Salvaging the Wreckage of Libya's Flawed Peace Deal

October 16, 2015 Topic: Politics Region: Middle East Tags: LibyaKhalifa HifterUnited Nations

Salvaging the Wreckage of Libya's Flawed Peace Deal

The UN must stop giving undue preference to Libya's House of Representatives.

Last, trying to isolate those who will continue to obstruct the peace process and taking steps to ensure the state has the monopoly on the use of force is not a far cry from the UNSMIL’s current objectives, however to do either of these credibly in the eyes of the GNC and the powerful Libya Dawn militias that may yet support the deal, the UN must stop giving undue preference to the HoR. León must be open to a new accord that is more palatable to Tripoli when the HoR’s term expires on October 20, rather than continuing to validate its claims of legitimacy and “international recognition.” The GNC will have more incentive to engage seriously, and perhaps with a more even-handed approach the HoR can be convinced that its anti-Islamist position will not win it international support by default, and it may be more willing to part ways with Hifter for the sake of unity.

Even if all of this is achieved, Libya's challenges will continue. A true effort to isolate those who will obstruct Libya's peace process regardless of the details of any deal will require regional efforts and international cooperation. And even if a unity government based on a more balanced agreement is reached and national army is created, many of Libya's spoilers will continue to fight. But at least a there will then be a government and army with some semblance of real legitimacy—one that international powers can and should support.

Alexander Decina is a U.S. foreign policy research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/ليبي صح.