Libya: A Political Solution Remains Elusive

https://i.alarab.co.uk/styles/article_image_800x450_scale/s3/2020-05/libya3.jpg?g7t8FeRvtYTd.kZSSRfKalSciXFzBOOo&itok=iQPMipH8Army Remains Committed to Liberating the Country from Turkish Forces, Foreign Mercenaries

Hardly a day passes without the issuance of regional and international statements, positions and recommendations calling for a political solution in Libya, but the conflict continues and the war is still raging around the capital, Tripoli, and the national army continues its field operations to liberate the remainder of the west of the country in the hands of militias, mercenaries and terrorists backed by Turkey.

The political solution in Libya has become mere words that express incompatible concepts. On the one hand there is the understanding embraced by the army and its supporters, and on the other, that of the Brotherhood, parallel interpretations that will find no point of convergence.

A political solution for the army can only be achieved by expelling Turkish invaders and foreign mercenaries, dissolving militias, eliminating terrorist groups, and extending the influence of the security and military institutions of the state throughout the country, including the capital, allowing for the formation of a national unity government that will supervise the approval of a constitution and the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections,  completing a comprehensive national reconciliation.

The army views the forces of political Islam as extremist groups engaged in the practice and support of terrorism, and they have provided evidence of the Brotherhood’s involvement in forming, financing, arming, and enabling terrorist militias in the east of the country, while concealing their heinous crimes, including assassinations of rights activists, army and security officers, moderate clerics,  women and journalists. When the army launched Operation Dignity in the spring of 2014, the Brotherhood and their allies provided money, weapons, and media incitement to terrorist groups, especially in Benghazi and Tripoli, and when the eastern region was liberated, the Islamists opened areas west of the country to receive remnants Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and criminal gangs, and have equipped them to carry out attacks on areas under army control, such as the oil crescent, al-Jafra, and Barak al-Shati.

The army’s ideology reflects the Libyan state’s belief and is not amenable to the project of political Islam and the Brotherhood banned by the monarchy in 1954, by the revolutionary government in 1973, and by the current parliament in May 2019. A ban  that did emerge from a vacuum, after evidence the of group’s involvement in terrorism, coup plots, rebellion against state sovereignty, and association with hostile external forces.

The political solution as the army sees it is totally incompatible with the political solution posed by political Islam groups, outlaw militias and the Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood coalition. The latter calls for the integration of militias into the military along religious, ethnic and regional lines, with Fayez al-Sarraj as supreme commander of the armed forces. This would eliminate Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and provide terrorist groups with political cover, to share power according to influence imposed by the force of arms on political and economic decision-making centers in the capital, not according to what is achieved by the ballot box or approved by popular will.

The political solution according to their regional and international backers is the one that guarantees that the forces of political Islam, the Brotherhood, will continue to control the state and that militias will form the military and security establishment, under the slogan of victory of the February 2011 revolution,  even if it is rejected by Libyans in the street, as in the June 2014 elections; when the Brotherhood was defeated at the polls, they rejected electoral results, unleashing Libya Dawn to occupy the capital and expel the elected institutions that were forced to move to the east of the country.

The reason why some regional and international parties support a political solution as defined by the Brotherhood and their allies is that the Libyan army would build a sovereign state, able to protect its resources, based on popular support, while political Islam would not recognize national sovereignty, pursuing their cross-border project,  tolerating no opposition to their rule.

The contradiction between the two projects is significant and it becomes acute as we understand the regional and international dimension of each of the two parties. The army is involved in the Arab moderation system committed to resisting political Islam and its various components, fortifying the civil national state and protecting the social fabric from attempts to destroy and disintegrate on religious or sectarian grounds, while the Al-Wefaq government and its militia are part of a project that places its ideological goals above the state and society, linked to a project beyond the concept of the national state, the return of the caliphate,  funded by Qatar and supported with military intervention by Turkish forces and foreign mercenaries of all nationalities.

Al Arab

Translation by Internationalist 360°