Strides Towards Peace In Libya: Progress And Elections

October 23rd, 2020 marks the day Libya agreed to initiate a ceasefire. On May 21st, 2021 the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Libya, Ján Kubiš, reported the progress towards achieving peace in Libya. The key two successful initiatives include the launch of a Libyan Political Dialogue forum and the initiation of the reunification of State institutions.

The ceasefire agreement was a response to promote peace and end the suffering caused by prolonged violence. The prolonged conflict in Libya roots in the segregation in the country fueled by the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the former dictator, in 2011. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) reported on 23rd October 2020, that the ceasefire agreement details that within a period of three months, all military units, and armed groups on the frontlines to return to camps and other foreign fighters to depart Libyan territory. Further, the permanent ceasefire agreement is also viewed as a strategy to focus on combating the COVID-19 pandemic by global efforts.

Mr. Kubiš noted that the peace achieved through the ceasefire agreement has resulted in further positive impacts. This includes the release of hundreds of prisoners and detainees from both sides in different regions of the country. Also, to ensure the adherence and maintenance of support for the ceasefire agreement, deployment of UNSMIL monitors is underway. This initiative is a component of the Libyan-led and Libyan-owned Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism.

Despite several successful peace measures, there are key issues that need to be addressed, according to the UN News report. The major issues that have yet to be achieved include the reopening of a main coastal road and the withdrawal of foreign mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libyan territories. Further, the UN News report emphasized how the active nature of terrorists, armed groups, and organized criminal networks poses the threat of instability for Libya and other surrounding nations.

As the December elections in Libya are approaching, Mr. Kubiš has requested all parties to redouble and maintain their commitment to the peace process of Libya. The Presidential and Parliamentary elections are viewed as a critical step to direct politics and the progress made through the ceasefire agreement.

The success highlighted through the ceasefire agreement in Libya acts as an exemplar of how important it is to engage in multilateral decision-making, and non-violent actions to achieve peace. By continuing to promote and engage in peace agreements and treaties, it is possible to terminate prolong the conflict, end inflicted human suffering, and achieve global peace.