Representatives of the African Union met in the city of Brazzaville to discuss the Libyan crisis with the goal of discussing if the Union can help bring peace to the country and to ensure that African voices and interests can be heard.
As the Libyan crisis continues to escalate, so are the diplomatic efforts to contain the situation before the instability in the country can spread to the wider Maghreb and Sahel regions. The latest diplomatic initiative came from the African Union whose High Level Committee on Libya held its 8th meeting in the city of Brazzaville.
The African Union representatives in Brazzaville gathered with the notion that African voices have been sidelined over the situation in Libya. Although neighbouring countries such as Algeria have become increasingly active in recent weeks, and have held meetings with the involvement of other neighbours, the primary avenue of diplomacy in Libya has been non-African countries such as France, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf Countries, even as Africans themselves have to deal with the repercussions of the crisis, such as the spread of weapons or extremist ideologies.
One of the main topics on the agenda of the African Union here is the increased involvement of Turkey which has increased its military assistance to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as the deployment of Syrian fighters from the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).
The delegates in Brazzaville expressed concern that the weapons sent could end up in the hands of extremist groups such as ISIS or al-Qaeda affiliates, whose activities in West Africa, Sahel and Maghreb have already picked up significantly over the latter half of 2019. With militias already finding safe havens in Libya, delegates here feel that the involvement of more fighters and weapons will only exacerbate the situation.
To this end, the African Union meeting called for an immediate ceasefire, with the Union’s possible role in a peacemaking process discussed. Such roles include the African Union being the arbitrator of the agreements in Libya and sending observers into the country to ensure that peace can be achieved.