Developments on Libya’s Political Landscape

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Developments on Libya’s Political Landscape

The Libyan capital Tripoli witnessed last Thursday a security mobilisation after the Tobruk House of Representatives had assigned the premiership to Fathi Bashagha with Abdul Hamid Dbeibah refusing to step down. And while the UN expressed a conniving standpoint in favour of Bashagha, the US contented herself by saying she was monitoring the situation and called on all parties to observe calm.

Since the Libyan political process was gradually designed by the US since the Sukheirat Agreement of 2015 and under the auspices of UN Envoy Martin Kobler to liquidate the remnants of the “February Revolution” and to dwarf the role of the “Islamists” on the political landscape, and subsequently, form an interim government headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah to oversee the elections which never took place in December 2021, it would be imperative to perceive the new developments of instructing Bashagha to form the government in light of statements made by Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams on 13 February after she had met both Dbeibah and Bashagha. Following her meeting with Dbeibah, Stephanie Williams emphasised “the importance for all actors and institutions to work within the political framework and, above all, to preserve calm on the ground in the interest of Libya’s unity and stability,” and following her meeting with Bashagha she reiterated “the need to go forward in an inclusive, transparent and consensual manner, and to maintain stability in Tripoli and throughout the country”. She added the focus must continue to be on the holding of “free, fair and inclusive national elections in the shortest possible time”, which alluded to implicit support for Bashagha to form a new government to assume transferring power and endorsing the constitution now following Dbeibah’s failure in his mission. This was later clearly expressed by Williams during her meeting with Aguila Saleh; she said “the Speaker of the House of Representatives briefed me on the mechanism that the House will follow to grant confidence to the new government in line with the procedures implemented in the vote of confidence in March 2021.”

If America kept silent over assigning Bashagha to form a government as it is evident from her standpoint and the standpoint of the Head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams, this could only mean that the elections’ mechanism to design the situation had either failed or had been thwarted, and a crisis has been generated by forming a new government to achieve several aims via the collaborators in the Presidential Council and parliament behind which the remnants of the defunct regime bulwark themselves, as well as those who express the American standpoint and assume the task of stripping the armed factions of their weapons and influence, and strive to bring the masses back to the stable of obedience. America is also endeavouring to regulate anew the roles of foreign powers represented by Russia and France, contain their presence in Libya and downsize their aspirations and gains, in addition to continuing to contain Erdogan and control his foreign performance to the tune of American interests.

Hence, the decision of Stephanie Williams to raise the issue of preserving the stability of the security situation, whose agitation represented an obstacle in the face of the elections, and to persist following her meeting with Bashagha on holding “free, fair and inclusive national elections in the shortest possible time”, while maintaining her recognition of the Dbeibah government, indicates that America continues to implement the policy of maintaining an equilibrium between the east and the west, and the process of containing all the parties especially in the western areas such as Tripoli and Misrata, by driving a wedge between the political and military forces in the western region that supports both sides of the governmental tussle, namely Abdul Hamid Dbeibah who upset America by dismissing her protegee, foreign minister Najla Mohammed El Mangoush, and Fathi Bashagha, the pawn of the West and ally of Khalifa Haftar.

In this context, the US is attempting to dash the hopes of the masses in Libya and subjugate them via a leadership emanating from the collaborating political milieu, even if she were forced to annihilate the effective tools on the political landscape, thus paving the way for endorsing the situation and bringing back to what it was before the revolution by destabilising the political landscape and brandishing the threat of dividing Libya through multiple governments and divergent leaderships, and exhorting the masses to accept the elections whose results have already been determined as was the case in Algeria. America did previously warn last January through her envoy to Libya and her ambassador Richard Norland against distracting attention away from the electoral process following attempts to form a new government since the issue would lead to generating a parallel government. This standpoint was supported by Britain whose embassy in Libya announced that it would continue recognising the Government of National Unity (GNU) as the authority in charge of leading Libya towards the elections, and that London did not support “establishing parallel governments or institutions.”

America is undoubtedly harnessing Dbeibah’s craving for leading the government to destabilise, reproduce and orchestrate the situation. She is also harnessing his security mobilisation to confront his opponents in deepening the troubled security climate which has impeded the electoral process in order to justify disarming the armed the groups in Tripoli and the western region, enable her agents from seizing the reins of power, and forestall the gambles of foreign powers on the jostling Libyan political forces. Hence, US State Department corroborated its commitment to backing the political process led by the Libyans that fulfils the demands of the masses by holding elections. Russia for her part attempted to undermine the position of the Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams by calling for appointing a UN delegate whom America has been, and still is, preventing from taking the vacant seat in Libya. Hence, the step of instructing Bashagha to form a government with the international community continuing to recognise the government of Dbeibah has frozen the role of the dialogue committee under the reality that has impeded the elections and restored the role of the Tobruk parliament in the balance of domestic powers, especially following the meeting between Stephanie Williams and Aguila Saleh. It has also shifted the struggle to the interior of the western region, especially Misrata, the hometown of both contenders for government. This is expected to generate an administrative confusion and paralyse or impede the functionality of the state’s institutions, in addition to aggravating the deteriorating standard of living and exerting further pressure on the masses of the western region, thus persisting on silencing the weapons of the warring factions and the aspirations of the covetous personalities, pushing them towards subjugation and consensus, and holding elections under the auspices of the UN which represents the American volition; subsequently, making what America wants is what the Libyan people want as well.

Hence, the country will remain hostage to Western designs, which are executed by the faithful collaborators of the West who would burn the country down through wars from which only the Kuffar benefit if they differed, with the innocent and oppressed Muslims being the firewood, and whose agreement would only be in service of their masters, the Kuffar, away from the Ummah and her interests.

How long will the Muslims continue to be pawns on the chessboard? Is it not high time they seized the reins of power and worked towards rectifying the situation and implementing Islam in life, the state and society?

25 Shaaban 1443h
28 March 2022