The UNSMIL Backs the Muslim Brotherhood in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Tunisia

Hassan Mansour

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, sponsored by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, aimed to unify the Libyan society, but it provoked a wave of anger among some political forces.

The cessation of hostilities in Libya that preceded the peace agreement signed between the parties to the conflict in October in Geneva paved the way for intensified diplomatic efforts at the international level. Over the past month, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) conducted a series of Libyan-Libyan negotiations in pursuit of a permanent ceasefire between the Libyan National Army and the Government of National Accord forces. The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which is to be held in Tunis on November 9th, aims to consolidate the achievements of the negotiations in Ghadames and Bouznika under the auspices of the United Nations Mission, which has achieved relative success. However, anomalies in the candidate selection process cast doubt on the Mission’s intention to respect the interests of all parties involved.

The leaking of a list of participants in the forum revealed that out of the 75 figures included on the list, 42 are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement or associated with the movement in one way or another. The domination of the Muslim Brotherhood has angered indignant political forces that reject the Brotherhood’s ideology. Supporters of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya refused to participate in the forum.

Moreover, the Tuareg, Tebu and Berber tribes were completely excluded from participation in the conference. Tribal leaders emphasized that the absence of their representatives made it impossible to reach a political agreement. In this context, Muhammad al-Mesbahi, head of the Supreme Council of Libyan Sheikhs and Notables, said that the council “rejects forgery in order to pass the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya through the United Nations Mission.”

It is clear that the Tunis Political Forum will not be an effective device for resolving the Libyan conflict. The imbalance in the list of participants and the exclusion of the most important Libyan politicians are the main reasons for the expected failure of the United Nations initiative.

In addition to the above, the majority of participants in the political dialogue, as representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, will make their decisions under pressure from Ankara, which could negatively affect the course of the talks. However, the bias indicates the United Nations Support Mission in Libya against some of the forum participants expose the international organization’s attempts to activate political reforms that benefit Turkey and the United States exclusively, and not the Libyan people.

An exit from the protracted Libyan crisis is only possible if the views of all stakeholders are taken into account. Presenting candidates for political dialogue while excluding others from participation exacerbates the existing contradictions and postpones the settlement of the situation indefinitely.

Translation by Internationalist 360°