By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 June 2021:
On the occasion of the end of his term as German ambassador to Libya, Oliver Owcza posted a farewell message on his twitter account yesterday:
‘‘With the end of this month my mission as German Ambassador to Libya comes to a close. It’s been three years of ups and downs, of crisis and hope and above all of inspiring experiences, encounters and events. Please allow me to share some – very personal – takeaways.
- The Libyan conflict can be solved! Yes, the ceasefire is fragile, no monopoly of power and too many (foreign) arms and forces. But there’s no ideological conflict: Libyans throughout the country share more than what divides them. Be united in strengthening this common values!
- Change the narrative! Too simply Libya is labelled as crisis country only. Yes, conflict and human rights violations are real and must be stopped! But there is more: human talent, economic opportunities, cultural heritage. Let’s tell the positive stories and let’s welcome visitors!
- De-centralize! Good governance requires a sound understanding of citizens needs and effective administration. This is hard to achieve within a centralized system. So, strengthen local capacities, delegate responsibility, and consider a third state level!
- Discuss your socio-economic future! Too little attention is being given to Libya’s concept of development: Reliance on fossil fuels or diversification? State security or private initiative? An open or a rather closed society? No easy answers but essential to address them!
- Balance your relationship with partners! The interplay between Libyan & international actors is a thin line between support & abuse, between sovereignty & intervention. Yet: we should embrace partnership, based on rules, transparency, and mutual benefit!”