Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peace is slipping in Libya

The Libyan armed revolution was to be over when the former leader was killed. However in the past few months there have been reports of growing tribal aggression. We were aware that such a thing was possible. It is a common reality that such events happen. However, the cycle did not have to happen.
The upside is that Libya is not fully engulfed in another civil war –just yet. The reality of civil war is slowly marching to existence though. At this point we have a very disturbing question to ask, “At what cost will peace be made?” The payoff is usually in the form of political power.
I have written about the peaceful transition of power many times. One such topic is Negotiated Governance, this is exactly where Libya rests at the moment. They are negotiating how and who will govern the country. This negotiation can take place using words, elections and votes or the exchange of bullets. Either way the argument is going to take place. When all is lost the bullets will come to life.
There is still time to keep the guns silent and we have squandered much of that time in the past six months. Due to that it will take an even greater effort to communicate in peace with words to slow the anger and lower the weapons. We do know that the current tactics being used for the communication of a common goal in Libya is not effective.
At the moment we have very little time to draw up new plans. The best possible method is to increase the communication, power sharing and broaden the circle for discussion, planning and decision making. Let us not forget that Libya wants to have elections in June. The chances for a peaceful election under this current pressure is getting worse.
As I stated before the international community needs to severely boost aid in the targeted areas where violence is threatened. The focus of the aid needs to be an all out ceasefire agreement coupled with awareness/education programs, and a decentralisation of the governing power structure. Not an easy task. As crazy as this sounds, the people of Libya were calling for this very action back in December. We have wasted all that time.
As communication failures mount and groups voice their options to use violence the rhetoric also escalates. This sinking to the stupidity of violence can be averted if the will of the world is there to be wise. Too be honest though, I am not too optimistic that such wisdom will prevail.

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