Bilal Abdullah

Possible Scenarios

Against the backdrop of competition among the three tracks above to resolve the Libyan crisis, three possible scenarios can be envisioned for the future of these tracks.

Scenario 1: Continuing the Bataille Initiative:

In this scenario, the UN envoy’s initiative remains the primary framework for a solution, with a slowdown in efforts related to the reconciliation process and marginalization of initiatives concerning the restoration of the monarchy.

This scenario gains strength because the Bataille Initiative is more deeply engaged with the real issues underlying Libya’s division than the reconciliation track, which primarily focuses on integrating Gaddafi supporters into the political process without addressing the institutional division between the east and west. While the Crown Prince’s actions do not offer a clear path to resolving the division, they provide a legitimate framework for ending the power struggle without fundamentally altering the existing power dynamics.

The likelihood of this scenario is bolstered by the US’s insistence on advancing the UN envoy’s initiative and the active diplomatic efforts supporting it. Despite its modest chances of delivering effective solutions to the settlement process’s dilemmas, the Bataille initiative is positioned to continue its activities.

A crucial factor influencing the initiative’s fate could be behind-the-scenes negotiations between the United States and Russia regarding their interests in Libya as part of broader diplomatic exchanges between the two powers on the global stage.

The apparent misalignment of interests between the US and Russia, coupled with Moscow’s aspirations to expand its formal military footprint in Libya, including the potential establishment of a military base, contrasts with the relatively restrained and conventional diplomatic maneuvers undertaken by the United States thus far. However, this disparity in approach may suggest a tacit understanding between the two powers. If such understandings indeed exist, they could create a conducive political environment for advancing the UN-led settlement process.

Scenario 2: Focus on Reconciliation Track:

This scenario posits that the failure of the Bataille Initiative to convince the main parties to the conflict to agree is compensated for by focusing on achieving progress on the level of national reconciliation, according to the logic of the need to repair social divisions and include parties excluded from the political process, as a gateway to achieving a natural and sustainable settlement.

This scenario aligns with the UN and Western approach, which recognizes the significance of engaging social forces to exert pressure on the main Libyan actors. Including representatives of various societal components in consultative processes, such as the Bataille’s Initiative, aims to provide a parallel path to dialogue between political leaders.

The reconciliation track becomes particularly relevant when these leaders resist international efforts for settlement like the Bataille Initiative.

Scenario 3: Deepening the Crown Prince’s initiative:

In this scenario, the Crown Prince’s initiative to restore the monarchy in Libya gains significant traction, evolving into a fully-fledged proposal supported by external actors and accepted by one or more critical parties in both the eastern and western regions of the country.

The failure of the main settlement track, such as the Bataille Initiative, catalyzes the increased momentum behind the monarchy project. Key stakeholders may view the monarchy as a unifying force that can achieve minimal stability while keeping current power dynamics and balances.

The consultative track of the Bataille Initiative is poised to serve as a crucial test for the viability of the Crown Prince’s monarchy project. During these consultations, participants will reveal their attitudes toward the monarchy project and other political initiatives on the table and their views on proposed solutions.

[1] While Senussi did not disclose the specific locations of the interviews, Libyan sources disclosed that most of these meetings took place in al-Bayda and Tobruk.

[2] The allusion here is to the concept of the constitutional monarchy in a general sense, without specific reference to the amended version of the 1963 constitution, which Senussi previously emphasized in his vision outlined on his website. The 1963 constitution marked the end of the federal system in Libya, and its emphasis in the past reflected a vision of a settlement that involved restoring the king’s extensive powers over all regions. However, the absence of mention during Senussi’s recent moves may suggest a different approach, aiming to accommodate existing regional balances and the interests of the main parties and their international and regional backers without assuming a central role in the governance process.

[3] Historical and personal factors bolster the hypothesis of British support for Senussi. Historically, Britain has supported the Libyan monarchy, and the royal family members, including the Crown Prince, have resided in Britain since departing Libya in the late 1980s.

[4] US diplomat Stephanie Williams, former Acting UN envoy to Libya, addressed this issue in an article by Brookings in January 2024.

[5] This condition mirrors the demands of eastern Libyan authorities, who insist on representation for Osama Hammad’s government at the meeting or the exclusion of the Dbeiba government.


Bilal Abdullah is a Researcher focusing on Libyan affairs. He has published and cooperated with several think tanks in and outside the Arab region. Abdullah is preparing for a Master’s degree from the College of African Postgraduate Studies at Cairo University, specializing in Tribalism and the Future of the State in Libya after 2011. Some of Abdullah’s published studies include “The Amazigh Movement and Dynamics of Libyan Political Life”, “The Amazigh Spring in Libya: Between Revolution Gains and Challenge of Division”, “The Democratic Transition of Power in Tunisia after the Revolution: A Study about the Role of the Tunisian General Labor Union”, and “The Political Role of A-Azhar after the Revolution: Constants and Variables”. He has a BA in Political Science from the College of Commerce at Helwan University and a Diploma in African Studies from Cairo University.


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