By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 21 December 2015:
The continuing General National Congress in Tripoli and the government it appointed led by Khalifa Ghwell may . . .[restrict]be firmly opposed to the UN-brokered Libya Political Agreement (LPA) signed last week in Skhirat, as are also the militias who are the real arbiters of power in the city (although a member of the new Presidency Council, who asked not to be named, had told the Libya Herald that almost all of the latter had been in touch with it, offering their separate services to protect it at a price).
There are those in the city who are likewise opposed. Last Friday saw several hundred protestors in Martyrs’ Square demonstrating against the Skhirat agreement although the demonstration was widely perceived as having been organised by the local authorities.
However, most of the capital’s ordinary residents appear to take a different view. Of those spoken to yesterday in a random selection, not one was opposed. Some were enthusiastically in favour, others simply wanting it to work so that they can get back to normality.
While many refused to gave their names, others happily did so. These we have changed for their protection.
“I’m in favour of it 100 percent,” said 20-year old housewife Fawzia. “I hope the announcement will reflect positively in our daily lives very soon. Prices have gone crazy but we’re still on the same income”.
Similar enthusiastic endorsement of the deal came from 27-year old sportsman Mustafa. “I am so excited and optimistic,” he said. I don’t know the details but I just think it is a serious deal. I wish them success.”
Usama, a 33-year-old IT expert, was also supportive but focussed particularly on what the agreement could do in the fight against extremists. “It is good news so far. I think this will help fighting terrorism. As Libyans we all feel guilty about leaving our brothers in Sirte in the dirty hands of fanatics.”
For Abdulnasser, a civil engineer aged 40, the important point was that the deal has the support of many former rivals. “The Presidency Council represents most of the rivals and that means it will fulfil almost everyone’s requirements,” he said. “They have to work together for the interest of the Libyan nation”, he stressed.
The fact that the deal had the backing of the international community was considered an important point by some. The new unity government had international backing said company manager Abdulnasser, 60. That, he believed, meant that ultimately the GNC, the Ghwell government and the militias were bound to lose. “It’s the will of the international community and nobody can stop it,” he said, adding that in his opnion, “Libya needs the international powers to impose security”.
For some, any deal would be welcome. “I’m fed up,” said architect Salem. “I don’t care who will be in office. We just desperately need a legitimate government which can serve the people.”
Nonetheless, there were still suspicions that whoever is in power will be corrupted by it and use it for their own purposes. “I’m completely fine with it, “explained 58-year old banker Walid. “But I’m just a little afraid that the new government, along with other countries, will misuse the Libyans’ money frozen outside the country.”
Despite support, there was also pessimism whether the Serraj government would be able to get to Tripoli. “We’ll support it. We’ll support any government that can get us out of this mess,” said businessman Ali. “But the militias will not let it into the capital. They won’t let anyone in who does not do what they tell them. I can’t see it happening.” [/restrict]