Under the auspices of the United Nations, the Tunisian capital will host on Monday, November 9, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in an attempt to unify the country under the authority of a single national government that would achieve peace in the afflicted country in preparation for holding elections and giving democratic legitimacy to Libyan institutions. However, doubts have arisen regarding the success of the forum in light of the armed militias’ refusing to give up their weapons, in addition to their threats to destroy the peace efforts in the event of the intervention of foreign powers.
Transforming the balance of power
The armed militias affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA) have tried hard to intensify their escalating rhetoric, declaring their rejection of the political dialogue forum in an attempt to reverse the balance of power in the Tunis meetings.
The Tripoli Protection Force, which includes the most powerful armed militias called for demonstrations to denounce the Libyan political dialogue and reject what the UN Mission is doing, accusing it of having turned from a mediator into a ruler in Libya.
The militias claimed that Libya would not survive a new transitional phase set by a group of representatives from states that have interests, adding that they would not be able to reach a safe solution except through a Libyan-Libyan dialogue in which all the people participate without selection, favoritism or exception.
In an attempt to torpedo any agreement, militia leader Salah Badi made threats and criticized the members invited by the UN Mission to participate in the Political Dialogue Forum, describing them as “slaves”. He also declared his adherence to war and weapons as an option to solve the crisis.
Recently, indications have increased regarding the completion of a military agreement that paves the way for political negotiations between the feuding parties. At the same time, the GNA-affiliated Nawasi militia hijacked a plane filled with passengers upon their arrival at Maitika airport in Tripoli, indicating the continued imposition of control by the GNA militia and its incursion into Libyan territory.
Turkish intransigence and international optimism
In light of these developments, Ankara has confirmed its non-compliance with the terms of the military agreement signed by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission in the Swiss city of Geneva weeks ago. Turkey continues to train its GNA-affiliated forces, which could jeopardize the political negotiations.
On the contrary, UN Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams expressed her optimism, saying that Libya is facing a great opportunity to get out of the cycle of conflict and the possibility of achieving positive results in the upcoming talks between the two parties to the conflict.
“The agenda of the meeting, which Tunisia is hosting under the auspices of the United Nations, includes five main axes. The themes of the forum are related to the ceasefire, the recommendations of the 5+5 committee meeting in Ghadames, the recommendations submitted by the mayors of the municipalities, the discussions of civil society, and women’s groups,” Williams said.