Avoiding a catastrophic war takes more cleverness than hubris- although both work.
“Force is all conquering, but it’s victories are short lived.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall take flack from both sides.”- Unofficial UN Motto
Imagine putting together a puzzle, and all of sudden, the pieces of the puzzle start dividing into more pieces. But the pieces are hardly made of cardboard, but have money, arms and in many cases hold the most valuable resources of Libya- its oil fields.
Blessed UN peacemaker Bernardino Leon of Spain has been attempting to negotiate a peace agreement among rival factions in Libya. It is far easier to topple a unpopular dictator, than to create a unified country. If Syria is the ultimate in a failed state and civil war by proxy, then Libya easily qualifies for second place.
It has looked for many months as a peace agreement might be close at hand, chiefly between the Tripoli based government and the Tobruk based government, but to also include other rival factions. The 42 year reign of Gaddafi came to an end in October 2011, after approximately 10 months of fighting.
There was great hope for a far more open and democratic society, post 2011 throughout Libya. Things appeared to be returning to normal, with the election of a new President in 2013 – but there was a political storm brewing below the surface. The second civil war began in May 2014 with Operation Dignity followed by Operation New Dawn. These military operations captured the airport in Tripoli and drove the elected government out of Tripoli.
Leon’s time in Libya appears to be ending soon as he has accepted a position to head a thinktank in UAE, but not without controversy as UAE supports the Tobruk based government.
He will be replaced Martin Kobler, a German diplomat, with extensive background in the Middle East.
The UN representatives can only make peace if the rival factions want peace. If they believe more will be gained by waging war, then the Libyan civil war will continue. But, this immediately ends the attacks on Leon Bernardino, by the Tripoli based government, which I believe were done for popular support. Bernardino had hammered out a peace proposal among the rival parties, but the Tripoli based government refused to sign it. Libyans have been fleeing their country in record numbers since last year as the civil war has continued.
So, perhaps the Tripoli government will sign the accord now, with Bernardino out of the picture. Or more chaos will ensue.