The Address | Benghazi – Libya
PARIS – A former diplomat stationed in Tripoli (2001-2004) and adviser to the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, Patrick Haimzadeh, said on Saturday that that the House of Representatives, High Council of State and the Presidential Council “have become obstacles” to resolving the Libyan Crisis.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Haimzadeh said that “Libyan society is less fragmented than we imagine” and that the upcoming national conference could end the crisis in the country.
Le Monde described Haimzadeh as one of the architects of the unprecedented consultation of Libyan society, launched at the initiative of UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salamé, to prepare for the national conference scheduled for January 2019.
Haimzadeh stated that despite seven years of security crisis, local authorities have preserved the social fabric, and there is, according to the former diplomat, a real desire for national reconciliation among the population.
Haimzadeh pointed out that Ghassan Salame’s road map, presented to the Security Council in September 2017, had four components: the revision of the Skhirat Accords [signed on 17 December 2015], the adoption of constitution, the holding of general elections and the holding of a national conference in Libya.
“As the first three objectives have not been achieved, the fourth can be decisive for a way out of the crisis in Libya.” Haimzadeh said.
“Until then, the initiatives of the international community and the UN in Libya have led to meetings above ground (Morocco, France, Italy) with Libyan actors supposed to represent society. These marathon meetings were usually held on the basis of a text proposed to the participants, and the resulting agreements were thus far removed from the social realities of the country, in a top-down process.” He said.
Haimzadeh continued, “Salamé decided to give the floor to the Libyan people in all its diversity and to consult them beforehand on the major questions concerning their future. This time through a process from the bottom-up. It [the process] relies on the realities on the ground to best prepare the work of the Libyan national conference. Starting from the observation that the constituted bodies that are the Parliament, the High Council of State and the Presidential Council have become obstacles to the exit from crisis rather than assets to solve it, the idea of this conference is to dispose of a “reservoir of legitimacy” to shake up the current status quo.”