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Strengthening Libyan Civil Society Engagement on the Constitution and Political Transition

The six years since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime have seen the country descend into fragmentation and chaos. Past attempts to stabilize Libya have failed. Notably, the Libyan Political Agreement of 2014 did not lead to the reinstatement of unified state authority. Small elite discussions on Libya’s political trajectory and the de-facto rule of militias left the larger public in political apathy, distrust of governmental institutions and with little hope for a democratic transition. The UN’s September 2017 action plan, introduced by UNSMIL’s Special Representative Ghassan Salame, and the Paris Agreement of May 2018 offer an opportunity to overcome the political deadlock. For these renewed efforts to succeed, domestic support will be crucial in ensuring that a possible political solution will be respected and perceived as legitimate by all parts of Libyan civil society.

Paving the way for a democratic transition, DRI’s Libya project aims to increase awareness and understanding of the Libyan public on the political transition and to create opportunities for citizens to engage on issues of the transition process. Working with and through its networks of Libyan civil society, DRI seeks to contribute to a conducive environment for the next steps of the political transition.

DRI’s Libya project follows a two-pronged approach: it seeks to 1) inform citizens about key issues of the political transition, such as elections and the constitutional referendum, through traditional and social media; and 2) to engage DRI’s civil society partners by raising awareness on the transitional process within their communities in all three regions of Libya.

DRI’s previous engagement in Libya brought together policymakers, experts and citizen organisations to support the constitution-drafting process in Libya. In 2016, DRI facilitated the formation of the ‘Libyan Coalition for the Constitution,’ a coalition of 12 Libyan civil society organisations, which advocated for human rights to be inscribed in the new Libyan constitution. In 2017, DRI continued supporting the Coalition to strengthen their organizational capacities to be well-equipped for supporting inclusive and democratic state-building.

DRI’s Libya project is currently funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. 

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