Hardliner members of the HoR and opponents of the GNA are preparing for what they say is the final round of talks with the UN facilitated ‘Libyan Political Dialogue’ group on 17 December. These forces hope to achieve a return to the 4th draft of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), with a smaller Presidential Council containing only three members instead of nine, and a removal of the highly controversial ‘article 8’ which effectively strips Marshal Khalifa Haftar from his position as head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) as granted to him by the HoR. The anti-GNA forces are adamant that this next meeting will be the “final” meeting for the dialogue group, after which they threaten to delegitimise the LPA entirely if their demands are not met.
Clashes in Libya indicate that the GNA is unable to control its own capital, further weakening its support in western Libya and hence its negotiating position. However, the declaration of BM forces’ victory against ISIS in Sirte could give the GNA a temporary boost in popularity given BM is nominally controlled by the GNA. The full state of the situation is yet to settle but the political impact and ramifications are likely to be huge. If the fallout is handled positively, it could bolster the GNA and raise the stakes for Misrata and the western region in supporting the LPA. Negatively, if it is mishandled and conflict breaks out in Tripoli, pulling in forces from Misrata, this could be the death knell for the LPA and the GNA.