Open Letter to UN: Ihya Libya Calls for Elections in December and Sirte as Capital of Sovereign Institutions – Al Marsad

Dr Aref Ali Nayed sent an Open Letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres on behalf of the Ihya Libya movement in light of the aggressiveness by the Turkish invading forces supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA) to attack Sirte and Al-Jufra. It calls for elections in December and Sirte to be capital of sovereign institutions of the country.

(Libya, 29 June 2020) – The letter by the Ihya Libya movement which is composed of Libyans from across the country, addressed the Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres and said, “After nearly a decade of relentless wars, Libya’s very social fabric has been tarnished, and its inter-regional relations are mired in suspicion and distrust.”

It stated that Islamists controlled all critical joints of the country and its capital Tripoli, “utilized the highly centralized system of the previous regime to completely scavenge the total revenues of the Libyan people, for the exclusive benefit of Islamism internationally.”

It stressed that “despite the truce and then withdrawals rapidly made by the Libyan National Army of the duly elected House of Representatives, the GNA Turkish-supported forces are insistent on advancing to the central city of Sirte.”

The Ihya Libya movement stated it proposed the following steps on Sirte so that instead of being the focal point of massive conflict, it can be instead an opportunity for nation building:

  1. Avoid the risk of a regional highly-likely clash between the two largest armies in our region: the armies of Turkey and Egypt, by immediately FREEZING current lines.
  2. Creating a positive horizon of expectations by going back to the final commitments of the Paris Conference, and announcing December 31, 2020, as the definitive date of Presidential AND Parliamentarian direct elections, based on the already existing February Committee Recommendations and Law Number 5 (2014).
  3. Getting written commitments from all Actors to: A. Protect their own areas, B. Protect and facilitate elections in their own areas, and C. allow implementation of election results in their own area.
  4. Declaring Sirte a UN-monitored Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
  5. All forces of all sides withdraw so as to leave a 300 km radius in a full circle around Sirte.
  6. Insert into Sirte, a hybrid police force made up of pan-Libyan policemen, with official numbers predating 2011, and with police monitors from Europe, Canada, Australia inserted within it.
  7. Create a Sirte Municipal Council made up of its notables from all its tribes, and headed by technocrats born and raised in Sirte.
  8. Create a ‘Green Zone’ around the Wagadugu Complex in Sirte, and move into it the following institutions:
    • Central Bank of Libya,
    • National Oil Company,
    • Libya Investment Authority, and
    • Telco Holding Company.
    • National Elections Commission.
  9. Prosecutor General and Supreme Court.
  10. Change the Boards and Leadership of all of the above institutions in ways that ensures representation from all three regions, and that enshrines decisions-by-consensus and a system of co-signatories.
  11. Work very hard with the International Community and local Libyan communities to actually deliver direct, transparent, fair, and well-monitored Parliamentarian and Presidential Elections prior to December 31, 2020, as promised at the Paris Conference (which had promised elections by December 31, 2018), and as enshrined in all subsequent documents, including the outputs of the Berlin Conference.

The Open Letter said that transforming Sirte into a Demilitarized Zone would allow for

  • A broad demarcation line between GNA and HoR/LNA.
  • International and combined national oversight on national revenues and expenditures.
  • Joint oversight on Oil/Gas management and export.
  • Joint oversight on Libya’s sovereign funds.
  • Joint oversight on the vital Telco Sector.
  • An independent and secure National Elections Commission that can oversee Presidential, Parliamentarian, and Municipal elections.
  • An independent and apolitical justice system.

It argued that a Sirte-DMZ could “create a Washington-DC like capital that does not belong to any of the three historical provinces: Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan.”

The Ihya Libya letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres said that these measures could “transform Sirte from being the locus of a potentially massively destructive confrontation into the solution for the stabilization and rebuilding of the State of Libya” that was “peaceful, stable and united.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)