By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 1 February 2022:
At the House of Representatives’ (HoR) session on Monday, the House decided to demand from some unspecified foreign ambassadors to Libya and Stephanie Williams the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General ‘‘not to interfere in Libyan affairs’’.
The decision to make such a demand came after several calls over several HoR sessions by members for a halt to foreign interference in Libyan affairs.
This call has become louder recently with several members now downgrading Williams’ mandate and authority as simply an advisor to the Secretary General. Members are calling for a Libyan-Libyan solution without the need for foreign input. Many blamed the international community for forcing the proposed 24 December 2021 election date on Libya.
It will be recalled that on 25 December the HoR had threatened to mak the current British Ambassador to Libya, Caroline Hurndall, ‘‘persona non grata’’ after what the HoR viewed as unacceptable statements.
The statement that had purportedly irked the HoR was released by the British Embassy in Tripoli on 24 December as part of a tweet saying ‘‘As per the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) Roadmap and the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), the UK continues to recognise the Government of National Unity as the authority tasked with leading Libya to elections and does not endorse the establishment of parallel governments or institutions.’’
The HoR Foreign Affairs Committee had reacted by issuing a statement. It said it deplored the unacceptable interference by Britain in Libya’s internal affairs. It stated that the choice of a new government or the continuation of the current one is a choice for the HoR and that all should respect the democratic rule.
It is to be seen how long this Libyan confidence in the ability to come up with Libyan-Libyan solutions will last. It must be recalled that it is the failure of Libyans to reach political consensus that has opened the door for foreign interference. The one thing that Libyans have indeed agreed on since the 2011 revolution that overthrew the Qaddafi regime – is to fail to compromise and find political consensus.