The ceasefire agreement signed by Libya’s opposing military factions in October 2020 bolstered UN-backed political talks on the appointment of an interim unity government. This new government is expected to hold national election in late December of this year. The goal, as stated by Stephanie Williams, current UN Secretary-General’s Acting Special Representative, is “to respond to the aspirations and demands of the Libyan people for a sovereign and unified Libya and a true commitment to national reconciliation”. Last Friday, delegates attending the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Geneva eventually agreed to elect a Prime Minister and a three-member presidency council from a list of 45 candidates, with Mohammad Menfi and Abdul Hamid Dbeibah selected as the Head of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister, respectively. Despite these encouraging developments, the brittleness of the current truce between the GNA and LNA, as well as the presence of foreign interference on both sides, represent intimidating stumbling blocks on the path to diplomacy, thus making the mission of the newly appointed UN Special Representative for Libya Jan Kubis anything but simple.
Mary Fitzgerald, Associate Fellow, ICSR, King’s College London
Karim Mezran, Director of the North Africa Initiative and Resident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs, Atlantic Council
Arturo Varvelli, Head, Rome Office and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
Federica Saini Fasanotti, Senior Associate Fellow, ISPI