Libya is Desperately Seeking Stability
Summer in Libya has been long and hot. Air conditioning demand has strained the country's electrical grid, resulting in rolling blackouts that have underscored the inability of the unity government to improve its people's daily lives.
With frustration increasing over the ongoing political elites' failure to organise elections, the blackout brought about well-organised and occasionally violent protests across the country in July.
Young Libyans entered the street to request economic opportunities, the realisation of elections and improved government services promised by Libya'sLibya's February 2021 power-sharing agreement.
The protests clashed with increasing contestation between political elites, mainly after the elections scheduled for December 2021 were cancelled.
Since then, Aguila Saleh, the House of Representative speaker, has called for Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, Libya'sLibya's interim prime minister, to step down and went to the extent of having the parliament appoint Fathi Bashagha (Saleh'sSaleh's ally) to take his place in February.
Hamid refused to resign absent an election. This has made Libya return to a volatile situation in which two competing claimants are trying to legitimate the country's leadership.
For this reason, militias tied to the two officials have engaged in various gun battles in the capital.
Since the putting in place of the power-sharing agreement, the protests and armed skirmishes have unsettled the political elite that governed Libya.
Lots of Libya-watchers have raised concern about the potential return of civil war. However, none of this violence is likely to change Libya's political situation significantly.
Instead, the structure of the power-sharing agreement, as well as the complex set of skewed incentives brought about by its design, will ensure that political elites are impelled to maintain the status quo. This includes efforts to maintain a balance between both sides' interests in the conflict and to either delay or suspend elections indefinitely.
The United Nations'Nations' sponsorship of the power-sharing agreement was enabled by the international community and their eagerness to bring the civil war to an end after a decade of economic and political instability.
Since the agreement became effective, the country's complicated network of competing interests, militias, tribal associations, and the political group has coalesced around three points of power represented by Khalifa Haftar, the commander of Libya'sLibya's largest private army.
Libyans are seeking stability desperately after a decade-long conflict and would accept the gamesmanship conclusion and complete disorder that has gripped Libya since the revolution.
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