Libya Tribune

Eric Topona

Last week, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, called for the deployment of UN peacekeepers to stabilize Libya.

According to Norbert Röttgen, this deployment would guarantee a buffer zone between the conflicting parties. This proposal was immediately criticized by elected representatives of the Social Democratic Party, the SPD.

The success of such a deployment would depend much more on the commitment of the external actors of the crisis.

Divisions on the deployment of peacekeepers

The question of the deployment in Libya of peacekeepers or of an interposition and peacekeeping mission has always divided the powers involved in this conflict.

Visiting Germany in January 2020, two months before his resignation, the UN special envoy for Libya objected to such an eventuality. Ghassan Salamé had instead advocated that the parties observe a ceasefire to give a chance for a political settlement of the conflict.

For Jalel Harchaoui, specialist on Libya at the Dutch Institute of International Relations Clingendael, in The Hague,

“to speak of the blue helmets without speaking of the behavior of the United Arab Emirates or the Russians or of the Western supporters, for example of France, for these actions, and those of Egypt? Every day, there are tons of weapons arriving in Libya because of the United Arab Emirates. But, I am not clearing Turkey.”

Turkey is also very warlike. She is very ambitious. There is a growing desire not to criticize Russia, even if it commits absolutely reprehensible crimes in Libya. For example, the use of anti-personnel minesthat kill many civilians. So we have to tackle these much more painful subjects which are at the heart of the engine of the war, that is to say the weapons, the military contributions, the mercenaries on both sides.”

Weakness of Libya

Barah Mikaïl, associate professor at Saint Louis University in Madrid and specialist in Russian-Libyan relations, believes that the deployment of a UN force in Libya would expose the weaknesses of the United Nations.
“On the contrary, it would rather confirm, if it were to be deployed, the weakness and the lack of action on the part of the UN, since the vocation of the peacekeepers would be to count the shots and to count the bullets without for as much to be able to significantly stop the fighting. And therefore, that is why, I believe that unfortunately, the question of the deployment of the blue helmets could not be a solution.”

That is why, one cannot count on it to make The number 1 problem for the conflict in Libya remains the logistical support, the financial support and the military support granted by several foreign states to the Libyan protagonists “, explains the researcher.

Several initiatives to pacify Libya have so far been unsuccessful. Libya, embroiled in a fratricidal civil war since 2011 and the assassination on October 20, 2011 of Muammar Gaddafi, the guide of the revolution of El Fateh.

Last January, in Berlin , the belligerents and their foreign supporters participated in a conference intended to find solutions to end the crisis. Without success.

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Foreign forces in the Libyan conflict

Rémy Mallet

New turn in the Libyan conflict: the Parliament of the east of the country, pro-Haftar, calls on Egypt to intervene against Turkey in the event of “threats”.

“It is up to the Egyptian armed forces to intervene to protect the Libyan and Egyptian national security, if they see an imminent threat to the security of our two countries. This is in substance what was indicated in the night from Monday to Tuesday, the Parliament elected in 2014. Parliament which mainly has pro Haftar.

This appeal is a good illustration of the involvement of foreign forces in the country.

Since 2015, two authorities have been competing for power: the Government of National Unity (GNA), based in Tripoli and recognized by the UN, and a power embodied by Marshal Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.

Khalifa Haftar’s allies

In his conquest to overthrow the Government of National Unity (GNA), Khalifa Haftar can count on the support of loyal allies, especially foreigners: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Accused by the GNA of being politically close to the Libyan National Army, France discreetly supports Marshal Haftar.

Some analysts say Paris wants privileged access to the oil fields in eastern Libya. It is in this part that the important oil fields of the country are located.

As for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, their position is understandable by their common antagonism towards Turkey, considered a danger for the Sunni world and support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the Moscow side, the Wagner group, close to the Russian president, supported pro-Haftar forces with “combat and influence operations”, snipers and technical support, according to a UN report.

The Turkey, meanwhile, supports the GNA headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. With Ankara’s backing, forces loyal to the GNA have achieved significant victories since early June, regaining control of all of northwest Libya.

In addition to Turkey, Fayez al-Sarraj can also count on Qatar. Embargoed and threatened by Riyadh and its ally of the United Arab Emirates, Doha has no other choice but to stand against Marshal Haftar supported by the Saudi enemy.

Ankara supports the Libyan Union Government (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, recognized by the United Nations.

Former colonial power jealous of its influence and its economic interests, particularly oil, Italy supports the GNA in Libya, a support which would also have as a priority the drying up of the flow of migrants.
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