Sanusi Bisaikri

A turning point in the political path

The former head of the Supreme Council of State, Khaled Al-Mishri, recently announced that he and Aguila Saleh agreed on a comprehensive road map that includes setting a date for the elections, changing the presidency of the High Electoral Commission, and agreeing on an alternative government to the national unity government, which will be assigned the main task of holding the elections.

Khaled Al-Mishri takes a hostile stance towards the head of the National Unity Government, Abdul Hamid Al-Dabaiba. He accused him of corruption several times and that he was harnessing public money to finance armed groups that would ensure his stay in power and his influence in the capital. Al-Mishri promised to take additional measures if Al-Dabaiba did not accept the consensus of the two councils on the alternative government to the national unity government.

Aguila shares Saleh Al-Mishri’s hostile stance towards Al-Dabaiba, and the motive is the latter’s lack of submission to the authority of the House of Representatives and its president, and his failure to respond to the demands of the army leadership affiliated with the House of Representatives, especially with regard to assigning the Ministry of Defense to a person loyal to Haftar and providing the support and funding requested by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

The new road map was met with Haftar’s support for it, and observers confirm that Haftar’s support for changing Dabaiba came after negotiations between his representatives and Dabaiba faltered regarding the restructuring of the national unity government according to Haftar’s requests.

Supporting the consensus of Aguila and Al-Mishri to change Dabaiba may be a form of pressure on the latter to accept the ministerial reshuffle. What Haftar demands, and if Dabaiba’s stubbornness continues, changing it will be necessary.

Khaled Al-Mishri succeeded in passing the map within the Supreme Council of State, and the matter was not without legal violations confirmed by a number of members of the Council related to violations of the voting mechanism and quorum as stipulated in the regulations governing the work of the Council. However, nothing similar occurred by the House of Representatives, as The mission did not announce a clear position on the map, nor did the ambassadors of countries influential in the Libyan scene.

The dispute over oil revenues escalated

The use of oil as a card in the Libyan conflict dates back to the year 2013, after the head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard and a number of his followers and supporters closed oil export fields and ports in response to the desire of a group of activists and others, under the pretext that the Minister of Oil, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, was stealing oil by tampering with meters. His account. The matter was repeated in several regions until international parties intervened and restricted the process of subjecting the flow of oil to internal conflict.

Since the failure of the attack on the capital, Tripoli, talk about the fair distribution of wealth and income has become at the heart of the struggle and negotiation, and because oil revenues jumped to an unprecedented level after adjusting the dinar exchange rate from 1.4 dinars to the dollar to 4.46 dinars to the dollar, and because the National Unity Government expanded spending, as he considered it Its opponents include electoral propaganda funded by the state treasury. The conflict over the management of oil revenues escalated, and this became part of the demands of international parties to settle the Libyan conflict. The matter reached the point of threatening Haftar to act if a higher committee was not formed to supervise the management of the state’s public finances, revenues and expenditures.

The Presidential Council issued its Resolution No. 18 of 2023 to form a higher committee headed by the President of the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Manfi, and the Deputy Chairman of the National Oil Corporation, Farhat Ben Gudara, and included a number of ministers in the National Unity Government close to Dabaiba and the Governor of the Central Bank, and a number of figures close to Haftar.

Regardless of whether the committee’s response was to avoid Haftar’s threats; As the deliberations on its formation preceded Haftar’s speech in which he gave officials until the end of August to fulfill his request, it could block the way for Haftar’s attempt to seize control again after he lost a fair amount of his influence and authority after failing to enter the capital in 2019. -2020; This is because the committee will not be able to submit its first report before the end of August, which is the deadline set by Haftar for action. It has also been welcomed by the international parties intervening in Libyan affairs, and therefore its rejection by Haftar will put him in a difficult situation and he may not find local and external support for any adverse move. .

The purpose is not audit and financial control procedures

In his justification for his request to form a supreme committee to supervise oil revenues and its spending, Khalifa Haftar focused on the corruption and waste of public funds in which the National Unity Government is involved, and on the West of Libya’s monopolization of oil revenues while the East and South are deprived of them.

This is an unusual and uncharacteristic speech given by Haftar, and reflects a shift in his view of matters and his approach to the crisis. The eastern and southern regions are subject to Haftar, and attempts to have financial decision-making authority within this geography have failed since the formation of the interim government in the east, in 2014, which was internationally recognized only for a few months until the Skhirat Agreement came and gave legitimacy to the Government of National Accord in the capital.

The international community also refused to acknowledge the change of the governor of the Central Bank by the House of Representatives. It also rejected the parallel bank in the east, and the Tripoli central bank remained the legitimate one.

The attempt to replace Fathi Bashagha with Dabaiba also failed. Because the governor of the Central Bank did not cooperate satisfactorily with the governments of the East, and because financing became one of the biggest challenges to the continuation of Haftar’s project and plans to impose the army in the political equation and make it a difficult figure and the tool to enable Haftar to reach power and consolidate his foundations, the trend became to share oil revenues. If the Supreme Committee formed by the Presidential Council does not succeed in achieving Haftar’s demands, it is likely to fail, but this will not be confirmed before a considerable period of time has passed.

The direction of the conflict and alternatives to contain its repercussions

The experience of negotiations between the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State, which lasted for more than seven years, reveals that a fair and balanced consensus has not been and will not be possible, and that a fair and balanced consensus requires a change in the positions of the parties to the conflict, especially the House of Representatives and its ally, the General Command, who have continued to adopt a conquest approach.

Imposing conditions of consensus and not taking into account the demands of the front opposite them on the political track, which, even if it continued for a period of time, clings to its demands, but its political front, represented by the Presidency of the Supreme Council of State, made concessions and went along with the Presidency of the House of Representatives in most of its demands, which appeared to be in accordance with the correct approaches to transition and building. Institutions are unacceptable, including the insistence on dual citizenship and military personnel running for presidential elections.

The delegational path also reveals that development and progress occur when Western diplomacy, specifically American, is active, and that direct American pressure through figures with influence in the official American system was bringing the Libyan file from the bottom of the crisis to the area of movement, interaction and development. However, American diplomacy is not always active regarding… Libyan conflict; This was explained by the lack of importance of Libya to the United States, given its list of priorities within its foreign policy.

The long duration of the conflict has reinforced regional, regional and tribal tendencies, and this has been compounded by the growth of conflict, the weakness of authority, and the absence of projects that fill the vacuum and raise the level of economic and social well-being. This tendency constitutes the most prominent challenges to achieving a breakthrough on the political track.

It is noted that the rejectionist front in the House of Representatives, which succeeds In the confusion of consensus between the two councils, it is driven by regional figures that today find greater freedom in which to move, following the tendency of the military leadership in Al-Rajma to exploit this tendency in its political battle.

There is a flaw in the structure and efficiency of the negotiation that may have the effect of not reaching a fair and balanced consensus that leads to stability and paves the way for the correct transition to the post-conflict phase. This imbalance appears through the fragmentation of official political bodies, especially in the West.

The political front of the Western Front, which is the Supreme Council of State, fell into a sharp division among its members that appeared clearly in the position on the withdrawal of confidence from the National Unity Government by the House of Representatives and then in the constitutional amendment. The thirteenth and the outcomes of the 6+6 Committee. The continuation of this conflict within one front pushes for alignments that may be at the expense of the political process and in favor of the militarization project and the imposition of approaches by force of arms.

The opinion of the Legal Department of the United Nations Mission in Libya regarding the outcomes of the consensus between the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council of State criticizes the thirteenth constitutional amendment and the recent election laws, which include imposing two rounds of presidential elections, canceling parliamentary elections if the presidential elections are not successful, returning candidates to their previous jobs if they lose in the elections, and the participation of the military in the elections. Elections, and may contribute to reviewing the entire political process.

External parties still play a negative role in the Libyan conflict, and the clear influence of Egypt and Turkey appears in determining some of the positions of the parties to the Libyan conflict. It is known that Cairo and Ankara have not yet agreed on an approach to resolving the Libyan crisis, with emphasis on the impact of American intervention and Washington’s ability to move stagnant waters. It pushed the parties to agree, but the confusion, confusion, and inconsistency of American policy towards the Libyan crisis reduce the impact of American pressure on the parties to the conflict.

It seems that the Wagner paper and the Russian role in Libya did not reach its final destination even after the crisis between the Kremlin and the company, and the approach of Washington and its European allies towards the Russian presence in Libya remained confused and did not move towards real pressure that would end in removing the Russian mercenaries or remove them from the circle of influence in Libya. Libyan crisis.

Therefore, the life of the crisis does not seem short, and the conflict is still prolonged and may take a more severe form. Relying on a popular movement that rejects the extension of the crisis and the survival of the current bodies on the scene will be the way to change the direction of the conflict and push for settlement and stability. The longer the pressing popular influence is delayed and the more positive external intervention fails, the more the scenario of fragmentation and disintegration of the state entity and its institutions becomes certain.


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