News Libya Conference in Berlin: Peacekeepers for Libya

Libya Conference in Berlin: Peacekeepers for Libya

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Libya conference in Berlin

A pacification of the Libyan civil war will hardly be possible without international assistance. The EU is also in demand.

Does Europe speak with one voice this time? Photo: dpa

There was a lot of talk at the Berlin Libya conference that there should be less foreign interference in the civil war country. But actually there should now be increased international military engagement on Libyan soil. The possible outlines of a peace process were laid down in the Federal Chancellery on Sunday – now the question of implementation is arising.

The first condition for a new peace process in Libya is a permanent ceasefire between government militias and General Haftar’s rebel army on the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli. It will only be possible with an international protection force that keeps the front lines calm, separates Libya’s warring parties and creates space for the necessary demobilization of the fighting troops. Compliance with the UN arms embargo against Libyan warring parties is also necessary.

This in turn requires international surveillance of the sea and land borders and a consistently enforced ban on all oil transactions with Libya outside of the recognized structures. If the weapons were not silent and the war in Libya flared up again after the Berlin conference, more intervention would be even more necessary. The leaders of the world cannot first demand peace for Libya together and then stand by and watch a war in Libya.

Political pressure must be followed more militarily

That would be the “second Syria” with Russia and Turkey as arsonists, which one definitely wants to avoid. Either way: there is no way around more engagement in Libya. The international community must give itself the skills to follow military pressure after political pressure. It wouldn’t be magic.

UN and EU missions already exist, and there are models for a longer-term presence in the form of robust UN missions, whose mandate is to secure and implement a peace process agreed by the warlords, in many other countries in Africa. It has been almost nine years since NATO intervened in Libya under the leadership of France and the United Kingdom to protect civilians from massacres.

The intervention ended with the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime without creating a stable post-war order and thus too early. The intervention powers can now make up for that failure. It would be good if Europe spoke with one voice this time.

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