Abdullah Alkabir

Exploiting the national reconciliation file for political goals will not achieve such goals, nor will it accomplish any step on the path to reconciliation.

Rather, the direct results and the ensuing repercussions will be completely contrary to what the reconciliation conferences seek to achieve in terms of bringing the parties’ viewpoints closer, and laying the proper foundations for real reconciliation.

The political load on a huge file with enormous branches such as national reconciliation will only increase tension and stimulate everyone to prolong the conflict, or at least keep it going in full swing.

  The rush to convene the preparatory forum for national reconciliation under the auspices of the Presidential Council, has triggered disputes that could have been avoided by good preparation, that does not neglect all details, and consider the concerns, fears and claims of the parties to the forum, before proceeding with the sessions.

The political goals of some movements and personalities infiltrated through the loopholes of this haste. Those who claim to be representing supporters of the former regime, don’t aim at laying the foundations for reconciliation, but rather to find a foothold for power.

History has not yet recorded a reconciliation between a triumphant revolution with the power it revolted against and overthrew, at a time that the collapsed power can rally up, provide the means of strength and bounce back with a counter-revolution, and indeed, it could succeed in defeating the revolution, if factors of victory are combined.

There is no room for reconciliation between a revolution and a regime that it overthrew after the high price that have been paid, and following rivers of blood and tears shed.

Reconciliation usually follows armed conflicts that leave behind many victims, and provoke retaliation every now and then, sometimes for the simplest reasons. So, the conflict continues even though with a declining intensity and slow pace, but fire remains under the ashes, ready to rekindle its flames, unless the conflict is resolved through reconciliation, and after everyone is convinced that victory is impossible for any party, and there is no alternative to reconciliation, reparation and coexistence.

  Before the launch of any reconciliation forum, the parties to the conflict must be identified, and dispel any doubts or suspension about representation of the parties to the conflict in the forum, and this can only be verified by elections.

Elections in the current situation will bring figures that represent the victims of the conflict with their various affiliations. The primary task, for which they were elected, will be to lay the foundations for national reconciliation, in a manner agreed upon by those elected.

In conflicts and disputes that follow political transformations, there is no harm in tapping into experiences of peoples who have achieved their reconciliation, and paved their way to construction and growth, after healing the wounds, delivering justice and compensating the victims, and we are not the exception.

Numerous experiences in which reconciliation was accomplished through local communities, by direct meetings between the two parties to the conflict, and between the abusers and the victims, and after everyone’s claim was met.

The role of governments was to facilitate such meetings and provide all their requirements, without directly interfering in them, or imposing a specific direction for such reconciliation.

  The experience of reconciliation between Misrata and Tawergha is a national model to follow, and it was completed with a final settlement after direct dialogue between representatives of the two sides, in which the role of mediators was limited.

However, perhaps those who followed the political developments during the past years recall the political exploitation of the issue, by many local and foreign parties, in order to put pressure on Misrata to concede in political files irrelevant to reconciliation. At that time, the reconciliation was a failure for several years, because of such exploitation.

One of the most prominent things that occurred in the recent reconciliation’s  preparatory meeting was the objection of some of the attendees to some of the symbols of the state, such as the flag and the national anthem, which cannot be tolerated at all, as raising these issues mean that the goal is not reconciliation, but rather to establish a political position of the bereaved parties, which have not yet recognized the political change that took place in Libya as a result of the February Revolution, and they only wanted a share of the cake of power in the name of reconciliation.

  The issue of the flag, the national anthem, and all state emblems is within the capacity of the Constitutional Committee, or the Constituent Assembly, or the parliament, and not a national reconciliation conference that seeks to achieve transitional justice, hold those responsible for crimes and violations accountable, and compensate the victims.

However, despite all shortcomings and ruckus in the forum, which can be avoided in the next comprehensive forum, achievements of the sub-committees in terms of listing the damages, claims and recommendations were made. Furthermore, holding the forum is a significant first step, and if the path of reconciliation extends for thousand miles, then the first step was the most difficult, but it was kicked off.


Abdullah Alkabir, a Libyan political writer and commentator


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