Rabat questions chances of success of Berlin summit on Libya

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On the eve of the Berlin conference on Libya, Moroccan diplomacy has questioned, in a statement published this Saturday, the ability of Germany to transform this meeting into an opportunity for peace for the Libyan people .

“The host country of this conference (Germany, editor’s note) which is far from the region and from the complexities of the Libyan crisis, cannot transform it into an instrument for the promotion of its national interests” protested the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to less than 24 hours from the Berlin Libya conference.

The Kingdom of Morocco also expressed in the same press release its deep astonishment at its exclusion from the conference, while stressing that “the Kingdom of Morocco has always been at the forefront of international efforts to resolve the crisis. Libya “, noting that Rabat” played a decisive role in the conclusion of the Skhirat agreements, which are, to date, the only political framework – supported by the Security Council and accepted by all the Libyan protagonists – with a view to the resolution of the crisis in this brotherly Maghreb country ”.

“The Kingdom of Morocco understands neither the criteria nor the motivations which governed the choice of the countries participating in this meeting”, adds the same source

“The Kingdom of Morocco, for its part, will continue its commitment alongside the Libyan brothers and the countries sincerely interested and concerned, in order to contribute to a solution to the Libyan crisis”, concludes the press release.

Algeria, Egypt want to exclude African Union from Libyan case

Morocco is not the only African country to be outraged by its exclusion from the Berlin summit. Tunisia, the country that shares a border of almost 500 km with Libya, has been deliberately excluded by the Algiers-Berlin axis. The Tunisian press has abundantly commented on this shelving: “If this exclusion testifies to one thing, it is indeed the failure and the bankruptcy of Tunisian diplomacy. A diplomacy that has managed in just two months to isolate the country from the international community and its environment, both geographic, cultural and economic, “said Digital Tunisia.

Who will be present on January 19 in Berlin? Several countries will be represented, including Russia, Turkey, the United States, China, Italy and France, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, the two protagonists of the Libyan crisis, the Marshal Haftar and Fayez Sarraj. But not “Tunisia which will be the first concerned by the war at the gates of its borders and which will be called upon to manage this situation and its fallout”, insists the Tunisian media.

For its part Africa, traumatized by the crisis in Libya and its consequences in a Sahel subjected to incessant jihadist attacks, seeks to finally make its voice heard in the Libyan case, without much hope, after having been held away for years.

“The AU has regularly asked for a central role in the current process, but it has always been ignored,” Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for the chairperson of the African Union (AU) commission, told AFP. , Moussa Faki, who will be present Sunday in Berlin. Whose mission will not be easy.

If there are endogenous causes to jihadist attacks in the Sahel, the crisis in Libya has created a security vacuum but also favored the circulation of thousands of weapons, ammunition and explosives, contributing in a decisive way to the rise in power of jihadist groups in Mali, Niger and Burkina in recent years.

Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou repeats it tirelessly. “The international community is responsible for what is happening to us through its disastrous decision to intervene in Libya,” he reminded Niamey in December. “Libya is African, we cannot solve the Libyan problem by leaving the AU at the margins.”

Chadian President Idriss Deby is on the same wavelength: “The battle against terrorism in the Sahel necessarily involves solving the Libyan crisis. Libyan chaos (…) remains the main source of destabilization for the entire Sahel, “he insisted in December in Rome.

On January 6, the Congolese President, Denis Sassou Nguesso, set foot in the dish. “Libya is an African country and the victims are mainly in Africa. Therefore, any strategy to settle the Libyan crisis tending to marginalize the African continent could prove to be completely ineffective and counterproductive, ”he thundered.

An emissary of the Congolese head of state went in stride to Algeria, a country which uses the Libyan file to get out of the infernal loop of social hirak, in order to evoke the means of “stimulating the process of negotiations between the Libyan parties “, according to a press release from the Algerian presidency.

However, the “file remains in the hands of the United Nations. The UN doesn’t necessarily see the AU as a decisive voice, “said Claudia Gazzini, of the think tank International Crisis Group (ICG).

A source in Niger explains that the AU is “divided”, stressing that for example “Egypt does not want the AU to take care of this file”.

The heartbreak of Libya between the Government of Libyan National Union (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, recognized by the UN and based in Tripoli, and a power embodied by the strongman of eastern Libya, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, already preoccupied the continent.

The entry into play of new players has only aggravated African concerns: Russia supports Khalifa Haftar (notably supported by Egypt) and Turkey, an ally of the GNA, recently authorized the sending of soldiers in the country.

Marshal Haftar’s forces launched an offensive in April 2019 in an attempt to seize Tripoli. More than 280 civilians and 2,000 combatants have been killed, according to the UN. Some 146,000 Libyans had to flee the fighting.

A generally respected cessation of hostilities has been in effect since Sunday. But Marshal Haftar has so far refused to sign the ceasefire initialed by Mr. Sarraj.

“This involvement of new players further complicates the Libyan crisis,” warns Ibrahim Yacouba, former head of Nigerian diplomacy.

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