LIBYAPROSPECT: SKHIRAT – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Dr. Abubaker Baierah, a member of the dialogue committee who represents the House of Representatives (HoR), told LIBYAPROSPECT, in an exclusive interview, that “the absence of good leadership can cause lots of unnecessary conflict,” and that “the Dialogue Committee (DC) considers itself answerable only to the full house of representatives, and not to individuals and personal points of views.” In this exclusive interview, LIBYAPROSPECT asked Baierah about the progress of the dialogue and his expectations.
LIBYAPROSPECT: The rival sides taking part in the dialogue have extremists, how are you dealing with these confrontations as negotiators?
Abubaker Baierah: Yes. Extremism is always difficult to deal with. Extremism can be due to ideological factors that create big differences in opinion among different parties to the dialogue, any dialogue; extremism can also come about because of political myopia among some of the participants to the dialogue process. In some cases it is a personal trait; in Libya many people just like to differ to prove that they are capable of doing just that. They always try to say “we are here”.
In many cases the absence of good leadership can cause lots of unnecessary conflict amongst the participating parties.
To deal with those dissenting elements, you need first to have patience and perseverance; also you need to be in good command of the matter you are negotiating about; and above that all you need to have lots of luck. In some turbulent environments, negotiations do fail no matter what we try to do, and for reasons beyond our control.
LIBYAPROSPECT: When speaking to a newspaper, you said that the dialogue committee representing the House of Representatives was elected solely by the HoR, and that there is no influence on the dialogue committee other than decisions made by the HoR which have followed a specific procedure, can you elaborate? And to what extent are you autonomous in negotiating, proposing and compromising with the other parties involved?
Abubaker Baierah: The Dialogue Committee (DC) was elected by the full House to Represent (HoR) in the negotiations process sponsored by the United Nations Special Mission In Libya (UNSMIL). Some dissenting members (under the influence from outside HoR interest groups) tried to sway the DC away from its mission under so many different allegations. The DC considers itself answerable only to the full House and not to individual and personal points of view, expressed by MP’s, whose main goal is to derail the negotiations process. The DC will only abide by clear-cut resolutions made by the full House in accordance with its internal bylaws.
LIBYAPROSPECT: You, as a member of the Dialogue Committee representing the HoR, in what ways do you look at your opposition’s attitudes, more importantly how do you look at the boycotters of the HoR? To what degree do you think you can concord with the other parties? And what are the obstacles you face?
Abubaker Baierah: Let me say that I would fully respect other opponent’s points of view as long as they are presented to serve the general interest of the country; once I am convinced that those attitudes are being motivated by special interests, I simply ignore them without trying to make an uproar to agitate the general public as our opponents usually do.
As far as the HoR boycotters are concerned, I believe that they took the wrong decision primarily, to start with; they were clearly motivated by ideological beliefs against the interest of the general public; many of them realized this later and came back to join HoR in Tobruk; others are now trying to negotiate a better deal to join the crowd.
Regarding the major obstacles facing the negotiations, I think they rest mainly with the unclear attitudes of GNC’s policies, which seem to aim primarily at thwarting the talks. A more concentrated effort by the international community is needed to put some pressure on GNC policymakers to act more positively towards the negotiations process, in the interest of the general Libyan public.
LIBYAPROSPECT: If we take the scenario of, all parties partaking in the dialogue come to an agreement on the proposed draft, do you think Libya will witness stability and can it end the suffering of the people? And do you think that the expected government would have the mandate to rule the country and maintain the peace?
Abubaker Baierah: It will all depend upon whether a more comprehensive deal is hammered down or not. The current dialogue process is made up of about four or five different tracks; among these tracks is one about security arrangements. So far the international community is still a little bit behind in completing security arrangements; they need to work more and more, and quickly, on this so that the proposed national accord government can start assuming its duties.
To be realistic, I would not expect those stormy things in Libya to change dramatically in a matter of weeks or even months, but most important is that we keep moving in the right direction.