Studies And Researchers Program publications 1

The first Quarterly Report from October to December 2020 – Libya

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

I- The path of the Libyan dialogue

There are several paths in Libya that are linked together. However, the political path which is linked to local and foreign balances, affects all paths. This is the reason for holding a meeting that is followed by another meeting under the absence of confidence and fear from returning to the first square of violence. This is an actual fact with the reality of continuing military mobilizations at the lines of contact in Jufra and Sirte on the outskirts of Oil Crescent. Although the military pass moved among Geneva, Gadamis and Sirte in order to save the fragile ceasefire agreement, it isn’t able to bypass the reality of balances in the East, the West and also in both of them. This happens because the armed groups and politicians who are associated with them insist on what is present, fearing from balances that might come against their interests. On the other hand, the economic path ended with detente, however it remains limited in light of the danger of the informal economy. It is noteworthy that the informal economy is considered the main source of funding weapon in Libya and an inevitable solution for most Libyans.

I – The political path :

 On Monday, October 26, 2020, dozens of Libyan figures started a political dialogue via video under the supervision of the United Nations after a few days from declaring a permanent ceasefire agreement all over Libya on October 23, 2020. In order to pave the way for direct talks in Tunisia. The dialogue was held on the basis of the outcomes of Berlin’s conference concerning Libya which were approved by the Security Council in the resolutions No.2510 and 2542 of 2020.

The talks are the first in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum through which the results of the previous talks would continue on institutional, economic and military files. The statement of the UN Mission explained that the meeting includes figures who differ from the Libyan political scene. This meeting aims at preparing direct meetings on November 9 in Tunisia. According to the UN Mission, the Forum “aims at achieving a unified vision concerning the framework and arrangement of the ruling  which would lead to holding national elections in the shortest possible time line in order to restore the Libyan sovereignty and the democratic legitimacy of the Libyan institutions. In addition it confirmed that “ in response to the recommendation of the majority of Libyans, the invited participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum shall refrain from assuming any political or sovereign positions in any new formation for the Executive Authority.  Signing a permanent ceasefire agreement after talk which continued to 5 days in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations

The dialogue in Tunisia: In a neighboring country to Libya, however Libyans are separated From the 9th to 16th of November

On Monday November 9, 2020, the first session among the Libyan rivals was launched in Tunisia amid a cautious optimism. The dialogue aimed at achieving a unified vision concerning the framework and arrangements of the rulings which shall lead to holding a national election in the shortest possible time line in order to restore the Libyan sovereignty, democratic legitimacy of the Libyan institutions and end the crisis. The Forum has put into consideration the “Montreux” recommendations and understandings that were reached in the “Bouznika” and Cairo talks.

Some progress has been reached in this meeting. However without additional compromise solutions and a support from the parties to the conflict and their foreign supporters, the stage of activating the proposed solutions couldn’t be reached. The dialogue came after a period of relative calm that lasted for months in a country mired in chaos. The meeting achieved progress on ending the ongoing political crisis since years, however practically the dialogue in Tunisia didn’t end with results that go beyond setting a date for the elections as the practical steps to reach elections. At the level of criteria that have been put to choose who represents Libyans in the political dialogue path, the UN Support Mission in Libya has put the criteria of choosing the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunisia

 The problem of representations of Libyans in the political dialogue: 

A controversial representation locally, and suspicions of bribes and political money

The international Mission confirmed that the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum shall be “from several categories”. In addition, they were chosen on the basis of the principles of inclusiveness and fair geographical, political, tribal and social representation. The statement said concerning that matter: “This group includes representatives from the House of Representatives and the Supreme Council, in addition to the active political forces which are from outside these two institutions. In light of a firm commitment to the meaningful participatory for woman, youth and minorities in order to be a comprehensive dialogue for all sects and components of the Libyan people.

It is noteworthy that the Mission has sent 75 invitations for representatives from all sects of the Libyan community to participate in the first meeting of the comprehensive Libyan Political Forum via video. In this context, Libyan discussed the criteria of the UN Mission in choosing who represents them while putting into consideration the Skhirat dialogue which produced an agreement that its writers couldn’t implement it in reality. That led to more conflicts in Libya which was considered by several persons as the main cause for the past war which was launched by General Khalifa Haftar on Tripoli. As a result for these reasons, a discussion took place among the Libyan elites, youth blocs and political parties concerning the nature of criteria which the Libyans and the UN Mission should rely on to choose who represents them in a new political dialogue path.

 Therefore, the National Forces Alliance (political party) in Libya confirmed that it would oppose the outcomes of the political forum in Tunisia before it began. It  considered that it was an uncleared deal that repeats the mistakes of the previous political agreement and the resulting failure in building the state, the continuing systematic plunder of public money, and the disruption of elections. And the coalition continued in its statement, that it has no official representative at the forum’s dialogue table. The Alliance also stressed that there is no truth to the claim of some persons to represent the coalition, adding that the representative of the Alliance in any event is the one chosen by the current leadership of the party, after:  “We were informed that the seat of the party’s leader, the late Mahmoud Jibril, was replaced by a figure of the same tribe, throwing aside the fact that the late was the head of a political party that includes all Libyan components and regions, and he never represented a particular tribe or region with full respect for all our beloved tribes and cities.” The Alliance believed that this is the Mission’s mistake due to the absence of clear and specific criteria for choosing, in addition to the continuation of the desire of Libyan parties “that may be supported by foreign parties to exclude all those persons who call for consensus on a Libyan national project as a priority.”  The Alliance expressed supporting the efforts of the UN Mission in Libya to reach a comprehensive agreement that would end the state of conflict on the condition of inviting all Libyan parties to bear the historical responsibility. In addition, giving priority to the nation’s interest and uniting in a national salvation project that ends the crisis. Moreover, not focusing on the principle of sharing positions among contenders of power only.

The Libyan crisis has pushed several youth gatherings in the country to the forefront of events, searching for a solution in order to turn the page of the war and end the transitional period. In addition, they demanded their inclusion in the meetings which are under the auspices of the UN mission, primarily the Forum for Political Dialogue in Tunisia. More than one hundred young persons who had signed what they named “Toyoh’s document” stressed “not accepting the representation of the same faces who came as a result of the Skhirat agreement and who didn’t achieve any success”. They demanded the UN Mission in Libya to “represent at least 25 youth in the next dialogue path, while taking into account the cultural components, handicaps and women. It is noteworthy that Toyoh is a small town in the South of Libya where the activities of the (first youth conference) we launched and it started for two days. And this conference ended with a final statement entitled “what should be in the Libyan dialogue path?. 

Ahmed Al-Touati, one of the conference organizers and the signatories of the document, said that they propose the formation of a “mini-crisis government with limited powers” as a quick solution to the crisis until  holding elections in the country. He added that its tasks are limited to unifying the state’s executive institutions, putting in the necessary arrangements for holding the electoral process, and ending Crises of electricity, fuel and funds. He added that the document had been handled to Stephanie Williams, the UN envoy. He said: Despite the leaks indicating that the mission closed the door to any other additions regarding the preparations for the forum, we would exert pressure in order to present the articles of the document in the next political agreement. In addition, we would express our situation by peaceful demonstrations, if our demands for a wider representation of youth and women are not met in the forum”.

Akram Al-Najjar, one of the conference organizers, said, “There is great communication with us, whether from the UN mission or groups of young people wishing to join us.” He added that the document “is the first youth product which was written during the past ten years, and we believe that this was what we were missing in Libya, as there was no developed vision that we could gather around.” In addition, Akram added that they allowed young people who are involved in armed formations to participate in their meeting. He  justified that by saying “we need to listen to their voices as we have succeeded in coming up with some positive points which we see that they could provide a value to the next path of dialogue.”

Despite the limited representation crisis in terms of its nature and results, and with all this discussion about the path of the Libyan dialogue and the composition of the members of the Forum for Political Dialogue, Libyans are going in this path as the only path that represents an alternative to the war that has lasted for a long time during the past years. However, at the same time, with the start of the first political discussions among the members of the dialogue committee, the big differences in views became clear, especially with regard to the restructuring of the executive authority that has been divided between itself in the East and West for more than four years, but the intensity of the dispute reached to the existence of a suspicion of financial bribery. Members of the Dialogue Committee are subject to certain quarters for their voting for one of the advanced parties for the position of Prime Minister. In the details of political money, it is reported that a leaked recording of one of the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunisia has been published, calling for the election of Fathi Pasha Agha, the head of the Libyan government in exchange for material gains, and a number of participants in the political forum in Tunisia submitted a complaint about these suspicions to buy votes in favor of parties She is a candidate for senior positions to lead the transitional phase in Libya. They are affiliated with the Islamic current

Actually, the meeting in Tunisia failed to reach consensus on forming a presidential council headed by a representative from eastern Libya, two deputies from the south and west, and the presidency of a transitional government headed by a candidate from western Libya and two representatives from the east and south due to the lack of common ground among the members of the dialogue committee to reach consensus on a clear mechanism for choosing Who holds the executive authority in Libya. On the other hand, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya formed a legal and constitutional committee that would formulate a law for the general elections that were agreed to be organized on December 17, 2021, during the first and direct round of negotiations in Tunisia. Sources close to negotiators for eastern Libya who participated in a hypothetical meeting held by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Libya, Acting Stephanie Williams, with representatives of the parties to the Libyan conflict through video communication, revealed the formation of a committee comprising 17 members of the participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum. The Committee includes

A source close to a parliamentary bloc in eastern Libya, who asked not to be named, said, “The mission formed the committee without standards, ignored the members’ recommendations to their representatives, and established a constitutional legal committee to develop a vision for a solution to the constitutional crisis and to lay down the next and detailed election law. ” Negotiators from Cyrenaica and Fezzan expressed their annoyance at the selection of 7 members of the Brotherhood within the committee, and the mission ignored recommendations of Barqa and Fezzan to its representatives for dialogue. Which they considered losing the balance of the committee

The political and ideological background of the Libyan Dialogue Committee

The list does not mean that some of them are currently affiliated with the party, such as Abd al-Razzaq Al Aradi, noting that this also does not mean that the rest of the members do not include those persons who are close to the party or the Islamic current generally in various forms …

Some persons consider that they are affiliated with what is known as “Al Khidr” in the current Libyan social terminology. However, according to the facts, most of them are affiliated with Seif Al Islam supporters. In addition, Zidan Al Zadama exists in the list and he announced his withdrawal from the dialogue in a press conference after that.

2- The economic path

About ten days after the Berlin conference, the Egyptian capital, Cairo, hosted, on February 9 and 10 / February 2020, a round of economic track talks on Libya, in which 28 economic and financial experts participated in the meeting, during which it was agreed to form three committees: The Banking Committee is concerned with dealing with the division in the banking system and the ensuing misfortune, and the Public Revenue Distribution Committee after the controversy surrounding the mismanagement of public funds, and the Reconstruction and Development Committee later On January 30, 2020, during his briefing to the international Security Council,Ghassan Salama, the  UN envoy to Libya announced sending invitations to a second economic meeting on Libya to be held in Cairo on February 9, 2020. During which the Economic Committee was formed of economic figures and businessmen on the following basis:

The discussions of the economic path have progressed more than other paths since January 2020. The field’s changes and international pressure, especially the popular protests during the end of the year, have contributed in making progress towards finding urgent solutions in order to reform the currency, the banking crisis, and unify the national budget and agree on a timeline to implement all these reforms. Among the positive developments on the economic path is the complete resumption of oil production, thanks to the great efforts made by the National Oil Corporation, and the decision of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Libya to hold a meeting of the Board of Directors after it was divided.

 Meanwhile, the international audit of the accounts of the two branches of the Central Bank of Libya, continues. It is considered almost in the middle of the road according to a statement by Stephanie Williams on December 15, 2020. The audits of the two central bank branches are part of the process of unifying the central bank and fully re-establishing national accountability mechanisms. While the debate continues over budget unification and a clear road map for moving forward and managing oil revenues. It is noteworthy that oil revenues, which amounted to $ 186 billion during the last nine years, were reserved, according to the Libyan Oil Corporation, which indicated that it is  in the process of contracting with a major international company to review and audit the financial systems of its financial and administrative systems. It  confirmed that all the revenues of the Libyan state and also the rights of foreign partners are documented accurately and withheld in the institution’s accounts at the Libyan Foreign Bank. However, developing what’s previous is linked at the same time to the developments of the ongoing Libyan Political Dialogue until the end of the monitoring period

The unification of the Central Bank of Libya and the exchange rate are two main goals of the economic path, considering that it may open the way for further economic reforms, and to overcome the gap between the official exchange rate and the black market rate in Libya’s economy which depends on oil. It is noteworthy that the black market caused a financial crisis and encouraged corruption, especially as armed groups that could obtain the dollar at the official exchange rate, have made money from fraud in imports

3- The military path : 

On Monday, October 9, 2020, the first sessions of the military path have started and continued in the 2nd and 4th of November 2020 just before the Forum in Tunisia. Parallel to the Geneva negotiations, meetings were held in Libya and ended with important agreements that have’t been implemented yet.

The sessions took place in parallel with the ongoing tension and field preparedness in the confrontation lines among the armed parties in the center of the country. The Joint Military Committee 5+5 discussed pending military and security files in order to prepare starting the comprehensive Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunisia, including files for the unification of the military institution and removing weapons and foreign fighters from Sirte and Jufra. It has become clear that the last file is the most difficult one that faces difficulties in resolving it, as it is linked to international balances at the same time.

Parliamentary sources from Tobruk and the government from Tripoli said that the understandings about most of the files are based on resolving the file of foreign fighters who fight in the ranks of the two sides. They noted that the representatives of General Khalifa Haftar in the military committee stress the need to consider the Turkish military presence alongside the Government of National Accord Within the file of mercenary fighters. They demand the necessity of disengagement of the government in Tripoli from its alliance with the Turkish government

Signing a permanent ceasefire agreement is considered the important and vital step in the Libyan consensus path till now, after talks that continued for 5 days in the United Nations headquarter during October. It is noteworthy that the UN Mission had published a live video clip of its signing ceremony. It is noteworthy that the agreement stipulated the withdrawal of all military units and armed groups from the confrontation lines as well as the departure of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya within 90 days. In addition, the continuation of the ceasefire,the opening of the coastal road and the exchange of detainees with the facilitation of the Council of Elders and the support of the Joint Military Committee. 

Gadamis: The first meeting in Libya of the military committee

The talks which lasted for two days in Gadamis, resulted in important agreements, from 12 points, on defusing the escalation in Sirte and Jufrah, the withdrawal of the forces stationed on their outskirts, and the approval of concrete steps to implement these provisions, amid a many local and international praises for what was accomplished at a time Very short. The committee concluded its meetings, announcing that new detailed understandings had been reached on the issues prepared for negotiation. It is noteworthy on top of the issues was the formation of a demilitarized zone near the tension areas in Sirte and Jufrah.

The Joint Military Committee reached a number of important recommendations regarding arrangements for the implementation of its agreements, including the request of the UN Security Council to expedite the issuance of a binding decision  to implement the provisions of the Geneva Agreement signed on October 23, 2020. The details of the understandings

Sirte: The second meeting of the Military Committee in Libya on November 10 to 11, 2020

This meeting was an important point in the course of the committee, and according to the committee’s statement, it resulted in an agreement consisting of four elements: 

The Sirte meeting is the last meeting in Libya. Practically, most of what was agreed upon, especially regarding the opening of the coastal road and the foreign fighters’ point, was not implemented, while the rest of the points remained suspended. The Sirte-Al-Jufra operations room of the GNA announced that the main and secondary roads in the southern Abu Qurain area and Al-Shaka towards Al-Jufra are considered “permanently closed”.A statement by the room confirmed that the movement of travelers through it wouldn’t be permitted without the instructions of the field operations room.It indicates that who violates these instructions “had to bear full responsibility for what would happen as a result”.In addition, walking and traveling are banned completely whatever were the reasons.

In another indication of the continuing tension between the two parties to the conflict, the Military Information Sector of Haftar’s forces announced that the Naval Special Forces “conducted military maneuvers within the Naval Martyrs’ tactical project”. These maneuvers aim at supporting the fighting capabilities in securing the Libyan strategic maritime borders, according to a statement published on its official page on Facebook. Ahmed Al Mismari, the official spokesperson of Haftar’s forces, confirmed that the joint military committee talks “have not reached anything official yet”.

Despite starting the implementation of what was agreed upon by social committees which have met in Misurata, the statements of the military leaders from the two parties of the conflict don’t send reassurance for creating an atmosphere for implementing all the outcomes of the negotiations of the military committee. It is noteworthy that the issues that were discussed in the social committees are the opening of airports, and exchanging captives and prisoners in stages. In addition, opening oil fields and returning international aviation between Benghazi and Tripoli Meanwhile, skirmishes continue on the battlefield, while each party accuses the other of violating the ceasefire. In addition, practically the two parties didn’t start withdrawing their forces as the GNA forces are still being centered in Abugrein and Al Washka with reports of operating patrols. Military cargo flights were monitored at Al Wattayah and Misrata airports, while the General Command forces and their collaborators continued to establish fortifications and military points equipped with air defense systems between Sirte, Jufrah and in the northern region of Jufra air base. Intense activity of cargo planes was monitored between Baninah, Jufrah airport and Algourdabia air base

4- The chaos of weapon: 

Libya has witnessed severe riots and an armed conflict among the Libyan factions since the outbreak of February 201 revolution. However this conflict which is currently between the field marshal Haftar’s forces and GNA’s forces, is known in its details by impeding and dangerous presence of militias in addition to the presence of international forces and foreign mercenaries. The Libyan crisis took a more complicated curve after the involvement of several international parties to the conflict and Egypt is in the forefront. Egypt has turned from supporting Haftar secretly to publicly. And that happened after Turkey had sent forces to Libya in addition  to the conflict between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which supports the General Command forces on the one hand, and Qatar. Which supports the reconciliation government on the other hand. Despite Moscow’s continuous declaration of its non-military intervention in Libya, it supports the Russian mercenary group known as “Wagner” and carries out its activities in full coordination with the Russian government and Haftar’s forces in their military operations. 

After Turkey and the Government of National Accord signed security and maritime agreements, the Turkish Parliament announced, on January 2, 2020, the approval of sending Turkish army forces to Libya to support the Government of National Accord. This step was subject to great condemnation at the international and regional levels. The European Union condemned this step, while Tunisia expressed its total rejection of the Turkish intervention in Libya.

After the failure of the attack which was launched by Khalifa Haftar in April 2019 to gain control of the capital, Tripoli, a permanent ceasefire agreement with “immediate effect” was signed on October 23 under the auspices of the United Nations which revived hopes for peace. Since June 7 and until now, the Libyan map of influence has not witnessed any significant changes in the reality of control in favor of either side of the conflict. In addition, the military build-ups from both sides continue on the northwest strategic axes of Sirte. This strategy is considered the gateway to the oil crescent and the ports and responsible for exporting about 60% of the country’s oil production.

The cautious calmness at the field is accompanied by a political movement in order to arrange international papers which are represented in the Turkish-Russian discussions. It is noteworthy that these discussions resulted in an agreement to establish a joint working group for Libya, in conjunction with American efforts to neutralize Sirte and the Oil Crescent from the battles through a proposal to evacuate them from the forces of the two sides and make these areas under the supervision of the United Nations. The map of the deployment of Turkish military points in western Libya indicates that the number of the main Turkish points in Libya increased to six, after a new point in the “Tawergha” in the south of Misurata

Turkish military points have been stationed in strategic locations in western Libya, either overlooking the coast or they contribute to protecting the coastal strip, and they are: 

As for the Russian Wagner forces, reports indicate the presence of hundreds of different nationalities including Serbs, Ukrainians, and Russians, as well as a limited Syrian presence and the Sudanese Janjaweed fighters. Wagner’s forces are mainly present in the five cities of Jufra: Houn, Zillah, Waddan, Sawknah, Fuqaha and Sirte.

And at the level of the power map in the western region, the militias began a new episode of assassination and conflict for power immediately after the control of Tripoli. The parties in this conflict mobilize their troops to Zawiya and Misurata in addition to their political and armed representatives. The most prominent of these conflicts was between the Misrata militia on the one hand, and the Zawiya and Tripoli militias on the other hand. Local sources revealed that Misrata militias are preparing to storm the city of Zawiya to settle scores between the militias and redraw the map of influence.  The sources reported that the 20/20 Division affiliated with the “Al Radaa” militia prepared a plan to storm the city of Zawiya, with the help of Misrata militia, led by the militia (301) affiliated with the militant Mohamed Zobi who was involved in many crimes and assassinating operations inside  Tripoli. The sources pointed out that one of the reasons that will push the militias to attack Zawiya is the sharp dispute between the militia, “AbdulRahman Milad,” nicknamed “Baidga” (from the city of Zawiya) and the Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord, Fathi Pasha Agha, after the “Bidja” attack the Minister of Interior on the means Social Media. 

However, the sources indicated that the main disagreement in the conflict between the two sides is that Baidga stole  valuable equipment from the Zawiya oil refinery and he resumed sending illegal immigration boats from the port of Zawiya and Zuwara. Regarding the new episode of the militia conflict in western Libya, it appears that Fathi Bashagha (from the city of Misurata) seeks to monopolize his control of Tripoli, accompanied by militias (301), by liquidating his opponents in Zawiya, Zintan and Kikla, while “Baida” and other leaders of the migration militia play and smuggle the required fuel A role whose goal is to draw the city of Zawiya to the militia struggle against Haftar. Bashagha  sought at the time to strike all allies of Fayez Al Sarraj on the western coast from Zawiya to Zuwara to create an appropriate atmosphere for him to carry out tasks greater than his duties as interior minister in the Government of National Accord.

The Zawiya militia remains without sufficient capacity to stand up to the Misrata militias allied with the Syrians, and the “Radaa” militia, which may suggest a rapid fall of the human and fuel smuggling mafia west of Tripoli. It is reported that “Baidga” appeared in an interview with the Italian newspaper “The Post”, which led to widespread condemnation among the local and foreign world opinion, and pushed Bashagha to acquit him on October 26, 2019. A United Nations security report issued in June 2017 described Abdel Rahman Milad as a “human smuggler, responsible for shooting at sea, who leads a criminal organization and is suspected of drowning dozens of migrants.” Later, he is wanted  The militias control the city of Zawiya under the leadership of Shaaban Hadiya, known as “Abu Ubaida al-Zawy,” affiliated with the Libyan Fighting Group, the branch of Al Qaeda in Libya, and Muhammad Bahron, known as “the Rat,” who heads the security support militia in Zawiya, and he is a fuel smuggler accompanied by the smuggler Muhammad Kashlaf nicknamed “al-Qaseb”, a company commander Al Nasr controlling the corner refinery.

On the other hand, it seems that the balance of power within the city of Tripoli itself is following in a manner that differs from what it was before the recent war on Tripoli, and according to the tension between Zawiya and Misrata. The popular movement that took place on August 23, 2020 led to the emergence of the political conflict in the House of National Accord between the President of the Presidency Council, Faiz Al Sarraj, and his interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, who took a position in favor of the popular movement, and this is what made the armed formations in the western region and Tripoli in particular Lined up between the two men. This almost led to fighting between these armed formations, as the militias allied with the government of Fayez Al Sarraj cut off the main outlets of the capital, while establishing strict checkpoints there, and on the other hand dozens of well-armed vehicles set off from Misrata towards Tripoli, and reached the suburb of Tajoura In the east of the capital, sources close to the leaders of the columns confirmed that “they came to support the Interior Ministry forces in the face of the incursions of Al-Nawasi militias and their counterparts,” while reinforcing rumors about differences between Al-Sarraj and his interior minister, Fathi Bash Agha.

Witnesses reported that militia gunmen walked in patrols in civilian cars, while wearing civilian clothes in the center of the Libyan capital, and eyewitnesses monitored a massive deployment of military vehicles belonging to the pro-Sarraj government militia in the Martyrs Square in Tripoli, before the start of the demonstrations on August 23, loaded with machine guns.

Tripoli militias faced the protests. Witnesses confirmed that they saw armored vehicles and heavy machinery heading towards Martyrs Square and other outlets in central Tripoli. Activists at the time called for international protection from the oppression of the militants, and Libyan activists said that the leaders of the Nawasi Brigade of the Tripoli militia “contacted us and gave us the choice between staying in our homes or facing an inevitable death.” On the other hand, armed militias affiliated with the Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha, surrounded the government headquarters on Al-Sikka Road after the arrival of Fathi Bashagha to attend the interrogation session with him in front of the Presidential Council headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, amid reports that he had withdrawn his request to publicize the investigation. Legitimacy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, has issued a decision to refer the Minister of Interior authorized for investigation in connection with the shooting of peaceful protesters in Tripoli.

Bashagha was on a visit to Turkey, and on his return to Mitiga airport in Tripoli, he performed a parade in a military convoy consisting of 300 armed cars that roamed around the Libyan capital, in defiance of Sarraj, whose militia disappeared and did not confront the Bashagha militia. In light of these interactions, the controversial movements of some armed militias affiliated with the Libyan “reconciliation” government, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj in the capital, Tripoli, raised fears of a new wave of clashes, coinciding with media statements by some militia leaders. Haitham Al Tajouri, the leader of the so-called “The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade”, a sharp attack on the Government of National Accord and its loyal forces. He described GNA in his latest media appearance after his recent absence from the scene, after he was in UAE. as “the weak government”, and he described its forces as the “army of greenhouses’ ‘, considering that he There is no army and police. Tajouri demanded to be acknowledged by everyone who wants to enter Tripoli, whether they are patrols, or any force that wants to deploy in the city. That  appeared to be a response to the efforts of Fathi Bashagha, Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord (GNA), to ​​control the entrances and exits of the capital, Tripoli, 

Meanwhile, military commanders from the “Volcano of Anger-Burkan Al-Ghadab” operation, affiliated with the “GNA” forces, talk about a state of alert in the “Tajouri” Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade. In addition, local residents observed that some militias returned to their positions in Tripoli suddenly and without explanation. Local Libyan media reported the appearance of a smuggler who was punished by the UN Security Council and wanted by the Attorney-General, called Mohamed Kashlaf who is from Zawiya and whose nickname is “Al Qasab”, together with Salah Al Nimroush, the Minister of Defense of the Government of National Accord (GNA), during his recent visit to the headquarters of the Petroleum Facilities Guards. They considered his presence, after arresting his partner, Abdulrahman Milad whose nickname is Baidaga, in Tripoli amid october, imposes a question concerning the plans of the GNA Ministry of Interior in order to confront militias. 

Kashlaf has controlled the Zawiya oil refinery for years, and he is described as “one of the rich and masters of smuggling in the regions of the West Coast, knowing that he commands militias affiliated with the Petroleum Facilities Guard, and he is on the list of UN Security Council sanctions, which include travel bans and freezing funds. In addition to local sanctions from the Attorney General in Tripoli. Moreover,  Nimroush sought help from an ISIS member, after the Ministry of Defense issued a decision assigning Mohamed Balaam to manage and follow up the file of the exchange of detainees and bodies, in cooperation with the permanent committee for humanitarian affairs in the ministry, noting that he had previously participated in the battles in which extremists fought against the General Command forces in Benghazi, before his escape to Tripoli.

On the other hand, Benghazi (eastern Libya) witnessed what the Libyan News Agency, loyal to the authorities, described there as extensive security measures, intense traffic spread, and security activity for police stations, divisions and field units of the Security Directorate. Instructions of the Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar

II-The development of policies and legislations related to human rights

The human rights file in Libya is considered a file on the sidelines. It is a file that is opened every time to end with the numbers of victims and the ugliness of the violations, however without actual accountability for the perpetrators. The situation in Libya enhances impunity despite all its related decisions, procedures and statements.

1-Violations of the Tripoli War

On June 22, 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council took a positive step towards accountability for perpetrators of crimes and violations, by establishing a fact-finding committee to investigate violations by all parties in Libya. In addition, the African Group at the Human Rights Council  presented a resolution during the 43rd session of the Council, in which it called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to send a fact-finding mission immediately to investigate violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties to the Libyan conflict since the beginning 2016. Moreover, The request included preserving evidence to ensure that those responsible for the violations were held accountable. The decision was approved by consensus.

With the end of armed confrontations in the Libyan capital, Tripoli and surrounding areas, on June 5, 2020, with the withdrawal of the armed forces and the forces loyal to them, the conflict continues in Sirte, 450 kilometers east of the capital, and in other parts of the country. The arms embargo which was approved by the UN Security Council in 2011 remains in effect, but no party has been punished for violating it. While all parties, whether the General Command forces led by Haftar or the GNA forces, are responsible for the violations that range from torture, enforced disappearance and assassination.

 Since the Government of National Accord took control of Tarhunah, there have been reports of looting and destruction of private property by armed groups affiliated with the Government of National Accord in addition to abusing detainees. 

 Moreover, Human Rights Watch documented the crisis of several thousands of migrants and asylum seekers who are arrested in inhumane conditions in the places of detention managed by the GNA Ministry of Interior, smugglers and human traffickers, where they are subjected to enforced labour, beatings and sexual assault. On the other hand, the forces affiliated with Khalifa Haftar and the forces supporting it were responsible for similar crimes against Libyans and foreigners in Libya which appeared especially after their withdrawal from Tripoli and Tarhunah.

The Human Rights Council ended a previous commission of inquiry into Libya in 2012. The High Commissioner for Human Rights established another investigation into Libya in March 2015, and this investigation concluded in January 2016.

The International Criminal Court issued a memorandum in 2017 and another in 2018 to arrest the commander in the General Command forces, Mahmoud Al Werfalli. However the decision was not implemented like all Decisions regarding the many human traffickers, arms and drug dealers, and warlords in Libya. It is noteworthy that the International Criminal Court has a mandate to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Libya since 2011 based on previous actions. In previous steps, the International Security Council issued sanctions on 6 persons, including two Eritreans who are involved in running a  human trafficking network in Libya in 2018, however they aren’t implemented. Especially that these networks benefit from relations and interests with the current authorities in Eastern and Western of Libya. Thus this matter makes monitoring, documenting and persevering evidence difficult

2-Protests in Tripoli and authority’s violence

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Armed groups affiliated with the Libyan “Government of National Accord” used lethal force to break up the largely peaceful demonstrations against corruption in late August 2020. In addition, they arbitrarily detained, tortured, and disappeared people in the capital. Armed groups in Tripoli arbitrarily detained at least 24 protesters, including journalists who were covering the event. In addition, they beat some protesters while using machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons carried on vehicles to disperse the demonstrations. Thus, that resulted in wounding some demonstrators, and allegedly killing one of them. The groups included the “Nawasi Brigade” affiliated with the Ministry of Interior in the Government of National Accord under the command of Mustafa Kaddour, the “Special Deterrence Force” led by Abd Al Raouf Kara, and the armed group known as the “Public Security Force” led by Imad Trabelsi.

On August 23, 2020, large demonstrations began in Tripoli, Misurata and Zawiya . A new popular movement was organized which is the people’s movement 23/8 or Hemmat Shabab Libya movement 23/8, organized protests to criticize the authorities in the East and West due to the living conditions. Protesters complained about power cuts that could last for up to three days, and demanded social justice and elections. In addition, in August 24, protests started in Zliten and Khums in the East of Tripoli, and in Sebha and Awbari‎ in the South.

In western Libya, the establishment of a committee to investigate the aforementioned attacks has been announced, however until today it didn’t issue any results. In addition, The judiciary did not work to pursue the perpetrators regarding their loyalty to the armed groups which control Tripoli from Al Nawasi and Al Radaa Brigade.  Actually, burying crimes in Libya took place same as what happens to victims so every international and local procedure becomes meaningless in reality  By reviewing some testimonies and meeting with some of them from sources monitoring the report, they avoid dealing with any detail, considering that “nothing happened

3- Death holes ( mass graves in Tarhunah)

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The number of the disappeared persons in Tarhunah: 338 persons

  • according to the last reports to the Libyan Ministry of Justice 

“Horrific” reports of mass graves in Tarhunah in Libya, and the accusations refer to Haftar’s forces which withdrew from the city after battles with the GNA forces. After the UN-recognized Government of National Accord forces restored the control on Tarhunah, 90 km southeast of Tripoli, from the control of Haftar’s forces. There were many reports of mass graves in the city, as pages belonging to the armed factions of the Government of National Accord (GNA) published pictures of mass graves which were caused by Haftar’s forces before leaving the city. The Public Authority for Search and Identification of Missing Persons which is a governmental body affiliated with the National Accord, continued to publish pictures and numbers on its Facebook account, for recovery operations.

Several mass media which is close to the Government of National Accord reported that the majority of the dead persons were the people of the city. In addition, these sources blamed the Al-Kani militia or the Kaniyat which is a loyal militia to Khalifa Haftar and a number of its leaders were killed weeks ago in the military operations. In 2017, this militia was known for its wide-spread killing and it had links to the Government of National Accord in its start. However, the two parties’ relationship worsened before Khalifa Haftar announced his campaign to control Tripoli, due to the attempt by “Alkaniyat” to infiltrate Tripoli.

At this time, 60 corpses were found in the Mortuary cabinets in Tarhuna Hospital. These corpses belong to the Government of National Accord Forces. In addition, previously corpses which belong to Haftar’s fighters were found in hospitals in Tripoli. The purpose of each side’s seizure of the corpses of the other side is to conduct operations to exchange them later between the two parties, as it occurred more than once in battles in the Libyan war, under the auspices of the United Nations and the Libyan Crescent. However, the number of dead bodies in Tarhunah and outside the hospital, may exceed 200.  What attracted attention in the speech of the head of the General Authority for Search and Identification of Missing Persons, Kamal Abu Bakr, his statement that there are great difficulties in recovering the buried corpses, because some of them were booby-trapped from the inside. In addition to the presence of mines near these bodies to try to kill those persons who reach them.. Death holes which are a result from the battles in Libya , must be resolved to restore the integrity of the regions and people, rather than turning the matter into a social hostility in which weapons and violence take place.

III- Recommendations: 

1 – The political path:

2- The military path

3- The economic path : 

4- The Human Rights:

Working on exchanging corpses and captives in order to gather Libyans and avoid the scenarios of gloating, killing and assassinating.

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

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