The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) will struggle to progress. Despite the United Nations Support Mission in Libya’s (UNSMIL) sense of urgency and its planning of more virtual sessions, there is little to suggest that a real breakthrough is likely on an acceptable mechanism for selecting the heads of the new executive authorities.
Frustrations will grow over the lack of progress on the political front. This is likely to increase the sense among Libyans that the UN is not fit for purpose and that its main interest is in imposing the international community’s own agenda upon the country.
Meanwhile MPs from the Tripoli-based parallel House of Representatives will continue their efforts to try to take control of the whole House and will press ahead with their planned meeting in Ghadames in December. This will be fiercely resisted by MPs from the main Tobruk-based House and its eastern leadership under the speaker, Aguila Saleh. This will further undermine the already weakened and discredited institution.
So far there has been no substantial progress in implementing the terms of the ceasefire agreement — and particularly the removal of all foreign troops and mercenaries from the country — and military tensions are therefore likely to continue to escalate. This could result in violence erupting in the Oil Crescent. Although any such clashes would probably be contained, because of the fear of drawing external powers — including Turkey, Russia and Egypt — into a potential regional war, the prospect for some sort of conflict breaking out to the west of Sirte is rising.
Southern Libya could also serve as a new flashpoint for violence. If Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libya Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) continues to launch attacks against the international recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) targets in the region while trying to palm them off as anti-terrorist operations. This could further agitate the GNA which could result in retaliatory attacks.
Haftar will continue in his efforts to clamp down on illegal armed groups that are operating in Benghazi. This will hopefully enhance security situation in the city in the short-term. In the longer-term, however, Haftar will struggle to absorb the array of unruly armed groups that are operating around the margins of the LAAF into its official security structures.
Escalating tensions will continue to persist between the National oil Corporation (NOC) and the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) over the use of oil revenues. The bank accuses the state oil company of withholding oil revenues while NOC will not transfer revenues from its account at the Libyan Foreign Bank to the CBL until the latter is transparent about the mechanism of spending the oil revenues. This will obviously have a hopefully short-term negative impact on the economy.