Can Libya’s new government balance international, domestic duties?
According to UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler, Libya will have one government by the end of January 2016, and it will be in Tripoli.
Despite the difficulties facing it, the new government of national accord has already won major international approval. On Dec. 23, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2259, recognizing it as the sole legitimate government of the war-torn country.
Bernardino Leon, the former UN envoy to Libya, spent nearly 14 months in difficult negotiations starting September 2014, when he first took up the job.
Since August 2014, when the capital was overrun by a coalition of Islamist militias forcing the elected government to flee to Tobruk, Libya has had two quarreling parliaments and two opposing governments. They have accepted a political agreement signed in Skhirat, Morocco, on Dec. 17, 2015.
However, the Tobruk-based parliament speaker refused to endorse the political agreement and the government it produced until Jan. 1, after his meeting with Kobler, under international pressure.
But the UN envoy was less fortunate in Tripoli, where he met the speaker of the General National Congress, Nouri Abu Sahmain, who refused to endorse the new government.
In any case, the international community seems to be determined this time to impose its will on Libya’s disagreeable politicians. Indeed, the UN Security Council endorsed the new government before it was voted on by Libya’s elected parliament. The UN appears more concerned with establishing the government than what will happen afterward.