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Libya's road to peace: A distant journey

1 min

In a disheartening development for Libya, the much-anticipated national reconciliation conference, scheduled for April 28 in Sirte, has been indefinitely postponed.

The Libyan political landscape remains chaotic © Mena Today 

In a disheartening development for Libya, the much-anticipated national reconciliation conference, scheduled for April 28 in Sirte, has been indefinitely postponed.

The announcement was made by the UN Special Envoy for Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, during a Security Council meeting, highlighting the persistent divisions among Libyan leaders and their "selfish" behavior.

The conference was seen as a critical step toward healing the deep fractures in a country torn apart by civil war since 2011. Its postponement casts a long shadow over the peace process, which had gained some momentum following a February meeting of the African Union's High-Level Committee on Libya in Brazzaville. There, it was decided that Sirte would host the gathering aimed at reconciling the warring factions.

Expressing his profound disappointment, Bathily criticized the Libyan leadership's inability to prioritize the nation's needs over personal interests.

"It is discouraging to see individuals in positions of power placing their personal interests above the needs of their country," he stated. This sentiment reflects the ongoing challenge of mediating between leaders who appear more committed to maintaining their hold on power than to achieving peace.

The Libyan political landscape remains chaotic and split between two rival governments. The western part of the country, including the capital Tripoli, is governed by the UN-recognized administration led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah. In contrast, the eastern regions are controlled by a parliament aligned with military leader Marshal Khalifa Haftar, headquartered in Benghazi.

Bathily's efforts to address the concerns of all parties were met with "stubborn resistance, unreasonable expectations, and indifference to the interests of the population." These challenges underscore the complexity of the peace process in a nation still grappling with the legacy of Muammar Gaddafi's fall in 2011, which was followed by years of fratricidal violence and political instability.

The indefinite delay of the reconciliation conference is a significant setback in Libya’s tortuous journey toward peace. It not only underscores the fragility of the political processes but also the sheer complexity of reconciling the myriad of armed factions, political entities, and regional interests that have emerged in the power vacuum post-Gaddafi.

Despite these setbacks, the UN and its partners remain committed to supporting the Libyan peace process. The international community continues to hold out hope that, with persistent effort and international support, Libya can overcome its divisions. However, as the recent postponement suggests, peace in Libya remains a distant prospect.

As the situation develops, all eyes will stay on Libya and its leaders, whose decisions in the coming months will significantly impact the prospects for peace and stability in the region.

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