Jan 9, 2014 | Publications

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) has produced its first eSeminar Summary Report from its inaugural eSeminar on militia demobilization and security sector reform in Libya. The report is being released in conjunction with the recorded videos of the speaker’s presentations and the discussion period, available individually on YouTube at the links provided below. The event took place on November 6, 2013 and was held entirely online with the assistance of the Security Governance Group’s eConferencing service. The over-subscribed public event, chaired by CSG Executive Director Mark Sedra, featured a distinguished group of panellists, including: Abdul Rahman AlAgeli, the security file coordinator in the Office of the Libyan Prime Minister; Frederic Wehrey, a senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle-East program; Mustafa el Sagezli, the general manager of the Warriors Affairs Commission in Libya; and Robert Perito,  a senior associate with the Security Governance Group and former director of the security governance program at the United States Institute of Peace.

The report provides a summary of the speaker’s presentations and synthesizes the primary conclusions drawn from the presentations, the discussion period, and the polling questions posed to the participants throughout the event. The following is a list of some of the main conclusions and recommendations highlighted in the report:

  • Finding Political Consensus: The lack of political consensus on demilitarization and security sector reform has prevented any overarching vision concerning the future of the Libyan security sector from coalescing. This is evidenced by delays in efforts to replace the interim Constitutional Declaration and resistance to the creation of a National Guard, which was proposed as a transitional step to a more permanent and accountable security force. The upcoming national dialogue will be an important step in addressing this consensus gap. This process should be both comprehensive and inclusive to advance reconciliation across existing societal fault lines.
  • Building Institutional Capacity: It was widely agreed that Libya does not lack the resources to advance reforms, but does lack the institutional capacity to manage and direct reform efforts. To address this gap, donor investment in administrative and human resource capacities, the creation of new bureaucratic systems grounded in good governance principles, and the enhancement of inter- and intra- ministerial coordination is recommended through projects such as the stalled US Department of Defense Ministry of Defense Advisors program in Libya.
  • Institutionalizing Hybrid Security Arrangements: Given the proliferation of informal, non-state security actors in Libya, hybrid security and governance arrangements of different forms may be necessary and practical over the short and medium-term and could perhaps become a permanent feature of the security architecture. However, the absence of state oversight structures to manage these hybrid relationships has made them problematic. Establishing effective government oversight is a critical task for architects of future hybrid structures in Libya and other contexts.
  • Making Alternative Livelihoods Available: the provision of viable alternative livelihoods for combatants is indispensible for demilitarization and are currently lacking. Existing employment opportunities in the licit economy tend to be menial, insufficiently lucrative, and lack the prestige of militia life. New initiatives must, therefore, focus on providing combatants with the skills and opportunities to make productive contributions to society. To catalyze these efforts, a number of recommendations arose throughout the seminar and are highlighted in the report.
  • Libyan Ownership and Needs Analysis: While it was stated that more international and regional assistance can be provided to Libya, there was broad agreement that SSR and DDR initiatives would only be successful if they were owned and driven by the Libyans. External support may be best directed towards providing Libyans with the capacity to collect and analyze data and facilitate a domestic dialogue. Without this capacity, external assistance will continue to have a limited impact, with the Libyan government lacking the technical means and unified strategic vision to harness the resources provided by external partners.

Author

Matt Redding is a Security Governance Group Project Manager.

Notes

The recorded videos can be viewed using the following links:

Abdul Rahman AlAgeli – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ue_XN9lE9o

Frederic Wehrey –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NWdKfRdBo

Mustafa el Sagezli – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-tpLyck-5I

Robert Perito – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjM4fZ8v7kc

Q&A/Discussion Period – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIxdyn3aGE4