Quilliam is honoured to be asked by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament, as requested by its Chairman, Sir Richard Ottaway, to give evidence on the topic of instability in Libya, to aid in the publishing of a report on extremism and instability in North and West Africa.

In conjunction with Quilliam President Noman Benotman’s appearance before the committee on Tuesday 25 March at 3:00pm, we have published a short report on developments in Libya.

This report critiques the UK government’s policies towards Libya since 2011, with a focus on the post-Gaddafi era. We conclude that while the UN-sanctioned and UK-led military intervention to remove Muammar Gaddafi was successful, it has failed to adapt to the post-Gaddafi circumstances.

We recommend the implementation of existing international legal frameworks to remove the obstacles to peace in Libya, and political intervention from the UK to provide advice to the Libyan government. Our specific recommendations are as follows:

  1. Empower a UN taskforce to list militia leaders who are obstacles to Libyan security and stability. This will encourage other militia leaders and members to reform their approach and stop the cycle of violence.
  2. Provide international assistance to Libya on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). Both are essential components of peacebuilding and necessary to build structures in Libya to receive international aid.
  3. Provide international assistance and advice to Libya on how to draft a constitution. The UK can also deliver education and training on governance models to ensure that the many ethnic, religious and tribal minorities are represented in the rebuilding of the Libyan political system. Giving tribes an advisory role in a temporary transition phase to allow them to provide counsel on certain issues would foster dialogue between them, encourage them to move away from militia tactics and remove the perception of marginalisation.
  4. Support Libya in the Reconciliation Initiative that is backed by the General National Congress (GNC), Libya’s legislative authority. Reintegration of these people into Libya, and acceptance that the Gaddafi tribe members must be included in Libya’s future as they are a significant demographic and have skills that are important for the new Libya, is an essential step.
  5. Develop Libyan civil society. The strategic partner to foster democracy in Libya is undoubtedly its civil society and the UK’s experience in this would be welcome. Libyan youth want to be part of political life and their skills must be developed through training if we are to connect Libyan southern NGOs with those in the north of the country.

To read our full policy briefing, please click here:

To watch Quilliam President Noman Benotman give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee today from 3:00pm, please visit the Parliament TV webpage here.