On Wednesday, US Special Envoy, Richard Norland underlined the necessity of achieving national reconciliation in Libya. The emphasis comes at a crucial juncture in Libya’s political landscape, signalling strong support for this vital aspect of Libya’s path to stability.
In a statement, Norland expressed his keen interest in the developments surrounding the National Reconciliation Conference, slated for this spring. His comments refer to the outcomes of the fourth Preparatory Committee meeting for the National Reconciliation Conference, held in Zuwara on 14-15 January.
“The US is looking forward to working hand in hand with the Libyan Presidential Council and the African Union, in nurturing this vital facet of Libya’s political evolution,” Norland stated. He stressed that reconciliatory measures, both at national and local levels, are essential to lay a robust foundation for lasting peace in Libya.
The Zuwara meeting’s conclusion marked a significant step in Libya’s reconciliation process. Key figures such as Presidential Council member Abdullah Al-Lafi, Congolese Foreign Minister Jean Claude Gakosso, UN Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily, and others discussed organizational matters pertinent to the upcoming comprehensive conference in Sirte, aiming to unify the divided nation.
Al-Lafi reiterated the Presidential Council’s dedication to achieving national reconciliation, emphasizing their commitment to justice and electoral processes that reflect the aspirations of the Libyan people.
Echoing these sentiments, Bathily emphasized the importance of relentless efforts for reconciliation in post-conflict settings. Drawing parallels with other nations that have overcome similar crises, he highlighted the importance of learning from these experiences. He noted that the comprehensive conference in Sirte would be a pivotal moment, with political and military leaders playing a crucial role in Libya’s march towards peace.
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.
The conflict has led to a significant humanitarian crisis in Libya, with thousands of people killed, and many more displaced. Migrants and refugees using Libya as a transit point to Europe have also faced dire conditions.
The planned elections for December 2021 were delayed due to disagreements over election laws and the eligibility of certain candidates. This delay has raised concerns about the feasibility of a peaceful political transition.
Despite the ceasefire, security remains a significant concern with sporadic fighting and the presence of mercenaries and foreign fighters. The unification of the military and the removal of foreign forces are crucial challenges.