The UN Secretary-General suggested earlier this week that international observers be sent to Libya. Civilians and soldiers from institutions such as the EU, AU or the Arab League to monitor the application of the ceasefire agreement signed in October last year in Geneva. These observers will work hand in hand with the 5 + 5 Military Commission consisting of the two rival Libyan parties. But the idea, which is not new, already faces several challenges.
First of all, there is this fragile ceasefire that risks being crushed at any moment. Troop movements on both sides have been noticed in recent days at the front lines around the town of Sirte. Clashes even broke out in Sebha in the south between the forces of Khalifa Haftar and the governments of National Unity (GNA).
There is this too presence of foreign mercenaries fighting in Libya and whose number is estimated at 20,000 armed men. With their presence, the risk of military escalation is all the greater. According to the ceasefire signed on October 24, these forces must leave Libya within 90 days of signing, but no sign of withdrawal has been noticed despite UN demands.
Finally, there is this persistent political blockade around the mechanism for selecting future members of the entire Libyan government, as decided during the Tunis dialogue last November. For Antonio Guterres, deployment of international observersalso aims to resolve this blockage, which will finally enable the election to be achieved.
Elections are scheduled in Libya by next December.