UNSMIL announced over the weekend that a new round of Libyan political dialogue would take place in Geneva on Wednesday 14 January, this week. Despite the shuttle diplomacy effort, that Bernardino Leon seems to have carried out to consult with actors and stakeholders of the Libyan conflict in both Tripoli and Tobruk, it is very unlikely that all parties invited would go to Geneva. There are divisions on both sides of the conflict. Faraj Hashim, spokesperson of the Hafter-backed Tobruk House of Representatives (HoR) announced that a group of Tobruk parliamentarians flew to Geneva without any coordination with the Tobruk Theni-government. Likewise, the Hassi government and the GNC in Tripoli seem to be undecided. After a lengthy session of the GNC on Monday, the Congress decided to postpone the decision on whether to go to Geneva till next Sunday. The GNC considers that Leon did not allow enough time for consultations and that his roadmap, as summarised in the UNSMIL’s press release, still lacks detail. Leon hopes that the Geneva dialogue would lead to agreement on a national unity government and a consensus on how to manage the remainder of the transition period until a new constitution (already drafted) is adopted by referendum. It appears that some key actors within the GNC are sceptical of the idea of a dialogue outside Libya. Other groups within the GNC think that Leon’s plan does not state a well-defined framework for the dialogue process, timeframe, and guarantees. UNSMIL’s list of invitees only arrived at the GNC in Tripoli late at night on Monday 12th, which is arguably very late notice for a dialogue supposed to start a day later. Reportedly, the list contains the names of four members from the GNC, four Tobruk parliamentarians, four former members of the 2011 Transitional National Council, and five independent figures. Leon did meet with Hafter before the Geneva dialogue round was announced. It is unclear whether Hafter would be invited to Geneva. According to sources close to the GNC, Hafter’s participation would be a deal-breaker, and would undermine any hope of going to Geneva. With division on each side of the divide and within each camp of the conflict it is very unlikely that Leon will manage to bring all actors in the Libyan conflict to the dialogue table in Geneva this Wednesday.


Posted by Editor