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Russia urges libyan political actors to solve ongoing crisis before heading the polls

31.01.2019
Article from AFRIC editorial
Over the years, the world’s attention has been directed to one of Africa’s endowed but tumultuous nation. The Arab Spring that swept through Northern Africa many years ago torched the soil of Libya, leaving unforgettable memories about the country. Things again deteriorated in 2011 when one of the continent’s most loved and cherished pan Africanist Muammar Gadhafi was killed.

Since then, the North African nation has been in turmoil with frequent attacks from opposing parties in the country.  Libyan oil terminals remain at the mercy of the fighters. The persistent fights in Libya, especially in the east and south regions of the country, have recorded so many casualties and deaths. The world could not be indifferent in the unstable and turbulent state of Libya. The international or concerned nations developed an interest in restoring the long lost peace/life in the oil-rich Nation.

Hopes for elections

Political actors and friends of Libya have been seeking a solution to the seemingly unending fights in the country.  Since 2015, Tripoli has been under the care of a UN-backed Government of National Unity. However, Khalifa Haftar has denied recognising the legality of the government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. However, in 2018, most of them including the UN said elections, both presidential and parliamentary could restore peace in the North African Nation. According to reports, only above 2.3 million eligible Libyans – almost half of its voting population is set for the polls.

Moscow urges political solution to the crisis

Lately, Russia through its Minister of Foreign affairs, Sergei Lavrov cautioned Libyan political actors to give priority to a political solution rather than rush into elections with divided ideologies and unsettled differences among the four main factions. Russia’s remarks come as the North African nation prepares for post-Ghaddfi elections later this year, with the support of a United Nations mission in the country. According to an analyst who didn’t want to be cited, Russia has the interest of Libya at heart and that explains why its leaders are advocating for national reconciliation in the country before going to the polls. Moscow remains a good ally of Libya. Then President Muammar Ghaddafi enjoyed good relations with Russia before his demise. Both nations have their embassies stationed in Tripoli and Moscow.

Meetings

In 2018, France’s President Emmanuel Macron invited Libyan rival leaders including Fayez al sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar and other influential international actors to meet in Paris, France to discuss Libyan crisis. The meeting culminated with rival factions agreeing on an election date on December 2018. A similar ‘’reconciliation’ meeting was held in Italy, bringing together Libyan political actors to the negotiation table.

Effects

Economic growth, stability, security among others remain farfetched treasures in Libya. The country has witnessed its worst scenarios since the demise of its leader Muammar Ghaddafi in 2011.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said that Libyan leaders are at the forefront of settling their disputes and bringing back the lost glories of the country. He was quoted as saying “There is no solution other than via you if things go badly, it’s your responsibility.” Other African states and international bodies can only lobby for peace to return but the time when rival parties in the troubled nation would decide to settle their differences and forge ahead as one nation, then peace and order will return to the country.

Article from AFRIC editorial.

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