However, tackling the crisis in Libya is not easy in the absence of an effective Libyan government able to safeguard its territory, particularly along its long coast on the southern Mediterranean coastline where most of the smuggling boats take off near Zawara, 120 kilometers (74 miles) west of Tripoli, Zliten and Misrata along the eastern coast.
Libya’s internationally recognized government, based in Tobruk and headed by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, lacks the means and force to control the country, and the international community — the EU included — have so far failed to assist it despite Thinni’s repeated appeals for help by meeting its need for military hardware and training for its new army. As recently as April 15, Libya’s premier criticized the West for turning its back on the country it helped destroy four years ago.
Europe appears to be betting its hopes on the UN-mediated talks among Libyan factions planned to resume in Skhirat, Morocco, next week with UN mediator Bernardino Leon brokering some kind of peaceful settlement in a country shattered by violence and lawlessness. Leon appeared optimistic that an agreement is imminent.
But any agreement among politicians could be worthless unless those calling the shots on the ground realize that there will be serious consequences if they do not respect the outcome of the negotiations. This is unlikely to happen without the UN strongly and clearly reinforcing punishments already agreed on in its resolutions, particularly Resolution 2174 adopted in August 2014.