Delegate: Caroline Munson
School: Williamston High School
Since the fall of Gaddafi, the government form and ruling party has changed intermittently from a National Transitional Council (NTC) recognized by the UN, to the General National Congress (GNC) in 2014 consisting of Muslims associated with the Muslim Brotherhood reinstituting Sharia law causing Haftar to attack. From there the elections by the GNC did not go in favor of the Islamists and instead created a House of Representatives. Tensions caused the HoR and Hafter’s forces to retreat to Tobruk, but they were minimized by a ceasefire signed in early 2015, and the creation of the Government of National Accord (GNA). The thought was that it was going to create a more stable era, but when Haftar and the HoR ended its support, attacks began. As of now, Hafter and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in cahoots with HoR are still in a state of distrust with the GNA. In addition to the evident political instability, this conflict has affected neighboring and European countries attracting refugees, as well as Libya’s trading partners as the two political powers are fighting over oil fields; one of Libya’s main exports.
Afghanistan is similarly struggling with two very different political powers dominating every aspect of life: the Taliban and the internationally recognized Islamic republic. The latest official president, Ashraf Ghani, was voted in by the first democratic election in decades in 2014. Afghanistan would most likely support the GNA in Libya, as it sympathizes with a country overrun with terrorist organizations and rival political groups. Afghanistan is in a constant state of danger, and the numerous troops from countries like the US may be making matters worse. Italy has tried to host peace talks and be a “middle-man” of sorts between the GNA and Hafter. The reasoning behind these good intentions however are principally to maintain peaceful relations with Hafter, although supporting the GNA, because his forces control the majority of the oil fields in the east of Libya. So are peace talks going to lead to ideal compromises for both parties in Libya or Afghanistan?
To begin, the internally displaced citizens need to be moved away from hot-spot areas of conflict to prevent any more large-scale massacres. Any outside country being the “middle-man” has not been proven to be effective. Instead there must be a conference of both sides monitored by the UN, possibly including surrounding countries receiving immigrants, to get equal say in any negotiations. Of course, making sure the country is economically stable during and after this political crisis is important to the country’s growth, that is not the most pressing matter for the people. Afghanistan is currently in support of the GNA, but believes that a UN-initiated and led government cannot last forever if the country has any hope of becoming self-sustainable. Political leaders working in and with the GNA that are dedicated to any agreement between it and Haftar must reach a compromise that is best for the most citizens of Libya. Afghanistan would look forward to collaborating with other GNA-supporting countries as well as countries backing Haftar to help bolster any negotiations.
- Caroline Munson