On Monday, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov called for immediate ceasefire in Libya, saying that Moscow wanted a resolution to the conflict to be reached through open dialogue. Russia has previously supported the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar, which very recently rejected a call by the Government National Accord (GNA) for ceasefire.
Russia, however, is not the only foreign entity involved in the Libyan crisis. From September 6th to September 10th, Morocco held various talks and conversations between the Libyan High Council of State (based in Tripoli) and the Libyan House of representatives (based in Tobruk).
Officials worldwide are contacting Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, to express their approval of the dialogue, according to Morocco World News. Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, also expressed an appreciation for Morocco’s dialogue initiative. In a phone call with Nasser Bourita, Cavusoglu reportedly “hailed Morocco’s efforts in Libya,” says Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. On September 8th, the U.S. Embassy also applauded Morocco for its efforts towards peace– “The U.S. embassy shares the U.N.’s confidence that Libyan talks in Morocco will have a positive impact on U.N.-facilitated and Libyan-led political dialogue.”
Morocco’s efforts at facilitation have also reportedly been supported by Jordan, France, Qatar, Belgium, Bahrain, Spain, Italy, Kuwait, and Japan; according to Morocco World News. Other organizations such as the U.N., the African Union, the European Union, the Arab League, and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States also agree that a facilitated dialogue between Libyan parties is the best hope for peace.
Could this be the beginning of legitimate peace? Possibly. Previously, there have been several attempts at peace between the GNA and LNA, but none of these have resulted in any sort of lasting change. Neither party has been able to reach an understanding or compromise with the other, which has fueled a great deal of the inter-Libyan violence over the past decade. The groups are currently supported by different members of the Libyan population as well as several foreign entities. The fact that so many different individuals, states, and organizations are in support of this first step towards peace is a promising sign, especially since many attempts at peace didn’t even succeed in getting representatives from the two parties to engage in conversation. Should the negotiations continue to be productive, understanding, and fiercely committed to protecting the Libyan population, there is a chance that peace may come to the people.
This polarization between Eastern and Western groups in Libya has deep roots in past conflicts. The factions run very deep in Libya; this is partially a result of the 2011 uprising. Involvement of foreign states has continued to complicate an already complicated conflict, which may be why this attempt at peace looks so promising. A dialogue between the two factions at the centre of much of Libya’s violence may be much more effective than involving foreign countries.
The U.N. estimates that the violence in Libya has put nearly 125,000 lives in and around Sirte at risk. The organization continues to offer aid, and has reached nearly 243,000 people that are in need of humanitarian assistance. The number of civilians affected by these political factions grows higher by the day, making it all the more essential that a resolution is reached.
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