Overview of our action in Libya
Promediation’s work in Libya aims to contribute to the peace and stabilisation process by supporting the reduction of tensions in southern Libya through dialogue and mediation. Our action focuses on supporting local peace initiatives in Southern Libya and building the capacity of local Southern leaderships to actively participate in dialogue and stabilisation efforts at national and cross-border levels.
This project targets local leaderships and communities with an aim to generate better dialogue and provide effective conflict prevention and management support in areas they live in. Our work also aims to build the capacity and willingness of leaders in these groups to negotiate, both amongst themselves and with their neighbours, and to participate in national and international mechanisms and processes in a coherent and constructive way. To do so, we offer to provide tools, expertise, secure spaces and dialogue facilitation and/or mediation when needed.
Our action is designed to address persisting tensions, competition and conflictual dynamics in southern Libya, help reduce political and geographical fragmentation, and support more inclusive and sustainable national and international peace and stabilisation processes.
Our work since 2014
Promediation started working in Libya in late 2014 at the request of the parties in conflict in Awbari, Fezzan. Promediation’s action consisted of supporting them in finding a peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict that has opposed Tuareg and Tebu in the town since September 2014. In close contact with UNSMIL and all other relevant international actors, including neighbouring Sahel countries, Promediation directly facilitated dialogue in order to support the creation of a sustainable negotiation process in the Awbari conflict.
Despite important progress made towards peace and security following the signature of the Doha agreement in November 2016 and the cease-fire agreed among local leaders, Tebu and Tuareg leaderships remained concerned for the sustainability of such a process as long as tangible peace dividends remained elusive for local populations of Awbari. Promediation has therefore continued to support and strengthen dialogue between Tebu and Tuareg actors in the area and their efforts to activate the commitments promised since 2015 by international actors for reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance.
Since 2016, whilst maintaining dedicated support to sustainable peace efforts in Awbari, Promediation also broadened the scope of the action to support dialogue and local peace processes throughout Southern Libya. Particular efforts have been focused on supporting an inclusive dialogue in Sebha, as the capital city of the Fezzan and major political and economic hub where persistent conflicts have maintained high levels of instability in and around the city but also across the Fezzan. Promediation has worked in partnership with UNSMIL to support dialogue between actors in Sebha, including a specific track to involve women and support their participation in peace and stabilisation efforts.
In 2018, at the request of local stakeholders, we began supporting the creation of a broader dialogue framework involving all southern actors and communities to allow them to work collectively on common challenges and interests in an inclusive way.
Promediation also works to build dialogue between international actors and local actors in Southern Libya to bridge important gaps in perception and mutual understanding due to lack of access to peripheral though strategic communities in Libya. Promediation has organised meetings bringing together Libyan delegations in Tunis, but also Brussels and Paris, to open dialogue on the inclusion of the South in national peace and stabilisation processes supported by the international community.
Promediation has also ensured continuous analysis sharing on the situation in Southern Libya with international actors, including UNSMIL, the EU and other bilateral partners supportive of the Libyan peace process. This has contributed to building better understanding of complex local and regional dynamics and rapidly evolving situation in the South and cross-border areas with the Sahel among key international actors.
Promediation is also able to mobilise a valuable Sahel perspective in a context where interconnexion of actors and dynamics in the Libya-Niger-Chad triangle bears high risks of conflict spill-over and broader regional instability, but also where high international priorities are in stark contrast to the effective capacity of these international actors to engage with local actors and understand local dynamics.
Today, Libya is still afflicted by a generalised situation of uncertainty and crisis, compounded by local security and political challenges also affecting Southern communities. Despite attempts to negotiate amendments to the LPA, to reinvigorate dialogue through a national conference process, and to support the preparation of an electoral process, political and military fragmentation and widespread insecurity continue to impede efforts to reach consensus and exacerbate local tensions and competition through a complex game of alliances. Renewed efforts must therefore be applied to support the building of a negotiated solution to the crisis in the framework of the UN-led peace process and to reach out to so-called peripheral areas and communities. It is crucial to support this impulse in a way that ensures inclusiveness, credibility and acceptability of these efforts, particularly in the South, where national and international processes have so far struggled to engage with local actors and address serious political, security and socio-economic challenges.
Southern Libya’s strategic importance at the cross-roads of the Sahel and Maghreb regions, its natural resources and key political and economic hubs such as Sebha present a number of challenges and opportunities for peace and stabilisation in Libya and the broader Maghreb-Sahel region. It is therefore imperative to engage with Southern actors and communities to promote and support peaceful, sustainable and locally-owned solutions, and to take into account the interconnected dynamics and actors across the South, from Ghât to Kufrah and throughout the cross-border areas with Algeria, Niger, Chad, and Sudan.
Recurring conflict and violence in Sebha have involved several key communities through a game of inter-community and political conflicts and alliances, both at a local level and in connection to national divides and competition. These conflictual dynamics have also developed over the control of trafficking networks and oil facilities.
Our action aims to contribute to national peace and state building process by supporting local peace and stabilization efforts in the South, promoting the participation of Southern communities in national efforts, in order to support sustainable peace and stabilization and prevent the escalation of armed confrontation or a rise of strategic actors against UN-led peace process.