Panafrican News Agency

Vague position of international community on Libya's two govts keeping crisis alive: newspaper

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The absence of a clear position of the international community on Libya's two governments is keeping the political crisis in the North African country alive.

The Al-Wasat newspaper said this attitude of caution and neutrality by countries that are influential in the Libyan issue on the development of two governments risks prolonging the crisis. 

So far, these countries have refrained from providing explicit support to either camp: the internationally-recognised Government of National Unity (GNU) led by Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba and the Government of National Stability (GNS) led by Fathi Bachagha, appointed by the eastern-based Parliament under speaker Aguila Saleh.

This situation comes, according to the newspaper, at the time of increasing calls for the acceleration of the organisation of elections as the only way out. 

This call seems to embody the initiative of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General, Ms. Stephanie Williams, to bring Parliament and the High Council of State together to agree a law on which elections will be held as soon as possible.

The Al-Wasat newspaper, a Libyan weekly published in Cairo, Egypt, said that so far, only Russia has stuck out its neck in support for Bachagha's GNS, despite reports of mediation by Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey to resolve this crisis.

Under the headline: "The crisis of the two governments could continue until June", the Al-Wasat newspaper, stated that while calls for early elections have dominated the discourse at the international level in the hope that the initiative of Ms. Williams will achieve a breakthrough, information indicates that the situation will remain until a new date is set for elections.

Somehow, there was some information from the United Nations this week.

In a speech to the UN Security Council last Wednesday, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, did not hide her concerns about the risks of deepening divisions and political polarisation, according to the newspaper.

She said that "if the promised elections are not set quickly in a new timetable, the threat of two parallel governments is real".

On the contrary, the Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, according to the newspaper, revealed his country's support for Mr. Bachagha, saying that "this is an important step to resolve the long-standing crisis".

He criticised, in passing, Ms. Williams, while insisting on the appointment of a new UN Envoy before the end of April, when her mandate ends. This is the date set to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which the Security Council has failed three times to renew due to disagreements between Russia and the United States.

The newspaper said that the reaction to Russia's remarks by the US State Department was swift. Its top political adviser, Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, in response to what he called "foreign parties who exploit the conflict and pose serious threats to regional stability and global trade", waved sanctions against those who impede the political transition process and delaying the holding of elections.

Britain's speech to the Security Council was in line with that of the United States: the parties to the conflict should prepare for and accept Ms Williams' initiative to facilitate the dialogue that began in Tunisia last Thursday through a series of meetings with various political parties at the local and regional levels.

While the High Council of State has named its representatives to the 12-member joint committee to write the law for the elections, Parliament has poured cold water on it.

The Al-Wasat newspaper also discussed the input of the Libyan Presidential Council which met in Tripoli with ambassadors of 18 countries, which supported the Berlin 1 and 2 conferences. That meeting was attended by Ms. Williams.

The newspaper said leaks have spoken of the intention of the chairman of the Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Manfi, to adopt a constitutional rule for the parliamentary and presidential elections if the joint committee of parliament and the High Council of State does not reach a consensus on Ms. Williams' initiative.

Information at the moment, according to the newspaper, points to the possibility of the continuation of the current situation until June, the date for the organisation of elections, as set by the plan of Prime Minister of the GNU, Mr. Al-Dbaiba.

-0- PANA BY/IS/BBA/MA 20March2022