Leon declared late at night on Monday that UNSMIL’s part of the work was done and that it was up to the Libyan political leaders to accept or reject the final text when they return to a final round of talks after the Eid celebration on 24 October. Echoes from the dialogue talks indicate that the latest version was reduced to 65 articles instead of the 75 last week’s draft comprised. Leon said in his press conference that both the GNC and the HoR agree to the new text and that the final session after Eid would only discuss the five names that would constitute the presidential council of the National Accord Government. Before last weekend’s round, the GNC insisted on three amendments (respect of Constitutional Court decision of 2 November 2014 regarding the HoR; no place for Hafter in the future Libya; annulment of all decisions voted by the HoR). Hafter reacted by launching Operation Hatf (or annihilation in Arabic). Operation Hatf (a play on first letters in his name) aimed at derailing the talks in Skhirat last week. Leon issued a communique in which he, for the first time, condemned Hafter’s military operation, after the GNC threatened to withdraw from the talks if the UN did not condemn the attacks. There is little incentive for both parties to sign. Both camps in Tripoli and Tobruk are divided. On both sides, there are those who see an opportunity in the 20 October deadline when the HoR’s term expires. Others think that no agreement by that deadline would mean a descent in the abyss for Libya. Among the GNC there is a line of reasoning which considers that after 20 October the Tobruk HoR would lose its legal foundation and become equal to the GNC. That scenario would create a political vacuum, however, warn their opponents in the same GNC. In Tobruk, there are elements who see an opportunity after the deadline. They envisage forming a military council headed by Hafter right before the deadline. Their opponents in Tobruk remind them that if Operation Dignity failed to deliver after 18 months when the HoR enjoyed international community support, how it would deliver after 20 October when that legal founding would be gone. Overall, even if an agreement were reached after the Eid feast, the challenge would be to ensure its implementation on the ground in Tripoli. Who would secure the National Accord Government if some militia and armed groups did not support the political agreement?

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