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article imageOp-Ed: Tobruk government rejects UN peace plan draft

By Ken Hanly     Jun 12, 2015 in Politics
Berlin - The internationally recognized government of Libya, the House of Representatives(HoR)based in Tobruk has decisively rejected the fourth draft peace plan presented by UN special envoy Bernardino Leon.
The draft was presented at talks in Morocco but the participants then went to Berlin where they were joined by a host of western officials and representatives from the 5 permanent members of the UN security council. The Tobruk representatives went even though they were instructed not to go and it was made clear that they went only in their personal capacity. Nevertheless they sat down face to face with their rival representatives from the Tripoli government and Leon claimed the attitude was positive. The Tobruk government is incensed at the power the new draft gives to the rival government. The third draft had given very little power to the Tripoli government and was soundly rejected by that government. Now the tables are turned. What is surprising is that the UN would go ahead with negotiations in Berlin when the Tobruk government had already rejected the draft and called their representatives back for consultation.
There appears to be tremendous pressure on the Tobruk government to take the fourth draft as suitable for reaching a deal. The Tobruk government may play along by suggesting amendments they know will not be acceptable to Tripoli. Any failure of the negotiations can then be blamed upon Tripoli rather than Tobruk. Spokesperson for the HoR, Faraj Bohashim, said that the Tobruk government rejected any sharing of power with the State Council as would be the case in the present plan.Yet this report says: Despite rejecting the UN plan for a first time on Tuesday, the house of representatives went on to send delegates to talks in Berlin with world powers on Wednesday. After that meeting, it rejected the proposal again on Thursday. As the internationally recognised government in Libya, the house of representatives must sign off on the peace deal for it to be legally binding.
This account contradicts several other reports that made it clear that the Tobruk government was not sending representatives to the Berlin talks and that indicate quite clearly that they were going just as individuals.
The new draft is complicated. The prime minister would be chosen not by the House of Representatives nor the State Council but by the Libya Dialogue, who are the 23 Libyan delegates to the peace talks. Critics doubt that the group could agree on a president and even if they did, one or the other government could very well reject the decision. The Tobruk government already disowned its delegates at least for a short period! The Tripoli government and parties associated with it have reacted quite positively to the draft since compared to the third draft they are given more power.
The spokesperson for the HoR, Faraj Abuhashim, --or Bohashim in other reports- explains in detail here why the HoR rejects the UN fourth draft. His explanation of why the HoR representatives to the peace talks did not come home for consultation rather than go on to further talks and an agreement in Berlin has parts that are incoherent: Regarding the HoR’s negotiating team ignoring the HoR’s instructions not to travel to Berlin and return home, Abuhashim denied tensions or splits within the Tobruk-based legislative body, saying that they had not received the instructions until after they had departed Morocco. The delegates may not have received their instructions before leaving for Berlin but once there they could surely receive the information that the HoR had rejected the draft and that they were there only as individuals. The idea that there is no split or tensions between the delegates and the HoR is just nonsense manufactured to satisfy western pressure to be positive.
The media has nothing to say about a parallel agreement between the military forces of Tripoli, the Libya Dawn militia mainly, and the armed forces of the Tobruk government headed by Khalifa Haftar. Haftar has refused to meet with Libya Dawn and vowed he will never agree to a ceasefire with them. Even Leon has admitted that without the military agreement any political agreement is doomed. Why is it no one is even talking about this issue?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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