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Turkish-Russian shadows darken the sky over Libya by Rene Wadlow

As if the Russian-Turkish cooperation rivalry in Syria was not enough, we find the same combination of rivalry and some common interests between Russia and Turkey in Libya – with even more oil and pipeline problems. On the one hand, Russia supports General Khalifa Haftar, who completed part of his military studies in the USSR and has a relatively simple relationship with the Russians. General Haftar has been stuck with his "Libyan National Army" since April 2019 to take over the capital, Tripoli, with which he would conquer most of the country's socio-economic wealth. Haftar is blocked by tribal militias who remain loyal to the legitimate government led by Fayez al-Saraf.

Large numbers of people in the Tripoli region were displaced to seek relative security in other areas. Migrants and refugees in detention centers suffer. Food and medical care are lacking. While there is a ceasefire agreement, the agreement is often violated and migrant camps are attacked.

Both the Russians and the Turks have sent mercenaries to represent their interests: the Russian, the "private" security company Wagner, which was first founded to support Russian interests in Ukraine. The Turks have sent Syrian militia friends to Turkey with promises of money and Turkish citizenship.

 libyan01_400 "title =" libyan01_400 "width =" 400 "height =" 192 "align =" right "/> The growing Turks The influence in Libya worried both Greeks and Cypriots who dealt with Turkey in areas have potentially exclusive oil and gas reserves and have maritime exclusivity disputes. </p>
<p class= There is general agreement among UN negotiators and interested diplomats. The goal is to achieve a single, unified, inclusive and effective To develop the Libyan government that is transparent, accountable and fair and that ensures a fair distribution of public assets and resources across the different Libyan geographic areas, including through decentralization and support from local authorities. Central complaint and cause for discrimination.

The creation Such state structures have been the main p Robust when the allies – Britain, the United States and the USSR – reached an agreement that the Italian colonies should not be returned to Italy, although Italian settlers were encouraged to stay. The Allies did not want to create the structures of the new state because they believed that this task should be taken over by the Libyans themselves. The three allies also disagreed on the nature of the future state.

From 1950 to 1951 the Allies were ready elsewhere to found a Libyan state due to more important geopolitical issues. A monarchy appeared to be the most appropriate form of government since there were no structured political parties to form a parliamentary government. So Idris was appointed king of the state in 1951. Idris was the head of the Senussi Sufi order created by his father. The Senussi Sufi Order had branches in most parts of the country. Idriss ruled the country like a Sufi order and did little to structure non-religious political structures. Idris ruled until September 1969 when he was overthrown by Muammar el-Gaddafi.

Gaddafi was also not interested in establishing permanent political parties that he feared could be used against him. He called himself "leader of the revolution", not "president", and Libya became Libyan Jamaihirya, ie the authority of the people. The model that comes closest to Gaddafi's vision is a Quaker meeting, where decisions are made at the local level through consensus and compromise. These decisions are then sent as recommendations to the next higher level, where a decision is made again through consensus and compromise. Ultimately, these decisions reach the top of Libya and the "leader" sees how they can be implemented.

The problem with the Libyan government was that not everyone was a member of a Sufi order seeking enlightenment in the spirit of love, decisions should be made. In addition, there were hardly any Libyan Quakers, and a compromise was not the main model for the tribal and clan networks of how the country was structured under Gaddafi.

Since Gaddafi's fall and death in 2011, there has been no agreement on how the country should be structured. The model that is most closely followed is that of General Khalifa Haftar. The model is a military dictatorship with a small number of civilians as "window dressing". The model is well represented all over the world, although it is not always considered an exemplary form of government. Haftar owns a good piece of Libyan territory, although his hope of a quick victory over the government of "national unity" in the capital, Tripoli, has not been successful at the moment.

The Faiez Sarraj National Unity Government is a civil society organization. Government-run, but heavily dependent on its survival from tribal militias. The model for the government is that of Recep Tayyip Erdogan from Turkey with a certain ideological coloring from the Islamic Brotherhood, originally from Egypt, but whose ideology has spread. It is not known what type of structures can be created between these two main models. I would expect a government led by Khalifa Haftar to be brought in with a few civilians by the government of national unity.

The only geographic area outside of the current conflict between Faiez Sarra and Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli is the area known as Fezzan – the southwestern part of the country on the edge of the Sahara. The area was connected to the rest of the country during King Idrass's time, as there were a number of branches of his Sufi order in the oases where most of the region's 200,000 people live, mainly date palm growers. Gaddafi largely left the area alone as there was little opportunity to develop organized opposition. However, government neglect has opened the door to widespread smuggling of people, weapons and drugs today. The Italian government in particular has drawn international attention to the lack of administration in the Fezzan, as many of the African migrants who land in Italy have passed the Fezzan on their way to Europe.

The creation of highly decentralized government structures in Libya will not be easy. Nevertheless, such decentralized administration is the key to the future and a challenge for everyone who wants to see a peaceful and fairly just Libya.


Rene Wadlow President, World Citizens' Association

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