As the conflict in Libya escalates, local and regional powers led by Algeria are increasing their political and diplomatic involvement to find a solution to the crisis.
In recent weeks, the conflict in Libya has witnessed major escalations. Although much of the Libyan’s conflict over 2019 was defined by the offensive launched by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) against the forces loyal to the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, the recent weeks have seen a violent break in the stalemate between the two sides that has persisted through much of 2019.
With the escalation, however, has also come increased political and diplomatic involvement of regional powers, which are looking to find a solution to the crisis. Among these powers in Libya’s neighbour, Algeria, which has led local initiatives to negotiate a peace agreement between Libya’s warring factions.
To this end, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Turkey and Italy, alongside the GNA’s Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, met in Algeria as part of an initiative to bring all factions of the Libyan conflict to the table. Algerian officials also hope that Khalifa Haftar and the Prime Minister of the House of Representatives Government he supports, Aguila Saleh, will also visit Algeria soon to hold talks.
In addition to the formal factions, the negotiations in Algeria aim to bring other influential actors to the table too. This includes Libyan tribes who are not as visible in the Libyan conflict but whose spheres of influence are often linked to the influence of the GNA and LNA.
The initiative is intended to address the main points of tensions between the GNA and the LNA, with emphasis on dialogue and peaceful solutions based on rule of law and, hopefully, leading towards legitimate country-wide elections. Working together with Italian officials, Algerian officials hope that they can launch a peace conference in the coming days to achieve these goals.
In Libya, Algeria often had an under-represented but important role over the course of the country’s conflict. As the largest country in Africa and one of Libya’s main neighbours, Algeria has been involved in Libyan negotiations before global powers turned their attention towards the country. Furthermore, Algiers took a balanced and neutral approach to the conflict over the years. It is hoped that their expertise in dealing with Libyan matters will help achieve peace in the country.