SCHOOL: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
In early 2011, anti-Gaddafi forces created a committee called the Nation Transitional Council, to seize control of the Libyan government after overthrowing Gaddafi. The government began to fight back against the rebels, and the government used too much violence. There was even more backlash to Gaddafi, as the International Criminal Court issued an arrest against Gaddafi. Gaddafi was out of power, but there were still loyalist forces that held out for 2 more months, and then eventually fell. After the revolution, there were lots of rebel groups spread about, varying in size, capability, and influence. They were not united, but they also were not against each other. Some militias evolved into criminal networks and gangs, straying far from their original purpose. Many of these groups refused to stop fighting after 2011, using their weapons to fill positions of power. The National Transitional Council wanted all of these groups to register under the ministry of defense, and they were given a salary to give them legitimacy and a reason to unite. On the 11th of September, 2012, militants attacked the US consulate, killing the ambassador and 3 others. This caused an outcry from the legal militias and resulted in the raiding of several Islamist militia bases. To respond to those raids, the Libyan Army raided several militias’ headquarters and ordered them to disband. This violence escalated into the second Libyan conflict, which is still ongoing. This conflict is between different rebel groups who each want control of Libya, and it has mostly been between the government and the Council of Deputies, a council that was elected democratically in 2014 and is internationally recognized as the Government of Libya, and the rival General National Congress, the rival Islamist government. They have agreed to unite as the Government of National Accord, although there are no details on its authority and specifics have not been agreed upon. The Libyan government, which lies in eastern Libya, has the Haftar’s Libyan National Army and has been supported by airstrikes from Egypt and the UAE. The Islamist government, which lies in western Libya, has rejected the results of the 2014 election and is recognizes the Muslim Brotherhood as its leader, and is backed by many militias, and supported by countries such as Qatar, Sudan, and Turkey. There are also smaller groups, that support the Islamist government, which consists of armed groups that change sides. To put into perspective the amount of casualties from the Libyan Crisis, a quote from Salamé, a Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, “The damage done to Libya will already take years to mend, but unless fighting around the capitol Tripoli stops, the country risks descending into a civil war, which could lead to the permanent division of the country.”
The United Nations has taken an active role in the development of Libya. In 2015, the UN arranged a cease-fire, and in 2016 the UN-supported a new government in Tripoli. Shortly after, the Islamist government suspended its operations and succeed their power to the new government, the aforementioned Government of National Accord. Because of the UN intervention, the rival leaders were able to reach an agreement to reunify the eastern and western part of Libya’s National Oil Corporation. In December of 2017, the Libyan National Army seized Benghazi after 3 years of fighting and has now launched an offensive plan to seize Tripoli. Again, quoting the UN Special Representative to Libya, “Mr. Salamé said despite scaling-down non-essential UN staff in Tripoli and Benghazi, ‘we remain in Libya alongside the Libyan people to deliver as best we can’, with over 42,000 receiving aid so far.” Most of that aid is coming from the projects organized by the UNDP. The UNDP has done a lot of projects in Libya. The Stabilization Facility for Libya started in 2016, is one of the largest projects that are ongoing in Libya. The goal is to strengthen the legitimate and internationally recognized state of authorities and national unity. It will do this by making opportunities for restoring relationships locally through community conflict monitoring and reduction, by including the government in plans, and practically improving the basic services of the cities where the SFL works. As the lives of the citizens improve, it will give the government opportunities to demonstrate its value and prove its worth. The SFL has already restored water and power and sewage for 12 cities and has repaired many schools, universities, and hospitals. The SFL is the largest and most successful out of all of the projects taking place in Libya, but many others are existing and thriving as well, thanks to the UNDP.
To quote Claude Heller, a Mexican delegate who co-sponsored a resolution that “energetically condemned” the use of violence that was used to repress the protests in Libya, “Unlimited respect for human rights was an obligation that must be ensured, and the Libyan Government was obligated to protect its population. Moreover, member states of the Human Rights Council had a duty to strictly observe human rights norms. For that reason, the situation in Libya was, even more, a source of concern, and Mexico felt that it was “necessary” to pass the current resolution suspending Libya’s membership rights in the Council until the rule of law was preserved there.” Mexico firmly believes that the government under Gaddafi was very out of place to commit the aforementioned atrocities of violence against the rebels, and stands with the Human Rights Council in the suspension of Libya as a member state to the HRC. The situation in Libya is a large source of concern for every nation, as human rights must be upheld. Mexico supports the new Government of National Accord, as it looks to be the furthest step to protecting the population.
The delegation of Mexico would like to see the safety of the citizens of Libya put first. The differences in political opinion must not interfere with safety, national sovereignty, or territorial integrity. Keeping in mind the number of casualties this crisis has already caused, Mexico’s main objective is to minimize the harm done to citizens while still creating a reasonable solution to the problem. Mexico recommends that SpecPol calls upon the Freedom House, Human Rights Watch-Libya, and UNICEF to fund an incentive for the development of Libya under the conditions that the Libyan National Army controlled by Haftar to not attack Tripoli, and the if the specific details of the Government of National Accord can be agreed upon by all parties.
- Gabe Howald