried that new religious officials were inspired by Salafist ideologies, leading them to appoint extremist sheikhs in mosques that pro-Qaddafi preachers once occupied. Some of these new sheikhs quickly pressured authorities to replace other long-time Sufi imams with hardliners.