By Dr. Awad Al-Baraasi
This paper presents a novel initiative to establish peace in Libya named “Libya Peace Initiative”. This initiative will be addressed in detail throughout the following report.
What is “Libya Peace Initiative”?
“Libya Peace Initiative ” is a novel initiative that aims to put an end to civil war and political conflict through establishing a broad consensus on the historical and newly-emerged issues of disputes, with the participation of all Libyans. The initiative strives, by all peaceful means, to protect the unity of Libyan territory through dismantling all threats to its unity, represented in core contentious issues such as:
– Political and administrative centralization.
– The lack of regulations that assure a fair distribution of resources.
– The lack of local spatial development.
– Not recognizing the full rights of Libyan cultural components.
– Excluding regions, areas, and personalities from local, regional and national participation, due to the conflict between February 2011 and September 1969 supporters or due to the affiliation to ideological movements.
– The security and military institution, and the concept of national security.
– Weak community involvement in public issues.
The new Libya Peace Initiative believes that historical and newly-emerged conflicts between Libyans such as; the political and administrative centralization, rejecting the rights of cultural components, social and political conflicts after February 2011 which were followed respectively by Operation “Dignity” and Operation “Libya Dawn” and several local clashes and conflicts cannot be addressed by simply creating balances between war and repairing the social fabric, or through a political dialogue that aims to end the division within government institutions and resettle the centralization, all while the regional and social disputes continue.
What Are the Outcomes of “Libya Peace Initiative”?
“Libya Peace Initiative” believes in the importance of a constituent phase that has its main goals reaching:
– A peace agreement that reflects a social contract between all Libyans without exclusion, selection or neglect.
– A constitution that is inspired by the peace agreement.
– A fair electoral law that establishes the rules of local management and governance.
– Amendments to laws and legislations that are conflicting with the peace agreement and constitution and passing other laws that serve as a legal reference for an equitable coexistence in Libya.
After fulfilling all the outcomes, a national comprehensive identity will be established in Libya, upon which official local, and private institutions will raise up the future generations.
“Libya Peace Initiative” stresses the need to delay any political rivalry over power and its structures. In fact, an unstructured competition that is not based on the peace agreement between Libyans represents one among the reasons leading to civil war, political conflicts, and regional and social disputes in Libya.
What Are the Means of “Libya Peace Initiative”?
“Libya Peace Initiative” depends on all peaceful means and methods amongst which:
– Negotiating in accordance with the rules of consensus, while avoiding the conflict over the core issues on which the national identity of Libyans is based on.
– Establishing reconciliation primarily on the issues related to blood, honors, and private rights.
– Reinforcing the usage of custom and covenants between tribes and regions in supporting the reconciliation efforts.
– Agreeing on referring the cases of blood, honors, and private rights, which were not contained by the reconciliation, to justice once the judicial institutions are fully operational and able to apply the judicatory outcome under the safeguard of law and consensus between Libyans.
Why “Libya Peace Initiative”?
Several reasons justify announcing “Libya Peace Initiative”, among which are:
– Paths diverged between Libyans along with the regional and political conflicts that have been widened, while Libya is burning due to the widespread of war. Furthermore, the impact of several foreign countries on the present Libya is deepening amid the absence of any agreement with Libya as a national entity and a sovereign State.
– All attempts to heal the various rifts in Libya have constantly avoided looking at the roots of conflicts among Libyans. The efforts were limited to the outcome of February 2011 which has tremendously affected the effectiveness of these attempts and reduced their positive impact on the Libyan issue.
– A number of Libyans turned into creating wars and tearing apart the social fabric to gain points and cards to negotiate during the dialogues that focused on sharing the power, resources, and influence. These dialogues resulted in further political clashes, civil wars, social rifts, squandering of resources, widespread of terrorism, and the growing waves of illegal immigration.
– “Libya Peace Initiative” recognizes all Libyans and seeks to overcome all adversities, injustices, and historical and current differences through negotiation, reconciliation, custom, and justice with the participation of all Libyans without exclusion, selection or neglect. The initiative would result in a peace agreement that aims to rebuild Libya, protect all rights, grant all demands, and defend the minorities before the majority, the weak before the strong, and the marginalized areas before the cities, without allowing any form of dominance, injustice, or marginalization.
– “Libya Peace Initiative” seeks to dismantle the predominance of the centralized system and promote spatial development across Libya with no exception, granting the regions and areas their cultural and economic specificities along with protecting their heritage and reinforcing diversity among Libyans.
– “Libya Peace Initiative” seeks to define the relations with the region and the world on the basis of protecting Libya’s interests and rebuilding these relations based on the interests of people away from dominance, threat, or intervention.
To Whom “Libya Peace Initiative” Belongs?
“Libya Peace Initiative” belongs to all Libyans, inside and outside Libya including those who are detained in prisons, who believe in the importance of peace in Libya without any condition or restriction and who reject war as a means to achieve objectives and demands and take over power or as a means to achieve gains during political dialogues.
In its tireless efforts to bring together all Libyans around the negotiation table to discuss all historical and current issues, “Libya Peace Initiative” does not exclude any party regardless of their mistakes. The initiative does not reject those who are weak or afraid because it seeks to gather all Libyans based on the consensus that addresses all historical and current issues. This is possible only with the participation of all Libyans whether in Libya, abroad or in prisons.
Since Libya is a part of the region and international community, the support of neighboring Arab and African countries and international community represented in its major powers will play an active role in achieving peace in Libya. This role is conditioned on these actors’ realization that wars and disputes in Libya have roots related to historical and newly-emerged contentious issues, which necessitate the cooperation with peace advocates in Libya to reach a peace agreement that addresses all the disagreements, before engaging in any political process related to sharing power and influence. The regional and international actors have to fully and comprehensively disavow supporting war and contentions in Libya word and deed.
Where is “Libya Peace Initiative”?
Libyan Territory is the Place for “Libya Peace Initiative”. The initiative is seeking to reach out to Libyans throughout Libya. It supports the participation of all regions, areas, cities and towns in peace debates. “Libya Peace Initiative” is tirelessly working so that all regions and areas of Libya reach a coexistence framework that assures the participations in all public affairs decision making process and achieving spatial development in each region and area.
The new initiative launches peace diplomacy with the neighboring countries and the whole world to gain the greatest regional and international support for Libyans in order to reach a peace agreement that puts an end to war and establishes a modern Libya.
When is “Libya Peace Initiative”?
It is no longer possible to delay the efforts to establish peace in Libya from a realistic perspective that realizes the roots of conflicts among Libyans and the aspects of foreign interventions. Therefore, “”Libya Peace Initiative” addresses all Libyans, their representatives, dignitaries, and leaders to support the peace efforts which establish the rule of living, ends the war, and enriches diversity among Libyans. The initiative aims also to organize forums and meetings with all the representatives of Libyan society segments whether inside or outside the country, including those who are detained in prisons, with a hope that all Libyans reach consensus over a peace agreement. Hence, this will pave the way for achieving a comprehensive reconciliation that is based on coexistence between all Libyans and attaining development and prosperity.
How Does “Libya Peace Initiative” Work?
– “Libya Peace Initiative” strives to mobilize and bring together all the peace advocates and their supporters in Libya and abroad to urge all parties to war and political and regional disputes to get together with Libyans at a national negotiation table where all the controversial issues are raised to reach a peace agreement that achieves coexistence, reconciliation, justice and protects rights and diversity.
– “Libya Peace Initiative” starts with establishing a firm conviction among all Libyans that the war and political disputes will not be a path for achieving any interests or protection from any fears, but rather war and conflicts is a path toward a social rupture, civil war, and economic collapse. If continued, this situation might lead to the division of Libyan territory into weak and rival States. In fact, war and conflict are widely opening the door for everyone who wants to intervene in the Libyan affairs. “Libya Peace Initiative” is seeking to communicate with all parties to the war and conflict to convince them that victory in civil wars will never be achieved no matter how long the war and conflict last. The alternative is the negotiation that will lead to addressing all the differences and achieving the interests of all parties without the dominance of one side over another.
– Peace in Libya is primarily achieved through the participation of all Libyans inside, and outside Libya and in prisons, in national negotiations that aim at laying solid foundations for peace that is built on the mutual recognition of the rights of all and assures everyone’s concerns. This peace agreement is to be noted down in a social contract approved by all regions, areas, and components of Libyan society without exclusion, selection or keeping away any party.
To achieve all the outcomes of “Libya Peace Initiative”, the stakeholders will work through:
– Launching quality consultations with all the representatives of regions and historical and emerging contentious issues; including the displaced and migrants and prisoners without exclusion.
– Communicating with all components, regionalisms, and Libyan areas to learn about their demands, positions, and opinions and to persuade them to take part in supporting “Libya Peace Initiative”.
– Communicating with all parties to war and political and regional conflicts to urge them to adhere with the rest of Libyans in negotiation, dialogue to address all the differences to reach a peace agreement.
– Communicating with influential regional and international parties and institutions to build together awareness and a joint understanding that interests and threats can only be addressed when Libya reaches stability. This stability has to be based on solid fundamentals, with a core basis agreement over all the contentious historical and current issues, and not simply an agreement on sharing power and distributing Libya’s resources between the rivals.
Furthermore, the “Libya Peace Initiative” strives to persuade Libya’s dignitaries, their councils, municipal councils, local and civil institutions, intellectuals, elite, and the media to adopt the initiative and support its continuity with the different Libyan components. Moreover, the initiative aims to contribute to achieving a positive pressure on the parties to war and political conflict as well as making the voice of Libyans heard within regional and international parties and institutions concerned with supporting the process of addressing all the disagreements between Libyans in order to reach a peace agreement that lays the foundations for a modern Libya.
What is the Relation between the New Initiative and the World?
“Libya Peace Initiative” comprehends the concerns and interests of neighboring and regional countries and the international community. It seeks cooperation with all countries towards the issues that threaten the neighboring countries and the world, especially terrorism and illegal immigration as well as the threats Libya represents during this period to its neighboring countries. All this is to be achieved within the framework of Libyan concerns and interests priorities which do not threaten any people or State. Dialogue and negotiation represent the best means to reach a joint vision towards the interests and concerns of Libya and the world.
Dr. Awad Al-Baraasi is the formal Libyan Deputy Prime Minister of the first Transitional government and Minister of Electricity