Algeria hosts Libyan peace talks

Algeria hosts Libyan peace talks

On Wednesday, Algeria plans to host talks between rival Libyan parties in the hopes of ending the five-year-old crisis. The

Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

On Wednesday, Algeria plans to host talks between rival Libyan parties in the hopes of ending the five-year-old crisis. The meeting is the first of its kind since Algeria initiated a series of dialogues in 2014, but is unlikely to achieve tangible results.

Libya is currently split into three competing bodies: the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC), General Khalifa Haftar’s Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

Despite the UN recently granting the GNA an extension of their mandate on Sept. 15, its influence has deteriorated. In December, the GNC seized several GNA buildings, including the GNA parliament, prompting the deadliest clash in Tripoli in two years. Haftar’s militia also captured two main oil fields in western Libya on Dec. 14.

Peace will be near impossible if Haftar’s demand of being appointed head of the post-conflict military is not met. However, the GNC, which is dominated by the Libyan arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is staunchly opposed to the anti-Islamist Haftar. Wednesday’s meeting could broach a tentative cooperation between Haftar and more moderate elements of the GNC, but any partnership will be fraught with difficulty.