While all eyes were on the planned UN-sponsored national conference, Libyans witnessed the renewal of large-scale violence in Tripoli and its outskirts since early April. Although the situation on the ground casts a long shadow over the national political process, civil society continues to work, not the least in connection with the on-going process of electing local councils in many municipalities of Libya.
DRI brought 24 of its partner organisations and activists from across Libya together to reflect on the changed situation and to adapt work with a stronger focus on engaging citizens and carrying out dialogues at the local level, rather than engagement on the currently elusive national process.
The activists travelled under difficult circumstances to Tunis and gladly returned home safely.
“We have to keep going and the local level is a good place: Transparency in local governance is essential,” said Mohamed Eljarh, a Libyan political analyst and trainer during the event. “Where we manage to include citizens, including women, into the planning of local budgets and their implementation, we strengthen confidence in public bodies, reduce corruption and make sure that real needs are addressed by the authorities. Some forces are trying to pull Libya apart. We try to strengthen the fabric of society and increase trust.”
This event took place from 26 – 28 April 2019 in the framework of DRI’s project “Strengthening Libyan Civil Society Engagement on the Constitution and Political Transition”, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.