01/21/2020 Libya (International Christian Concern) – This past Sunday, the warring parties in Libya attended a reconciliation conference hosted in Berlin by the German government. The draft conclusions of the conference call for the formation of a unified Libyan government, but what exact steps are needed to achieve this remain inconclusive.
There are two main fronts in the Libyan conflict, both backed by different international actors. The Government of National Accord (GNA) was created in 2015 by the United Nations brokered political agreement. The Libyan National Army (LNA) is led by the self-described anti-Islamist general Khalifa Haftar, and recently took control of Sirte, where 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded by ISIS.
As conflict resolution attempts are made, the LNA’s history as it runs parallel to Christian persecution continues to surface in the media. The LNA’s platform is that they are attempting to remove extremists from government and other positions of influence, thus developing a narrative of trying to create an environment of religious freedom within a stable Libya. But religious freedom has never existed in Libya, and the country has been unstable for years.
Especially in conflict zones, it is often challenging to separate attempts at gaining political advantage from attempts to demonstrate an interest in human rights for the benefit of gaining new political supporters.
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