On 13th November, an international conference was held in Palermo, aimed at invigorating the reconciliatory progress between the two rival Libyan governments: the UN-backed Government of National Accord in the west and the de facto ruler of east Libya, General Khalifa Haftar. The sufficient progress necessary to allow for the realization of the elections on 10th December – agreed upon during the Paris Conference in May – was, however, not achieved. Nevertheless, the mere fact that leaders of the two competing factions had an opportunity to meet and discuss the situation in the country was widely seen as a positive development, particularly given General Haftar’s initial reluctance to participate in the gathering. Furthermore, no political interaction had taken place between the two governments in the last five months prior to the meeting, during which armed clashes in the country spiked.
Even though an alternative date for elections has yet to be decided, the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, expressed his optimism that new date will be announced during the national conference to be held in early 2019. Gender Concerns International shall closely monitor the progress made towards the new elections, which we hope will bring deserved peace to all people of Libya.