WASHINGTON – A delegation of Libyan tribal and women leaders from the National Movement for Libya concluded its visit to the United States today by calling on the UN to take a balanced approach to the Libyan peace process that respects the demographics of the country and strengthens the cooperation with tribes and representatives of cities and civil society. The delegation delivered that message in a series of strategic meetings this week in New York and Washington with UN officials, UN Security Council member states, the U.S. State Department and others.
The National Movement for Libya was formed to address the acute need for reconciliation, stability and the prevention of radicalization in rural tribal regions, which have often been overlooked in the peace process. “Libya is a tribal society,” said Sheikh Faraj Al-Obeidi, leader of the eastern Obaidat tribe and president of the Movement. “There are cities and modern civil society, but ignoring tribes means you don’t understand Libya. That has been unfortunately the case in many peace efforts.”
Tribal leaders asked the UN Security Council to examine whether the UN Support Mission in Libya has taken a balanced approach and how to ensure broader political participation in the future. They also called upon the Trump Administration to examine the situation.
The delegation of tribal and women leaders was sponsored by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, with the support of Finn Church Aid.