The former UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said: “All those who succeeded late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have failed in making security reforms and have made grave mistakes in running the country.”
In press statements on Thursday, Williams stated that Libyans “do not like their ruling classes after 2011, and consider them a failure and incapable of passing the transitional periods and establishing democratic and constitutional principles.”
Williams added that the Libyan capital, Tripoli, “has become a target for those who want to control Libyan resources, as most of the ruling class in Libya is very eager to stay in power and never wants to leave it.”
The US diplomat pointed out that the “smuggling of oil, narcotics, and foodstuffs has become rampant across Libya as if this country is not governed by law, amid a prevailing state of impunity.”
She also said that “both Libyan parties and foreigners must admit their responsibility for the conflicts and that it is not a matter of fate. There are many differences among the Security Council over Libya. We cannot fully rely on the Security Council regarding Libya, nor can we completely ignore it.”
She stressed that many foreign powers remain present inside Libyan military bases, despite military agreements that prevent this. “Is it time to go to a new Libyan agreement instead of Skhirat and Geneva?” she asked.
In addition, she emphasised the need to “recognise that external interference is one of the most important causes of the Libyan crisis.”
Williams claimed that Egypt and Turkey “should reach an agreement on the future of Libya,” saying that Libya has “very strategic importance for many regional powers who are only serving their own interests in the country, without giving any due regard to Libya’s stability.”
She indicated that most of these powers are “acting behind the scenes, and dealing with the Libyan crisis as a poorly produced intelligence story,” as she put it.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.
The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December, and the refusal of Dbaiba, who is leading the transitional government, to step down. In response, the country’s eastern-based Parliament appointed a rival Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.