On 2 August 2012, three months before the last shots were fired in Sirte formally ending the Libyan civil conflict, the National Transitional Council outlined a timetable for transition to a democratically governed society. The authors of the transition plan envisaged a rapid 18-month process to a democratically elected government and a peaceful united Libya. Unfortunately, Libya instead slipped into a pattern of political and violent conflict. Eight years after announcement of the transition plan, it is difficult to talk of one ‘Libya’, but rather a protracted civil conflict defined by the emergence of two separate societies and living experiences in the east and west, violent competition to control the south-west of the country, the dominance of armed groups and security actors in civilian affairs and the emergence of a war economy.
As a result, the conflict context requires a sophisticated level of planning by international actors supporting conflict resolution and peace promotion. There is also a strong risk that development aid that does not properly take into account the broad nature of conflict dynamics will actually deepen the national divide and make a sustainable peace more difficult.
In 2018, Professor of Practice David Wood conducted an assessment for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with the purpose of: (1) providing deeper insight as to the nature of conflict dynamics in the country; (2) exploring donor strategies and asking a set of challenging questions that aid actors should collectively answer; and by (3) proposing both a peacebuilding approach, through a set of principles for delivering aid, and identifying critical peacebuilding needs that should be prioritised when planning assistance. The findings were presented in Frankfurt to German policy-makers on Libya, and in Tunis to a wider group of international donors and development partners.
For more information on the assessment, please contact Professor of Practice, David Wood.