A failed government that relied on extremists and militias to consolidate its power
Tripoli – The Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, announced, on Wednesday, his desire to hand over his duties by the end of October, in a move likely to increase political ambiguity in Tripoli and even internal fighting between factions and militias competing in the coalition that dominates western Libya.
Al-Sarraj’s resignation raises many questions in light of the recent developments of the Libyan political scene, and some believe that the resignation came with arrangements prepared by Turkey after sharp differences between the al-Saraj and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha. Others think that the matter is related to the international engagement in the Libyan crisis.
On Thursday, a United Nations spokesman revealed that the UN organization and the German government were planning to hold a new summit on Libya on the fifth of next October.
“I announce to everyone my sincere desire to hand over my duties no later than the end of October … in the hope that the dialogue committee will complete its work and choose a new presidential council and prime minister,” Al-Sarraj said in a speech broadcast by state television.
Al-Sarraj called on the dialogue committee, which is the body entrusted with forming the new executive authority, to assume its historical responsibility to expedite the formation of this authority to ensure a “peaceful and smooth” transition.
He accused unnamed parties, describing them as intransigent, of working to obstruct the government, stressing that due to these matters “the government faced many difficulties and obstacles in performing its duties optimally.”
He continued, “This is the truth, not an escape from responsibility, but an acknowledgement of reality. We chose to remain silent for a long time for one reason, which is our sincere desire to contain everyone and reach a publicly satisfactory consensuses so that we can cross this country to the shore of safety.”
Al-Sarraj has headed the reconciliation government since its formation in Tripoli in 2015 following the Skhirat Agreement mediated by the United Nations with the aim of unifying Libya and stabilizing it after the chaos that swept it after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Al-Sarraj’s departure may deepen internal disputes between senior officials in Al-Wefaq, and between armed groups from Tripoli and the port city of Misrata to which Bashagha belongs.
Some see the unconstitutional resignation of the Head of the National Accord Government as a mere “political maneuver” by the Brotherhood, with the aim of supporting the outcomes of the international dialogue that will be in their favour, considering that the Sarraj government, from the beginning, was a failure by all standards, and continued to fail, due to its reliance on extremists and militias, their corruption and theft of money and the recruitment of Turkish occupation forces.
Observers of the Libyan affair emphasized that Al-Sarraj’s resignation will not solve the crisis, nor is there an alternative to the Libyan-Libyan dialogue inside, and there is no solution without conceding by all parties for the sake of the unity of Libya.
During the past few days, Tripoli witnessed a remarkable deterioration in living services, which led to demonstrations condemning the conditions. The protests fuelled tension between Sarraj and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was suspended for a brief period last month before being reinstated.
The government of reconciliation and the speaker of parliament based in eastern Libya called for a ceasefire last month.
Libya has been witnessing chaos and violence since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011. The United Nations has launched several negotiations between the conflicting parties in order to reach a comprehensive political solution.
Last week, Montreux, Switzerland, hosted a consultative meeting between the Libyan parties, during which the participants agreed to hold elections within 18 months and to begin reshaping the Presidency Council and forming a government of national unity.
Prior to that, Bouznika, in the Kingdom of Morocco, hosted Libyan-Libyan parliamentary talks, with the aim of unifying the country’s sovereign institutions.
The two parties also agreed to continue the dialogue and “resume these meetings” in the last weeks of this September “in order to complete the necessary measures that ensure the implementation and activation of this agreement.”