Nayed Responds to United States 10-Year Strategic Plan Document for Libya
March 23, 2023
“We share the concern about the existential threats to Libya and to our region, but feel that they are primarily caused by the continued prevention of 2.8 million Libyan voters from directly choosing their own elected President and new Parliament,” states Presidential candidate Dr Aref Nayed, Chairman of Ihya Libya movement, in his open letter to US Envoy and Ambassador to Libya, Richard , in response to the “The US Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability 10-Year Strategic Plan for Libya” document published on 24 March 2023 by the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations of the US State Department.
The full text of the document by the US State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations can be found here: https://www.state.gov/the-u-s-strategy-to-prevent…/
H.E. Ambassador Richard Norland Special Envoy and Ambassador of the United States of America to Libya
Your Excellency, Dear Ambassador/Envoy Norland,
Greetings. Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya) welcomes “The US Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability 10-Year Strategic Plan for Libya” published on 24 March 2023 by the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations of the U.S. State Department.
We are indeed encouraged that “The United States is committed to helping Libyans in their ongoing struggle for a more peaceful, stable, unified future.” We are also encouraged by the oft-expressed U.S. commitment to Libyan Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in 2023, in full support of the commendable approach of H.E. Abdoulaye Bathily, UN General Secretary’s Special Representative for Libya and Head of UNSMIL.
We share the concern about the existential threats to Libya and to our region, but feel that they are primarily caused by the continued prevention of 2.8 million Libyan voters from directly choosing their own elected President and new Parliament.
Only a directly elected Libyan presidency, balanced by a clean legislature, and a responsible judiciary, can save Libya and eject all foreign meddling. Only such duly elected Libyan leadership can work with the U.S. and other partners on mitigating the risks to Libya and to our region.
The cover-up and impunity regarding the corruption charges that surrounded the selection of the last interim government, and the complacency regarding the reneging on the ethical and legally binding commitments signed before the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), under the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, have all contributed to making Libya an easy prey to local and foreign malign and greedy actors.
We are glad that the U.S. government (USG) is now “using the SPCPS focus on Libya to convene local stakeholders, the USG interagency, and international partners to develop concrete steps to create conditions for Libya’s long-term peace and stability—building upon identified resiliencies and promising initiatives.” However, we feel that the most important “promising initiative” is the actual urgent delivering of direct Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in 2023.
At Ihya Libya, and through our think-tank, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS), we stand ready to contribute to the “iterative multi-stakeholder engagement” with other Libyans regarding the details and implementation of any strategy that pertains to saving our own country. We salute the focus on the vital, and urgently needed, process of demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR), and welcome combined UN, AU, EU contributions.
We clearly see that the goals and details of the U.S. 10-year strategic plan for Libya are in total coherence with our own Libyan-generated Vision for our own country (see ihyalibya.com for details), and we therefore welcome them.
However we feel that the commendable goal of seeing Libya “governed by a democratically elected, unified, representative, and internationally recognized authority that is able to ensure human rights, deliver public services, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, secure its border, and partner with the United States and international community on shared priorities” must not be a “long-term” goal, but an achievable short-term basic Human Right of the 2.8 million voters who are ready to vote in direct Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in 2023, as per the plan of H.E. Bathily.
Ihya Libya strongly feels that any talk of an “incremental, tailored, and scalable approach” and an “initial sequenced efforts which incrementally build toward progress” “over time” risks giving the current ruling political clique excuses to prolong their corrupt tyrannical rule. It is this greedy clique who are the only remaining “political roadblocks that have obstructed credible elections to date”. Clique-to-clique deals to divide up spoils of national resources and possibly share power are not an acceptable alternative to legitimate democratic rule that can only be truly achieved through direct Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
The incremental approach outlined in the 10-year strategic plan is indeed commendable and is much needed, but only after a newly elected Libyan President and Parliament are duly elected in 2023, and are able to partner with U.S. and other countries on a strong equitable basis of national sovereignty and legitimacy.
We are glad that the U.S. strategic approach includes “learning and feedback loops that will engage Libyan perspectives”. That is why Ihya Libya felt encouraged to provide you with our feedback, and to express our readiness to fully cooperate with you towards the commendable, but urgent, goal of a duly and directly elected Presidential and Parliamentary democracy in 2023, as per H.E. Bathily’s plan, which we wholeheartedly and publicly support.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration. Best regards.
Aref Ali Nayed,
Ihya Libya (Reviving Libya) Presidential Candidate