#Libya: ‘The people of Libya are your partners in fighting ISIS’

| February 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

PM of Libya

I write from my office in Tripoli as prime minister of the government here in the national capital of Libya.

(by Prime Minister Khalifa Mohamed Al Gwheil, National Salvation Government, Libya)

Outside my window things are quiet, that is good because Tripoli these days is safer. But it also means the buzz of economic activity needs to be restarted with our Western partners.

Some outsiders have taken to calling us the rival administration to the so-called ‘internationally recognised government’ in Tobruk. But we are all Libyans, we are one people in our belief in our country, one family east, west and south.

That is why repeated efforts by the UN, however well meaning, to impose a new structure from outside on us, to tell us how we should run ourselves, has failed. Simply put it is illegitimate, it can not work. Libyans from tribes and region across the country reject it. It is against our historic tradition of doing things for ourselves.

It is time to move on.

That is why we, the people of Libya, established in 2015 a new movement for unity and reconciliation called Libya-Libya Dialogue. To end the conflicts and reunite and rebuild our country from the bottom up. Tens of town hall meetings have taken place, around the country, you could call it Libya’s version of caucus voting in Iowa, where neighbours come together to affirm the principles of the Dialogue for all  Libyans. They are:-

  1. national and regional security under one central authority, where command and control of military forces is directed in the fight against ISIS  
  2. political settlement between the governments and parliaments, being the elected representatives of the Libyan people, based in Tripoli, and
  3. social development and economic renewal in partnership between the centre and local communities with the help of our Western friends.

A historic agreement between the Parliaments was signed late last year to work together and create a new consolidated authority in Tripoli.  A unified and coordinated democratic institution, surrounded by a safe zone, tasked with producing political pluralism, social reconciliation and economic regeneration.

With the UN interventions being discredited, now is the moment for Libyans, speaking and acting with one voice, to take control.

The heart of the Dialogue is security, where all military, police and intelligence will be joined together, fighting terror, protecting our borders from illegal migration and providing greater safety for all citizens.

Just last week tens of thousands of our people from all over the country came to Tripoli to celebrate the 5th anniversary ending the revolution. We gathered peacefully, as one nation. It was safe.

With thousands of my compatriots I fought in the revolution to end tyranny and oppression. We were not free. Today we are free even with all the hardships and hard work ahead, we are in charge of our lives and future. More than 5000 of our citizens died to give us this chance.

Libya is rich in resources and talent. What we want is to work with our friends in the West to restart investment and trade, to reopen embassies in our country, to remind outsiders what makes us great.

Each day we are seeing greater evidence of progress advancing as one country. Our National Oil Company continues to operate and attract capital despite all the problems of corruption and mismanagement from the past. More and new flights are coming in and out of Libya. Salaries are being paid across the country for public workers, while new auditing systems are being put in place adding greater accountability. Hospitals are starting to get the medicines they need. The Central Bank is operating. The Libyan Investment Authority is doing business.

Did you know that we are caring for more than 20,000 illegal immigrants, providing shelter and food, without the help so far of international agencies. We do this as part of our religious faith and belief from our own experience in showing dignity.

For almost one year now I have been holding Cabinet meetings around the country, meeting with tribal leaders, village elders and neighbourhood residents. In each community there is a plan to help generate new development. Every project combines a local and national commitment to work together, a true sharing of revenue, resource and responsibility.

It is working. We are reopening factories, creating zones for free trade running from north to south, redeveloping ports making them more competitive.

Something that is repeated wherever I travel in Libya by our people is to ask me why outsiders have ‘tried to fail Libya.’ It is a hard question. I say that was the past. Now we have a new start and beginning with our Libya Libya Dialogue. Made for Libya by Libyans. We want and need you to work with us. The time is right. We invite you to come be part of it.

The author is the Prime Minster and Minister of Defence in Libyas National Salvation government and has held these posts since March 2015.


Facebook comments

Tags: , , ,

Category: A Frontpage, Featured Article, Lybia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Left Menu Icon