On 24 December 2022, Libyans celebrated the 71st anniversary of their country’s independence, in light of the sharp political division the country has been experiencing since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.
The situation is getting worse day by day, and there are no signs of a solution on the horizon, due to the failure of the Libyans to find peaceful political solutions to the crisis in which they are floundering, and it is a failure in which everyone shares the responsibility, as the whole series of Libyan difficulties has transformed, due to a mixture of complex internal and external factors, moving together to make these conflicts and divisions.
Moreover, with the continued security chaos, political differences, and the absence of a national unity government, fears are increasing that the current division of the country will become a fait accompli imposed by the forces controlling the land and their supporters from abroad led by Turkey.
While it was hoped and expected, with the fall of the last remnants of the Gaddafi regime, and with the intervention of the international community, that a peaceful transitional process would take place, the truth emerged, and it is that with the death of the Gaddafi, the system has completely collapsed, whether administrative, security or law enforcement agencies with the rest of the basic government services, so the real description of the situation was that Libya is a country in which there is no party to talk to.
Libya has become a failed State, or a weak State, as the country witnesses the presence of many interests and warring factions, each with its own agenda, with the absence of any effective ability from the government. In addition to the consequences of the conflict situation experienced by the people of Libya, the power vacuum has led to the emergence of terrorist groups on Libyan land, led by ISIS, which found a fertile soil to grow in after the violent pressure it was subjected to in Syria and Iraq.
In light of this climate that full of militias, the presence of tribal interests, the interference of external parties in the Libyan issue, the multiplicity of power centers, the rivalries between cities, and the absence of control over vast lands, peace seems elusive in Libya, although it is of great importance, especially for Europe, due to the close geographical proximity between the two sides and the effects of the Libyan crisis.
It also does not seem that dialogue will be an option that will get Libya out of the bottleneck, in light of the sharp polarization at the internal level, the cracking of the structure of the Libyan internal system in all its pillars, the inability of the elites to participate politically and create an alternative to partnership, or present a convincing national project, under the rivalry that folds all means to reach solutions to overcome the crisis, which is worsening day after day.
According to what the experience of the past years has shown, there are elites who are not well aware of the dimensions of the danger threatening the homeland and the citizens, by resorting to palliative and temporary rather than permanent political settlements.
Moreover, with the continuation of the division and struggle for power and spheres of influence, the Libyan crisis has not, and perhaps will not, go away anytime soon. It does not seem that the UN envoy can reach more than what his predecessors have achieved, in addition to the failure of the UN mission in Libya since the beginning of its work.
If the Western powers are only looking in Libya to support their economy and achieve self-gains in light of the successive international crises, then there is no solution to the crisis except from the Libyans themselves, who must put pressure on Libyan politicians in order to get out of the bottom and save what can be saved. After all these years, it became certain that the solution in Libya must come from within, not from outside.
The continued rotation of the wheel of the Libyan settlement path, so that it does not go backwards, depends on the ability to control dialogue interactions and tip the balance of power. However, if this happens, there is another result that deserves attention, which is the Libyan experience that has created interest groups more than it has formed national experiences, and the logical result of this is that crossing the threshold of the settlement plan does not necessarily mean that Libya will reach a state of stability in the near future.
Agreeing on the constitutional basis and holding elections, moving forward in building state institutions, and achieving equal citizenship and the rule of law, which does not differentiate between Libyans, according to their intellectual, political, religious, and tribal affiliation, will be the beginning of a solution to an exacerbated crisis.
Amr Wagdy Omran is a Human Rights Expert. He has more than 14 years experience in the field of human rights. He has a Bachelor degree in Political science from Cairo University, and a Master degree in Democracy and Human Rights from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon.