Although the White House was thrust into the uncomfortable role of mediator between its Gulf allies, US and Emirati interests had remained closely aligned when it came to most other issues in the region. That relationship, however, is now being tested thanks to the UAE’s increasingly independent foreign policy.
Results for Tag: Khalifa Haftar
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.
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.
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.