Libya File Exclusive | Despite Serious Corruption & Bribery Revelations – UN, US, Regional & Western Powers Give Support to Interim PM Abdul Hamid Dbeibah – Why?
Forming a unity government in a country crippled and divided by civil war along tribal and foreign political allegiances for the last 10 years was already a huge challenge.
The challenge becomes impossible when you consider that regional powers like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey as well international powers such as the US, UK, France and Russia dueled politically, economically and militarily through local proxies to secure their interests.
Each had their own agenda, for Libya and the region. Each was keen to ensure their strategic plans, roles and influence had traction over the oil rich vast country. At stake was also another prize – 1200 miles of coast over the Mediterranean.
Yet, all failed to do much to stop the war in last decade. Little effective effort was given to the plight of the Libyan people who paid the price with their blood, especially children.
So, when your read the unanimous support for the new interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, you can be excused if you also started feeling positive, that the end of the war in Libya is near, that an unprecedented breakthrough had materialized.
The sense that a new prime minister and Presidential Council have been voted in under the watchful eye of non other than the United Nations was a miracle indeed.
However, if you were about to start singing halliluyah, and start praising the lord for this miracle – hold your horses.
Blatant Corruption and Bribery Revelations
It appears that during the Feb. 5 marathon session in Geneva, Switzerland, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) voted 39 to 34 to appoint Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, a businessman turned politician, to become Interim prime minister. Also, little-known diplomat Mohamed Younis Menfi was appointed as head of the three-member Presidential Council, replacing the outgoing, dysfunctional nine-member council.
The smell of something being badly cooked.
Even before stepping into his new Prime Minister’s office, Dbeibah was plagued with revelations of bribery and corruption to elect him PM. This was along other serious reports of vote buying involving the forum.
A UN panel of experts on Libya is expected to name three forum members who sold their votes to Dbeibah.
The bribery scandal emerged Nov. 23 when the then head of the UN mission, Stephanie Williams, made her opening remarks of the forum session.
Witnesses of Corruption and Bribery
- A Tripoli-based forum member, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed that money was paid and that he personally spoke with Williams about it.
- Another Europe-based forum member, speaking anonymously, said “I know one [forum] member who received $150,000” in return for voting for Dbeibah.
- A third forum member, based in Cairo, who also wants to remain anonymous, also revealed that three forum members “were paid between $120,000 and $150,000.” But he denied that Dbeibah made the payments himself, saying someone “from his extended family” did.
- Zahra Langhi, a prominent forum member from Benghazi, confirmed the alleged bribes during an Al-Hadath TV interview Feb. 28.
- Langhi was one of 56 forum members who on Nov. 19 signed an open letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres urging him to take action.
- The issue of bribery has tainted the forum and the incoming Government of National Unity since it involves the prime minister-designate himself.
Illegitimacy Supported by UN, US and western Governments
There are many reasons to question the legitimacy of the process, outcome and standing of Interim PM Dbeibah and the entire Presidential Council. The scandals cannot be ignored and should put into question the entire process, including to annul all the forum declared appearances of achievements.
Yet, inexplicably, a well orchestrated united voices of support by the United Nations, United States, Egypt, UAE, as well as Turkey. were all in sync in their support and congratulations of Libya’s new interim PM and government. Why?
How will UN, US repair their image & advance democratic values in Libya?
Have western democracies abandoned the democratic values and processes they cherish so dearly when it came to Libya? Is it because serving their special interest supersedes helping Libyans? Is this why they are shutting a blind eye?
More concerning is how can the UN Secretary General Gutierrez and President Biden and his administration, as well as western allies be willing to get tainted by supporting such a corrupt process, and outcome?
A very short window of opportunity may still exist for western parties to clean up their act and image. Only by advancing true democratic processes and values in Libya can they achieve this.
Survivability News Recommendations Moving Forward
Survivability News believes and recommends that western leaders and governments do the following:
- Suspend their support of the Interim PM Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and his government pending a full investigation of these revelations.
- Demand that a UN investigation of these revelations to be conducted, authorised and backed by a UN vote.
- Require the results of the investigations to be made public.
- If revelations are not substantiated, offer full support of interim government.
- If Revelations are substantiated, withdraw support and call for fresh new elections.
- Nothing short of this will do.
- Western sincerity and credibility is on the line.