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Stephanie Williams reports on Libya’s progress since the 2020 Ceasefire

The Brookings Institution released a report by Stephanie T. Williams, nonresident fellow and former who recently served as special adviser on Libya to the United Nations secretary-general, entitled ‘Two years from the ceasefire agreement, Libya still matters’.

In the report, Williams expresses that the two-year anniversary of the Libyan ceasefire agreement marks a time to reflect on Libya’s trajectory and progress. Williams argues that the country has not experienced repetition of the large-scale violence seen from 2019-2020, but it has ‘slid backwards into institutional division, misgovernance, limited bouts of violence, and human rights abuses against Libyans and migrants alike’.

Williams explains Libya is experiencing a ‘democracy dilemma’ that is perpetuating a cycle of war and fragile peace. Williams says the dilemma encapsulates why elections are repeatedly postponed despite clear enthusiasm from Libyan people to choose their own leaders.

She asserts that there is a fear of elections resulting in a one-time winner-takes-all situation, derived in part from Muammar Qadhafi’s legacy. She also noted that many existing elected representatives are unwilling to produce elections that may oust them from their seats and salaries.

Williams goes on to explain how this democracy dilemma could be overcome, her suggestions including: respecting and preserving the 2020 Ceasefire Agreement, sustaining and supporting the electoral process and following an electoral roadmap, producing a constitutional framework to provide the guardrails for national elections, and empowering local authorities over centralised governments.

Read the full report here.

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