International Crisis Group: Paris Libya conference risks undermining UN-led political process

International Crisis Group Logo (Photo: Internet)

The International Crisis Group has sated that France’s decision to host Libya’s main political and military leaders on 29 May is both audacious and risky.

In a a lengthy briefing on Monday, the group explained that if France pulls the agreement off, it will be unprecedented and signal the rival leaders’ willingness to compromise.

“But the proposed draft accord circulated thus far is problematic and, if not appropriately modified, could unintentionally undermine UN-led, consensus-based peacebuilding efforts currently underway.” It indicated.

The group also explained that reaching an accord could generate a brief moment of enthusiasm but risk being followed by recriminations when signatories – facing opposition by some of their allies back home – renege on their pledges.

“French organisers should avoid imposing too rigid a framework and consider not seeking a signed agreement for now. Instead they could use the event to push Libyan leaders toward compromise and a divided international community toward greater convergence through a broader declaration of principles on political, security and economic steps that would help stabilise and unite the divided country.” The International Crisis Group further reaffirmed.

In the meantime, Libya stakeholders have been invited by the French President Emmanuel Macron to be at the Elysée palace in Paris on Tuesday for an international conference that aims to pave the way for elections that could be held in Libya by the end of 2018.

According to the French President’s office, the objective of this meeting to be held under the auspices of the United Nations, is to “to engage in the implementation of an inclusive political roadmap for a way out of the crisis that has affected the country and the region for many years.”

Macron will host the four main rival leaders of Libya: Fayez al-Sarraj, Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Salah and Khaled al-Mishri, in the presence of representatives of 19 countries that includes the five members of the UN Security Council, Italy, neighbouring countries Egypt, Tunisia, Chad and regional powers the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Algeria and Morocco, in addition to Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who heads the African Union’s high-level committee on Libya,  and the Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salamé.

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