Times of Oman
Libya’s moment to reconcile is growing by the day
April 7, 2017 | 12:24 PM
by Richard J. C. Galustian
UN recognised General National Accord (GNA) & Presidency Council (PC) head so called Prime Minister Faiez Serraj was in Germany today to see the head of the United Stated Africa Command (AFRICOM) General Thomas Waldhauser. - Supplied photo
 
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AFRICOM’s HQ and most of its personnel are based in Germany not Africa. Need I say more? A waste of time, as is UN and EU efforts as these past years have proven. As far as Serraj is concerned he is unelected by Libyans but chosen by the UN! Also no comment!

Nevertheless Libya’s moment to reconcile is growing by the day. UN-backed General National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez Serraj is all but sunk as militias continue their violence. Attempts to halt illicit migration has yet to be tested out by the recent agreement between the southern ethnic tribes mediated by Italy. Libya National Army (LNA) Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar’s pushing for a tribal grand bargain in order to capture Tripoli remains the key to a first step in reconciliation. Zintan is hugely important in this process as is Misrata. Key city 'states'.

What is making this a possiblity is that a few weeks ago, the Gharyan tribe set free Sasi Al Ghani Al Tarhouni, who served in the army under deposed Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.

Admittedly the former AQ LIFG fighters Khalid Sharif and Belhadj helped, hoping I suppose to form a new alliance against Haftar.



The Gharyans are the latest Libyan tribe to pledge allegiance to General Haftar, in a sign that the UN-backed government in Tripoli is losing general support. Many Libyan tribes reportedly support Haftar in part because of a popular animosity towards Ghariani, the controversial religious figure of Tripoli, Sheikh Sadiq Al Ghariani. Haftar needs Al Ghariani and his Tripoli hooligans to be silenced.

Simultaneously, there is rising populist clamour amongst ordinary Libyans for a political role for Islam Al Saif and Aisha Al Gaddafi. The Gaddafi tribes after 40 years still retain some sense of loyalty to the family, along with many other smaller tribes and they are pushing for a resolution to the violence that has gripped the country since NATO’s attacks in 2011 and see Saif and Aisha helpful if they were involved in achieving this. A 'Ghandi/Mandela' peaceful solution through dialogue and a truth and reconciliation commission.

This tandem—Gaddafi siblings and the Tribes—is the solution to Libya’s civil war. Haftar recognizes the values of tribes and the Libyan Field Marshall is now using all his might to solidify and unify all Libyans.

Saif and Aisha should be approached to lead a national reconciliation, though till now have made no comment, commission supported and headed by Libya’s tribal elders. Most of the tribes that supported Muammar Gaddafi see the Gaddafi siblings as redeemers and are willing to support them in a team spirit in any political process to bring about national reconciliation. As stated earlier South Africa’s dismantling of apartheid serves as the example for Libya.

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up to help deal with what awful things happened under apartheid, much worse than Gaddafi's crimes ever were. The remnants of conflict during this post apartheid period resulted in still some violence and human rights abuses from all sides. No section of society escaped exposure or punishment where unavoidable.

Libya, like South Africa, is suffering under a system of outside international interference in a Libyan decision about their own future. By allowing the Gaddafis to be involved in such a process based on tribal support is a historically typical tribal solution to tribal (community) problems. Self-reflection is an important part of reconciliation and it is thought that if the Gaddafis assistance in such an effort will help in a “cleansing” to build a new Libyan future. Of course, Libya is not South Africa, and the issues completely different, yet it is the process of reconciliation and forgiveness itself which has its primordial roots in today’s modern Libyan tribes. African countries must unite to help Libya through this process, not US's AFRICOM, UN or EU.

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