5-12 September: Serraj, Saleh And Swehli Attend AU Summit On Libya In Brazzaville

Sep 13, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 9 September the African Union hosted a summit on Libya in Brazzaville, attended by Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, House of Representatives (HoR) President Ageelah Saleh and High Council of State (HCS) head Abdurrahman al-Swehli. Khalifa Haftar was invited to attend the talks, but declined. Representatives from a number of AU countries, including Libyan neighbours such as Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan, also attended.

The speculative ‘presidential race,’ sparked by the tentative agreement to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in Libya in 2018, appears to be gaining momentum, especially the campaign of Basit Igtet, a Libyan wealthy businessman popularly associated with the ‘Islamist’ faction but who also benefits from a liberal style and powerful Western connections. On 6 September, Igtet published his fifth video statement to the Libyan people reiterating his call for demonstrations in Tripoli against Fayez al-Serraj and Khalifa Haftar on 25 September. The video included an outline of his economic vision for the country as well.

The Shahid Nouri Friwan Brigade – a militia aligned to the GNA’s al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) and formerly part of Libya Dawn – has stated its support for Basit Igtet and for his presidential bid. On its Facebook page the group praised “Igtet’s project and solutions for ending Libya’s crisis,” and his determination to achieve the goals that 17 February revolution was based on. The brigade also said that it will support Igtet and any “free Libyan” who wants to build a real state and a real military that is not loyal to any foreign agenda. On a more ominous note, the group added a warning to “all parties against trying to silence people’s voices on September 25,” referring to the date Igtet had set for demonstrations in Tripoli.

On 7 September, the grandson of Libya’s last monarch Idris al-Senussi, Mohamed al-Senussi, called for the restoration of Libya’s 1951 post-independence constitution. proposing that he himself lead the country’s transitional phase. Al-Senussi proposed that he himself lead the country’s transitional phase and that this should be done, “under the auspices and leadership of a national consensus figure with social, historical, and political dimensions agreed to by all, and having no role in the current conflict.” According to al-Senussi, holding elections next year will not be possible “due to the difficult security situation”.