FILE PHOTO: Members of the Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar sit inside a tent at one their sites in west of Sirte, Libya August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
October 13, 2021
(Reuters) – Libya’s peace plan, aimed at national elections in December, offers a fragile chance of stability after a decade of chaos and division between warring factions.
However, the push to end the conflict has been beset by political arguments that could unravel peacemaking and thwart any elections. This is how it has unfolded:
Jan. 19, 2020 – Foreign powers meet in Berlin under U.N. auspices to set out a path for a ceasefire and longer-term peace plan for Libya.
June 5, 2020 – Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) pulls out of the city of Tarhouna, [L8N2R83MH] signalling the collapse of a 14-month offensive to capture the capital Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
Oct. 23, 2020 – Military representatives from the LNA and pro-GNA armed forces sign a ceasefire agreement in Geneva, promising to withdraw foreign mercenaries and reopen closed transit routes across front lines.
Oct. 26, 2020 – A blockade by eastern-based forces on oil exports ends as the National Oil Corp (NOC) lifts force majeure on output at the El Feel oilfield, allowing Libya’s main source of revenue to return in full.
Nov. 11, 2020 – Members of a Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) convened by the United Nations agree on a roadmap to establishing a transitional government and holding presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, 2021.
Dec. 16, 2020 – The long-divided Central Bank of Libya (CBL) holds a full board meeting for the first time in years to devalue the dinar as they set a unified exchange rate for both eastern and western areas of the country.
Feb. 6, 2021 – The LPDF selects Abdulhamid Dbeibah as interim prime minister and Mohamed al-Menfi as head of a three-man presidency council through a voting process. It mandates them to prepare for the elections.
Mar. 10, 2021 – The long-divided House of Representatives (HoR), the eastern-based parliament, holds a unified session for the first time in years to approve Dbeibah’s government and the two previous administrations peacefully hand over their powers.
Apr. 20, 2021 – The HoR rejects Dbeibah’s budget plan and days later the LNA turns away his security team at Benghazi’s Benina airport, forestalling a planned trip and showing how regional divisions persist.
July 30, 2021 – Joint military committee set up through the Geneva ceasefire agrees to reopen the main coast road across the front line. However, mercenaries remain in place.
Sept. 9, 2021 – HoR speaker Aguila Saleh signs legislation for the presidential election on Dec. 24. The High State Council (HSC), set up as an advisory body as part of a 2015 political agreement, rejects the law as having been pushed through without proper procedure.
Sept. 21, 2021 – HoR withdraws confidence from Dbeibah’s government while allowing it to continue on a caretaker basis, indicating it will not allow the transitional arrangement to continue beyond the Dec. 24 election date.
Sept. 22, 2021 – LNA commander Khalifa Haftar says he is handing over powers to a deputy for three months, a move that would allow him to run for president under the HoR law and to resume his military role afterwards if he loses.
Sept. 26, 2021 – Presidency Council chief Menfi tells Reuters any election law needs to be agreed upon and that lacking consensus “is itself a risk”.
Oct. 4, 2021 – HoR approves a second law for a parliamentary election. In contravention of the U.N.-backed roadmap, it will not take place on Dec. 24 along with the presidential election, but at a future date to be determined in January.
The HSC says it opposes the law.
(Compiled by Angus McDowall; Editing by Mark Heinrich)