Muslim Brotherhood’s Sub-Article in Draft LPDF Agreement Jeopardises 5+5 Agreement and Reignite War – Al Marsad

The Muslim Brotherhood, along with their satellite parties, dominate the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) currently taking place in Tunisia. Aside from managing to insert the mechanism of voting on the incumbents for the posts in the Presidential Council and its government  at the LPDF, they also have succeeded in passing a sub-article in the draft agreement via the Drafting Committee. This sub-clause could cause the collapse of the 5+5 Military Agreement and raise the spectre of war once again when Libyans assumed it was finally being laid to rest.

(Libya, 12 November 2020) – The sub-article 6-10 of the said draft stipulates, “During the next phase, the new executive authority shall not consider any new or previous agreements or decisions in such a way that would damage the stability of the foreign relations of the State of Libya or burden it with long-term obligations.”

Sub-article 6-10 in the draft Tunisia Agreement, which shackles the new government as regards reconsideration of the agreements concluded by the current Presidential Council.

It is noteworthy that the United National Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has chosen three legal experts (one from each region) as members of the Drafting Committee, namely: Ramadan al-Senussi (Tripoli), Wafia Saif al-Nasr (Fezzan), and Jazia Shaiter (Cyrenaica). Al-Marsad had announced yesterday the attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ibrahim Sahad and several of his comrades to push this sub-article and they have indeed succeeded in passing it to the Drafting Committee.

PERPETUATING TURKISH TUTELAGE

This sub-article aims to legitimize urkish military presence and its Syrian mercenaries in several naval, air, and land bases in western Libya under the guise of the illegal and unratified Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which Fayez al-Sarraj and Erdogan concluded last November and dubbed it as “agreement”.

Therefore, if the final agreement in Tunisia includes this sub-article, the next government will be deprived of any ability to expel Turkish soldiers and Syrian mercenaries because that would require the abolition of their reason for existence, that is, the Sarraj-Erdogan agreement. Rather, the new government would end up working under Turkish tutelage in Tripoli whether it likes it or not.

MILITARY TRACK AGREEMENT IN JEOPARDY

As for the 5+5 military track agreement, which Erdogan and the majority of Turkish officials have questioned while the Libyan public welcomed fully, it effectively become null and void. Moreover, the Tunisia agreement will undermine the understandings reached in Geneva.

Article (2) of the military agreement stipulated: “The removal of all foreign forces and mercenaries, without exception, from Libya.” These foreign forces, of course, are the non-Libyan regular troops, including Turkish forces and others. This is the difference between the “foreign forces” and “mercenaries”.

Article (2) of the 5+5 agreement provides for the removal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.

The shady sub-article in LPDF’s draft agreement does not only contravene with the Geneva Military Agreement, but also with other articles from the Tunisia Agreement itself, which stipulate ending the foreign military presence, state sovereignty, non-foreign interference, non-bullying using foreign forces, reconciliation, and good neighborliness. How can this be achievable while we have a sub-article legalizing foreign military presence?

IUNDERMINING LIBYA’S SOVEREIGNTY

The adoption of this sub-article would preclude the removal of the foreign forces, allow them to bullying the new Libyan government and undermine the state’s sovereignty precisely because of the presence of foreign forces brought in under an illegal MoU.

In addition, this would undermine the principle of reconciliation and harm good neighborliness with regional countries that refuse the presence of Turkish forces and others in Libya. This would take Libya back to square one, namely to conflict and war—a situation which most Libyans do not desire. This would force countries, such as France, which abhors Turkey’s illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, to actively impede the adoption of the agreement at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Is UNSMIL aware of the danger this sub-article poses to this political agreement? Or to the achievements in Geneva, after Libyans and the international community had hailed UNSMIL as the guarantor and facilitator of the military agreement—the same agreement that established a permanent ceasefire that would put an end to the presence of any foreign forces to support any party on Libyan soil?

The Drafting Committee at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) cannot and must not let this sub-clause be included  the final agreement text.

© Al Marsad English (2020)

 

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