Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

Libyans and the United Nations advanced their current effort to end almost a decade of instability and war this month when a U.N.-backed forum nominated an interim government to prepare nationwide elections by the end of 2021. The new transitional government brings hope that this process—the third major U.N. peace effort in Libya—might lead to stability. Still, achieving lasting peace will require that the process address the main underlying driver of conflict: the divisions among Libya’s three main regions, notably over how to organize the government. It also will need the United States and other countries to support the transitional government and hold Libya’s contesting sides accountable. READ MORE…

Building peace through subnational governance: The case of Libya

Amidst the pandemic and an unprecedented economic downturn, millions of people continue to face the compounding effects of violent conflict. Disputes over control of territory and resources play an oversized role in many of these conflicts — as evident, for example, in Ethiopia, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Myanmar. A recent World Bank study finds that much greater attention needs to be paid to issues of subnational governance in conflict prevention and settlement. Based on experiences with conflict mitigation efforts in seven countries, the study identifies a set of factors that account for the success or failure of subnational governance reform in peace processes. It stresses that too often these critical issues are addressed too late and without sufficient detail, because subnational governance reform is sensitive, easily politicized, and hard to compromise on. Yet failing to tackle these issues has a major and negative impact on the sustainability of peace agreements. Libya serves as an illustrative case, where subnational governance is at the heart of the ongoing conflict. READ MORE…