Libyans Begin Road to Reconciliation in Dakar

After years of civil strife in chaos in Libya, a group of activists and public figures from across the political spectrum came together to meet in Dakar to attempt to set a framework for reconciliation talks that may one day lead toward peace in the country.

The summit, which was sponsored by the non-governmental organisation the Brazzaville Foundation, with support from the Senegalese Government and its President, H.E Macky Sall and the President of the Republic of the Congo, H.E. Mr Denis Sassou N’guess, was held from 11-13 May with an objective toward defining future goals of a joint dialogue between all Libyan parties.

An excerpt from the press release by the Brazzaville Foundation follows:

At the end of three days’ discussion, all participants established a number of impactful, concrete objectives, sought out in order to preserve the independence, sovereignty and stability of Libya and in the face of innumerable challenges, collaborate to construct a strong state which guarantees the rights of all Libyans.

These “Dakar 1” objectives included however were not limited to accelerating the holding of a referendum on a draft constitution and creating the necessary conditions for such a referendum; constructing efficient military, security and judicial institutions and other State services in the best interests of the Libyan people; insisting upon the creation of a comprehensive ‘National Reconciliation Commission’; putting in place mechanisms which guarantee the preservation of the wealth of the country and its equitable distribution; agreement to call upon the African Union (AU) to play a greater role with regard to all issues related to Libya and not only in respect of national reconciliation; agreement to invite the media to work to promote peace and reconciliation and end the fomenting of language of ‘fanaticism and hatred’; to condemn and reject terrorism and extremism, renouncing violence in all its forms; and critically, to launch an appeal for the release of all political prisoners and all those imprisoned for the expression of opinion, granting complete freedom for those who are subject to restrictions on their movements and their political activities, recognising that this is an essential step to achieving national reconciliation between all Libyan protagonist actors.

The final communique included agreeance that dialogue should continue and be expanded upon, so as to broaden and deepen consensus. A “Dakar 2” meeting was accordingly planned in the months to come, to build on what has been achieved thus far.

Jean-Yves Olliver, Chairman of the Brazzaville Foundation, said: “Despite initial misgivings, 17 Libyans drawn from all sides and perspectives met, many for the first time, and talked to each other freely – without intermediaries or outside interference. This was not a negotiation, but a dialogue, a turning point that they have begun in Dakar, which will help break down walls of mistrust currently dividing Libyans and start a process of rapprochement which is essential, if negotiations on an eventual political settlement are to succeed.

The full press release from the Brazzaville Foundation is available here.


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