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Where are the local peace initiatives for Libya?

19 8 0

It is notable that, in Libya’s current violence, there is an absence of serious local peace initiatives. In previous conflicts across the war-ravaged country, local tribal leaders and dignitaries would appeal for peace and launch their own conciliation efforts to bring about, at the very least, a ceasefire.

In January, for example, the Social Council of Warfalla Tribes (SCWT), the largest Libyan tribal grouping, succeeded where UN envoy Ghassan Salame failed; they brokered a ceasefire between Tripoli-based militias and their adversaries from Tarhouna, known as the Seventh Brigade, who were laying siege to the capital. Salame tried unsuccessfully to bring about a ceasefire; in the end, he had to join the SCWT’s efforts which were already underway. The Council succeeded not only in bringing about peace but also had a special committee observing the compliance of agreed ceasefire terms.

Despite being considered as pro-Gaddafi, the Warfalla tribe has, since 2011, never taken part in any conflict in Libya apart from defending their hometown, Bani Walid, in 2012 against an array of militias. This position earned them a reputation as respected peace-makers across the country. In a tribally divided society, the Warfalla became synonymous with reconciliation and coexistence, albeit with varying degrees of success. The SCWT even lost two of its prominent members in September 2017 while on a reconciliation mission in western Libya.

READ: 8 years ago NATO killed my family in their sleep

This time, though, there is no serious discussion of any local mediation efforts which are occasionally more........

© Middle East Monitor