What is the situation in Libya?
A year and a half after the first Berlin Conference on Libya, the situation in Libya has improved tangibly: a ceasefire has been in place since October 2020 and is being implemented step by step. The interim Government headed by Prime Minister Dbeibah which has been confirmed by both the Libyan National Dialogue Forum and Parliament has been mandated with preparing nationwide elections on 24 December. Now that the blockade of Libyan oil wells has been lifted, the population is receiving urgently needed support; other sections of the economy are also getting back on track.
Yet, the risk of renewed destabilisation remains: foreign fighters and mercenaries remain in the country. In addition to preparing the elections and implementing the ceasefire, the interim Government faces huge challenges, for example, in getting supplies to the population, pushing ahead with economic recovery and combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the Conference about?
In order to secure the achievements of recent months and underpin international support for long-term stabilisation, Foreign Minister Maas and UN Secretary-General Guterres invited the participants in the Berlin Process to a Second Berlin Conference on Libya.
Two issues will be in the spotlight:
- Implementation of the political roadmap adopted by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum for the period leading up to the national elections on 24 December 2021.
- Complete implementation of the ceasefire agreement reached in October 2020, including the departure withdrawal of foreign fighters.
In Berlin, the question of how the international community can support these steps is to be discussed. A further important topic will be the merging of Libyan security forces with a view to strengthening the interim Government’s monopoly on the use of force.
The Conference marks the start of a new phase of the Berlin Process in which the interim Government is involved in the talks. Unlike in January 2020, when the Conference talked about Libya, they are now talking with Libyan leaders. The Libyan interim Government will be represented by Prime Minister Dbeibah and Foreign Minister Mangoush.