Cairo Conference on Libya Underscoring 5 Proposals to End Crisis

Egypt’s government concluded on Wednesday a conference with Libyan officials and representatives from the country’s numerous factions, issuing a declaration of principles and five proposed amendments to an agreement, brokered by the UN in 2015.

Though the UN agreement aimed to create a unity government in Libya, however, the conflict over power prevented the Libyan factions from reaching a common ground to restore back stability in the war-torn North African state.

The two-day conference was attended by Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and Army Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy along with a range of Libyan representatives.

The conference concluded by reaching four main principles to be respected in Libya’s transition: the preservation of a united Libyan territory, support for national institutions, non-interference by foreign bodies, and the maintenance of a civil state.

Participants discussed the political developments in Libya since 2014.

In the end, the conference proposed five amendments to the UN-brokered 2015 agreement, to guarantee its success in ending the violence, the ongoing political and economic instability and the humanitarian insecurity in the country.

The proposed amendments suggest the following:

First, amend representation inside the Libyan National Dialogue Commission in a way that balances all national factions in the country.

Second, amend the authorities of the Libyan army chief commander outlined in the 8th article of the 2015 agreement.

Third, Guarantee the independence of the Libyan Army as a non-partisan, non-political force in the country.

Fourth, reform the Libyan State Council to include members of the Libyan General National Congress—a legislative body elected to a two-year mandate in 2012 and replaced by Libya’s current House of Representatives in August, 2014.

Fifth, re-structure the Libyan Presidential Council and its system of decision-making.

In this context, the Libyan participants called on both Libyan National Dialogue Commission and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya to hold a meeting within two weeks to discuss the conference proposals and possible solutions to end the crisis.

In fact, the Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat, Morocco December 2015 known by the Skhirat agreement has intensified the internal strife rather than resolving it.

A struggle of power has erupted between the different parliaments in Libya as well as the militias related to each political faction. In addition to the presence of other foreign actors in Libya.

Last June, Middle East Eye has obtained air traffic recordings that revealed a multinational military operation involving British, French and US forces is coordinating air strikes in support of General Khalifa Haftar battling Islamist militia groups from a base near Benghazi in eastern Libya.

Earlier reports suggested the presence of an international operations center that is assisting Gen. Haftar in his campaign to gain eastern Libya from groups he has declared to be “extremist”.

In addition, it is noteworthy that Egyptian and Emirati air forces provide Haftar with air support from Egyptian bases across the western desert.

In addition, Haftar started extending his power in the east with the assistance of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

Moreover, Egypt’s Armed Forces have been mandated to protect the joint borders from the sea to the Libyan-Sudanese borders.

Since the Libyan Revolution that overthrew the long-time dictator 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, violence has spread in Libya among the different Libyan factions.

Two rival governments operate in Libya, with self-proclaimed authorities controlling the capital of Tripoli and adjacent western areas and an internationally recognized government, based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk.

Moreover, a third government was formed known as the Government of National Accord(GNA) supported by many western countries. The government has so far failed to restore the country’s unity.

None of the governments has a complete dominance over Libya until now.